Vector Control Surveillance

Vector Control Surveillance Careers

Job prospects are extremely varied across different industries.  Public health careers are showing an impressive increase in employment across many fields.  These positions help ensure public safety and wellness, and thus provide stable job opportunities for many individuals.  With one of the focuses of healthcare in general being to promote public welfare and thus enhance the workforce, community safety measures can have a great impact on this outcome.

Since public health addresses many concerns for both individuals and the community, employment in this sector can include such jobs as vector control surveillance positions.  This type of work allows you to gain an exciting career path that can have a multitude of objectives, depending upon the community you serve.

 What Is A Vector Control Surveyor?

A vector control surveyor essentially monitors biological factors that contribute to the spread of disease.  Most often, the focus is on animals which can carry microbes and infect human population through direct or indirect contact.  A vector control surveyor may be asked to monitor mosquito or rat populations, and also to determine if they carry disease that may be a threat to the community.  Many vector control surveyors may be asked to examine animals directly, as well as tracking population explosions in the wild.

Vector control surveillance would involve the following expectations as a part of the works:

  •   Identifying animal disease vectors within the environment.
  •   Tracking movements and breeding habits of these vectors.
  •   Documenting populations and contact with humans.
  •   Investigating cases where vector and human contact may result in disease.
  •   Proposing solutions for vector control and protocols for minimizing human interaction
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These professional skills can also assist with a vector surveillance career:

  •   Observation skills:  You would need to keep track of a number of animal populations and record changes in numbers as well as migration routes.
  •   Critical thinking skills:  You would need to be able to deduce outcomes based on the observation you have made and determine impacts on the human population.
  •   Communication:  You will also need to be able to offer information to public agencies as well as the community, to educate individuals about how to reduce risk.
  •   Problem solving skills:  Coming up with strategies to reduce vector populations without putting the community at risk will be a large part of this job.  

Nature Of The Work

Vector control surveyors will spend the majority of their time in the field.  This may include observing animal populations over a period of weeks,  You may also be required to capture, examine, and tag certain animal, such as rats or raccoons, in order to track migration and predict the potential spread of infection.

Some of your time will also be spent in the office, correlating data and writing reports on your conclusions.  You will also need to document infections within the community, as well as generate preventive strategies that may be disseminated to the public.

Education And Training

To work in vector control surveillance you will need at least a four year undergraduate degree.  Course of study for this line of work should include microbiology and pathology, immunology, and statistics.  With a Bachelor degree you will also need to complete a one to two year internship in lab studies and research, as well as gain field experience for sampling and identifyin risk factors in the environment.

Some vector control surveyors will continue on to graduate and post graduate education.  This provides greater researching experience, and some candidates will also pursue veterinary sciences and a focus in epidemiology.  Field experience is still important, even with higher education, and this training is an expectation for potential employment opportunities.

The average annual wage for a vector control surveyor is around $60,000, although entry level positions tend to be closer to $34,000 per year.  Experienced vector control surveyors can make as much as $90,000 per year, which show incredible potential in advancement. 

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Positions in this line of work are steadily increasing.  The projected rise in employment between 2012 and 2022 is expected to be around 10%, but concerns about the spread of communicable disease may create a larger demand for vector control surveyors, especially in the sector of public health.  With sound wages, and a good potential to advance in the position, a career as a vector control surveyor can offer you peace of mind in your job, and peace of mind in the community for the advancement of public health interventions.

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