300,000 New Jobs Could Soon Be Available In The U.S.



With the nation's unemployment rate nearing 15%, many Americans are anxious to get back to work. As many as 300,000 people could find a job working as contact tracers according to Roger Shapiro, a professor of medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health. “I do think that it's a fantastic job for people who have been furloughed, and it's something that people can be trained to do," Shapiro says. "It takes some training, but it's not impossible to train almost anybody with reasonable social skills, who can work off a script, begin a conversation with people, convey a few key messages and collect data.”

The job availability estimate is based on plans that were recently announced by the Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, and former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Collectively, their plan calls for public health workers to contact and trace individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19. As cities all over the country continue to reopen, the need to track down the origin of outbreaks and contain them is greater than ever.

The Center for Disease Control offers this description of what the job entails “In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious.”

The average contact tracer makes approximately $65,000 a year. Find available positions in your area by searching for "Contact Tracer" job openings.

Read Harvard's Roadmap To Pandemic Resilience report.

Photo: Getty Images