Need a Job? Here’s How to Become a Contact Tracer, with Free Training! It’s Easy, Pays Well, and You Can Work from Home!

how to become a contact tracer
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Here’s how to become a contact tracer, including free training for this legitimate work-from-home job! If you need a job, whether you were laid off because of Covid-19, or for any other reason, then becoming a coronavirus contact tracer could be just the thing! Or perhaps your job doesn’t quite cover your bills and you need to make some extra money on the side. Either way, becoming a Covid-19 contact tracer can help fill in the financial gaps, or become your new full-time job, it’s up to you!

The online training is free, you get to work from home, and the average contact tracer job pays $17 to $22 an hour! Plus, it’s a an important, and even patriotic, way to help people during the pandemic. What could be better than making a real difference and getting paid for it?

In case you’re wondering just what is a contact tracer, or what does a contact tracer do, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like: when someone is diagnosed with a communicable disease, a contact tracer will reach out to as many of the people as possible who were in contact with the person during their contagious phase, to warn them that they may have been exposed to the disease.

Contact tracing has been around for many years. In fact while the first known use of the term ‘contact tracing’ occurred in 1931, one of the first, and certainly best-known, instances of contact tracing occurred with Mary Mallon, more commonly known as Typhoid Mary. Mary was born in 1869, and, when she was 37, was exposed to typhoid as a result of several people in the New York house where she was working as a cook having come down with typhoid. Mary felt fine. But she wasn’t. It turns out that she was an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid, and 53 people contacted typhoid as a direct result to being exposed by Mary, 3 of whom died. However, of course, those 53 people exposed other people, and it is estimated that Mary was ultimately responsible for 3000 cases of typhoid in New York.

Dr. Graham Mooney, of the John Hopkins Medical School, talks about Typhoid Mary, and explains contact tracing, in a short video, saying:

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An important development in the history of public health around contact tracing was the case of Typhoid Mary. And Typhoid Mary was actually an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid. The intervention that was made was to effectively isolate Mary Mallon for very long periods of time in order to make sure that she didn’t come into contact with other people and inadvergantly give them the disease. Contact tracing basically traces and tracks down people who have been exposed to an individual who already has an infectious disease. It came to be used during the 19th century for diseases that were known to be transmitted either through the air, or via droplet transmission, or through direct contact with individuals. And it was particularly developed for smallpox. And the reason why that’s the case is because there was actually an intervention for smallpox that prevented the disease. And that was vaccination. Vaccination was discovered in the late 18th century. Contact tracing was usually performed by local medical officers or health commissioners or members of the health department. They would visit the household and then they would isolate the patients either in their home or in an isolation hospital, a fever hospital. The basic mechanisms haven’t changed very much. I would say that the developments in the late 20th century with electronic reporting, they would do it via computer, for example. So the actual reporting itself. And you know, in terms of managing the contacts, the latest developments would be the use of mobile apps. This huge effort for contact tracing is absolutely crucial for public buy-in of the relaxation of social distancing measures and regulations. And I think in future pandemics knowing how to build that confidence through testing, tracking, and tracing, is going to be very important.

How to Become a Contact Tracer

There are currently two well-recognized organizations offering free online contact tracer training: Johns Hopkins, and Contrace. Contrace is an organization set up specifically to help with the enormous task of contact tracing in the Covid-19 pandemic.

John Hopkins

With John Hopkins, after you take their free 6-hour online course, you will receive a certificate and be qualified to apply for any contact tracing positions, such as those that turn up with a Google search and on job sites like Indeed.

Contact Tracing Job Listings on Google
how to become a contact tracer


Contrace also provides training, and in addition, once you complete the training, they will send your information to employers looking for contact tracers. Contrace has a “strong preference for nurses and other clinical staff”. Other qualifications for Contrace include:

  • Ability to exhibit a professional, positive attitude and work ethic
  • Excellent interpersonal skills required and ability to interact professionally with culturally diverse individuals during a time of crisis and distress
  • Ability to show empathy to distressed individuals
  • High school diploma, or equivalent required
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to speak, read, and write English
  • Second or multiple languages a plus
  • Critical thinking and sound judgment required
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism
  • Proficiency with computers

You also need to have either a Windows computer or a Mac, and a mobile phone.

How to Sign Up for Contact Tracer Training

Below are the links to sign up for each of the contact tracer trainings. We have seen nothing that says that you can’t do them both, and that is what we would do. That way you get the certificate from John Hopkins, and you get into the Contrace database of trained contact tracers.

Sign up for contact tracer training with John Hopkins here

Sign up for contact tracer training with Contrace here

The bad news is that it looks as if Covid-19 is going to be around for a while, wreaking havoc, and worse, on people. How awesome is it that there is this opportunity to grab a new job that you can do from home, and that can make a real difference in peoples’ lives at the same time?

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