What Homeland Security Careers are in Bioterrorism?

The homeland security careers in bioterrorism are generally related to public health, disease monitoring and biological security. Here are five bioterrorism jobs in homeland security, most of which require at least a master’s degree and extensive public health experience, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Public Health Prevention Specialist

Public health prevention specialists provide ongoing training and assistance to Department of Homeland Security employees, external partners, educational institutions and community organizations. They also participate in bioterrorism training for law enforcement, health care and emergency response personnel. For instance, a public health prevention specialist may provide training regarding federal guidelines and recommendations for bioterrorist incident management. They actively attend and participate in workshops, training programs and coalition meetings. They evaluate the effectiveness of improvement programs and planning strategies through collecting and analyzing data. Based on this information, they develop on-site and online training modules for relevant personnel.

Bioterrorism Research Specialist

Bioterrorism research specialists perform complex public health research and analysis. They are responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of emergency response programs related to bioterrorism. They assess electronic data gathered from state and national databases in order to create reports about the efficiency and preparedness level of various programs. This unique position provides technical and consultative help with planning and implementing bioterrorism monitoring programs. This requires them to perform unannounced on-site inspections and program audits. During bioterrorism incidents, they assume an active leadership role in the operation command structure that requires them to often work late hours in alternate work locations.

Regional Epidemiologist

Many epidemiologists work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but some work for DHS supervising staff, health specialist and environmental health experts. They monitor community health by conducting discreet public health surveillance and investigation activities. To illustrate, they conduct daily surveillance activities through online systems and applications. They monitor pharmaceutical, school absenteeism and outpatient and emergency room complaint data and reports. They also contribute to state and national electronic disease surveillance systems. Regional epidemiologists are key public health management members that serve as training resources for DHS employees and external partners.

Program Quality Specialist

Program quality specialists perform inspections to ensure that DHS and public emergency response units meet all state and federal regulations for bioterrorism response, planning and management. They conduct independent investigations on program quality, respond to public complaints and perform necessary follow-up and enforcement duties. They conduct detailed reviews of emergency response incident records to determine system adequacy and efficiency. They often collaborate with homeland security supervisors and directors to ensure compliance with regulations and that employees receive quality training. Program quality specialists organize and host special presentations and training events at both local and state levels. They often recommend and introduce new program initiatives and development changes.

Bioterrorism Prevention Director

A director of a bioterrorism prevention program is responsible for maintaining and supervising state and federal control programs. They are involved with surveillance, recording and response activities. They update policies, enforce standards and evaluate compliance with bioterrorism prevention programs. They serve as a leadership resource to DHS, emergency response and health care organizations. They oversee annual bioterrorism risk and prevention assessments that are submitted to state and federal leaders. They promote surveillance, prevention and risk program improvements. They sometimes collaborate with hospital administration and department heads to create evidence based prevention programs and corrective action plans.

Related Resource: 5 Technology Careers in Homeland Security

Additional homeland security careers in bioterrorism include research scientist, environmental analyst and director of health services.