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Public Health Inspector Careers

Public Health Inspector CareersWhat Public Health Inspectors do:
Are you interested in a rewarding and secure career in health where you get to work with a variety of people in different locations? A Public Health Inspector (also known as a Sanitarian) is a healthcare professional responsible for protecting human health, safety and welfare in a broad range of settings by implementing environmental health legislation.

Public Health inspectors are trained on sanitation laws, public health codes and inspection procedures and may work in consulting firms, governments, hospitals, manufacturing firms and mining companies. Public Health Inspectors/ Sanitarians may also be known as environmental health practitioners, environmental health specialists or environmental health officers. 

The main duties of a Public Health Inspector include:

  • Reacting to public complaints such as animal bites, odor complaints or sewage overflows
  • Investigating health hazards in a wide variety of locations
  • Inspecting inadequate housing conditions, leisure centers, schools, nursing homes, and public service establishments
  • Implementing urgent contingency plans
  • Informing government agencies, professional groups and the public in relation to lead, radon, mold, and emerging diseases
  • Water testing
  • Implementing disease control

Education & Training:
The majority of public health inspectors have a relevant degree and on-the-job training. Those wishing to become certified must hold at least an associate's degree in health, safety or environmental health. Certification for occupational health and safety technicians is offered by the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technologists (CCEST).

In addition to holding an associate or bachelors degree, applicants must be employed in public health and safety for a minimum of 900 hours. Even though certification is not a legal requirement in the U.S., many employers would rather their employees pursue it. To become a Registered Sanitarian (RT), students must apply to their state board and complete yearly licensing and continuing education unit requirements.

In Canada, environmental health officers (EHO's) must complete a university degree in applied science and the national professional certificate - the Certificate in Public Health Inspection, C.P.H.I.(C).

Salary & Job Prospects:
Registered Sanitarians can expect to earn salaries between $50,000 - $90,000 per year. Salaries are dependent on qualifications, location, position held and experience. Career advancement opportunities are normally obtainable by public health inspectors  / sanitarians with ample work experience and a good business know-how.

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