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Biosecurity Office Career Profile

Do you want to work as a biosecurity officer?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

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4 May 2024

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What is a biosecurity officer?

A biosecurity officer is a professional responsible for implementing and enforcing measures to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms, diseases, or pests in a particular area, such as a country, region, or facility.

Snail Breeding Career

Alternative Names

Biosecurity officers may also be referred to by various alternative names, depending on the context and specific duties they perform. Some of these alternative names include:

  • Quarantine officer
  • Plant health inspector
  • Disease control officer
  • Biosafety officer

These terms may vary regionally or within specific industries, but they generally describe professionals who are involved in enforcing biosecurity measures to protect against the spread of diseases, pests, and other biological threats.

What is it NOT:

The title is sometimes also used for people who work at border entry points (such as airports or harbours). We discuss this career separately, under Law and Enforcement, called;

Career Categories

The Biosecurity Officer career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Health
  • Law & Enforcement
  • Farming & Livestock Management

International laws?

There are several laws governing biosafety and security, including ones banning biological warefare

Under the sea?

Biosecurity also impacts water management, including our oceans

What does a Biosecurity Officer do?

Groups of animals a Biosecurity Officer works with

Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT
Mammals
Birds List Icon OZT
Birds
Fish List Icon OZT
Fish
Reptiles List Icon OZT
Reptiles
Amphibians List Icon OZT
Amphibians
Insects List Icon OZT
Insects
Arachnids List Icon OZT
Arachnids
Crustaceans List Icon OZT
Crustaceans
Mollusks Link Icon OZT
Mollusks
Myriapods List Icon OZT
Myriapods
Worms List Icon OZT
Worms

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With who does a Biosecurity Officer work?

Besides working with all of the animals, Biosecurity Officers will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance

What does a Biosecurity Officer focus on?

The primary focus of biosecurity officers is to patrol land and identify invasive or harmful species.

What are the daily tasks of a Biosecurity Officer?

  • 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

Working conditions of a Biosecurity Officer?

Where does a Biosecurity Officer work?

Environment –

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.

What is the average annual salary of a Biosecurity Officer?

On average the income per year is around $55,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can a Biosecurity Officer be promoted?

Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience. First-year officers often need to fit their training commitments around daily work demands.

The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:

Intern -> Junior Officer -> Senior Officer -> Manager

What kind of difficulties can a Biosecurity Officer face?

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.

Availability of Jobs

Average

Which Skills are required by a Biosecurity Officer?

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.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills
40%

Career Skills

  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Career Skills
60%

Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

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!

What will I need to Study to become a Biosecurity Officer?

Minimum Requirements

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 Focus

Major –

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.

Study Duration

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.

FREE Career Path Plan

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 a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in becoming a biosecurity officer, based on the provided points:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or local community centres to learn about various career options in biosecurity and related fields.

2. Research all of the possible careers:

Conduct thorough research on different careers within biosecurity, including biosecurity officer, quarantine officer, animal health inspector, etc. Understand the responsibilities, qualifications, and career paths associated with each role.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore educational paths that lead to careers in biosecurity, such as degrees in biology, veterinary science, environmental science, public health, or agricultural science.

4. Align high school subjects with the educational path:

Choose high school subjects that align with the desired educational path, including biology, chemistry, environmental science, and mathematics.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic excellence and obtain a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6. Learn about animals that will work with:

Gain knowledge about the animals and plants relevant to biosecurity, including common diseases, pests, and invasive species.

7. Align post-school path with either entering a career/job directly, studying further or starting a business:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further studies at a college or university, or explore entrepreneurship opportunities in biosecurity-related fields.

8. Gain experience through volunteering, internship, mentorship, etc.:

Seek out volunteering opportunities, internships, or mentorship programmes with organisations involved in biosecurity, agriculture, public health, or environmental protection to gain practical experience and insights into the field.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to science, the environment, or community service to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join professional associations or societies related to biosecurity, such as the International Association for Food Protection or the American Biological Safety Association, to connect with professionals and stay updated on industry trends.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Acquire specialised skills relevant to biosecurity, such as risk assessment, disease surveillance, laboratory techniques, and biosecurity regulations.

12. Network with Professionals:

Network with professionals in the field by attending conferences, workshops, and industry events. Build relationships and seek mentorship from experienced professionals.

13. Enter the job market, finish tertiary studies, or launch a business:

Depending on the chosen path, enter the job market with relevant qualifications and experience, complete tertiary studies if pursuing further education, or consider starting a business venture in biosecurity or related areas.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay updated on advancements in biosecurity technologies, regulations, and best practices by pursuing continuing education, attending workshops, and engaging in lifelong learning opportunities.

By following this career preparation path, a high school student can develop the necessary skills, knowledge, and experiences to pursue a successful career as a biosecurity officer or in related fields.

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.

Average level of educational qualification people had when entering the Career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

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.

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.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:

CAREER PATH PLAN

Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

SHORT COURSES

Access easy-to-use short courses to make your career preparation easier! The basic information in each course is free, but the rewards can only be unlocked as an OZT member!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

STUDY GUIDE

Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Members Only

But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

Join the OZT community & Biosecurity Officer Group

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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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:

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