Do you want to work as a biosecurity officer?
- Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
- If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential officers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 31 August 2020
1. What is a biosecurity officer?
Biosecurity officers check areas of land for harmful animals or plants and arrange for, or help with, pest destruction and control.
Also known as:
- Biosecurity Surveillance Officer
What is it NOT:
The title is sometimes also used for people who work at border points (such as airports). We discuss this career separately, under Law and Enforcement, called Border Control Officer.
2. What do they do?
Health / Law & Enforcement / Farming & Livestock Management
The primary focus of biosecurity officers is to patrol land and identify invasive or harmful species.
- Inspect and monitor plants, land and water for pests
- Advise landowners to destroy pests
- Arrange for work to be done by pest control companies
- Gather data from eradication projects
- Educate the public about animal and plant pests and how to control them
- Prepare reports
- Administration and filing
Where they work:
Biosecurity officers spend most of their time outdoors, in the field, where they can inspect the area. They do spend some time in an office or laboratory to help identify the harmful species.
Places of Employment –
Most officers are employed by government, but there are a few employed by large farms, research institutions and pest control companies.
On average the income per year is around $55,000. This will differ from country to country.
The work does require being on your feet most of the time, covering large areas. It can also mean working in remote areas. It’s time consuming, and can be dangerous. They may also need to travel and work irregular hours.
Future growth and Possibilities:
The current rate of growth of this career is around 10%, which is good. There is a need to expand their work in the future to include areas previously deforested, where crops are now grown.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as a biosecurity officer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Basic customer service skills
- Good health and physical fitness
- Excellent computer literacy
4. Which Subjects must I have at School?
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
5. What will I need to Study?
To become a biosecurity officer requires at least a Bachelor’s Degree. The top level of entrants study further to at least a Master’s Degree.
Study towards a relevant area, such as biology, ecology, agriculture, biosecurity, or environmental science.
Short Courses –
Most short courses will focus on the identification of invasive species, and law enforcement.
The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
Possible Career Preparation Paths:
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible Combined Career Paths:
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):
Training and apprenticeship:
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a biosecurity officer will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied, especially when entering government service.
Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior officer or expert.
Join the Biosecurity Officers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:
6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.
Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.
Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.
7. Where can I study further?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards biosecurity.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a biosecurity officer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being a Biosecurity Officer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.
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