American states are scrambling to staff up on contact tracers, hiring 100,000-300,000 employees to keep tabs on COVID-19 patients and their contacts. The job is often (though not always) well paid, up to $65,000 per year, and ideal for furloughed workers with strong social skills.
To get up to speed and stand out on your application, enroll in COVID-19 Contact Tracing, a free five-hour course by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, offered through Coursera. The course is taught by an epidemiologist and covers the fundamentals of the coronavirus, guidelines for contact tracing and isolation, how to be an active listener, and common difficulties. It includes scenes with professional actors, demonstrating typical contact-tracing interactions. New York State, which is hiring as many as 17,000 contact tracers, will require the course for new tracers.
The course was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies in an effort to help contact-tracing programs worldwide aggressively scale and quickly train new hires.
To find a job near you, Google search “[your state] contact tracer jobs.”