Contact Tracers


Contact Tracers


Infectious diseases are caused by organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. They can be passed from person to person, be transmitted to humans by insects and other animals, or be passed on to humans when they consume contaminated water or food or are exposed to organisms in the environment. Examples of infectious diseases include measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, chickenpox, sexually transmitted diseases (such as syphilis), SARS, Ebola, and COVID-19. Contact tracers are public health profess...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



A minimum of a high school diploma is required for this position



Information Management


Personality Traits

Hands On


Earnings for contact tracers generally range from $15 to $22 per hour. Some organizations pay higher salaries. For example, Partners in Health (a global nonprofit health organization) recently paid contact tracers working in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic $27 per hour.

Full-time contact tracers receive benefits such as health insurance, paid sick and vacation days, and access...

Work Environment

Contact tracers work in traditional office settings or in home offices. A person who is comfortable talking on the phone with strangers will be more successful at this job than one who is introverted. This job can be occasionally stressful when the tracer must interact with people who distrust the government or other authority figures or become angry that they have been exposed to someone with ...


There is a severe shortage of contact tracers in the United States and in many other countries. This shortage was amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis (which began in 2019) when there were not enough contact tracers to effectively track the spread of the virus. “In order to trace all contacts, safely isolate the sick, and quarantine those exposed, we estimate that our public health wor...