Environmental health specialists

Environmental health specialists educate and consult clients and enforce regulations governing the sanitation of food, milk and water;hazardous and infectious waste; sewage; institutional environments and health hazards. They help improve water and sanitation facilities at recreational areas, nursing homes, schools, restaurants and other locations and are actively involved in the overall environmental quality of a community.
Environmental health specialists:
• collect and analyze environmental samples to screen for possible
public health hazards.
• prepare and calibrate equipment
used to collect and analyze
samples.
• oversee the treatment and
disposal of sewage and hazardous
or infectious waste.
• design and monitor construction
of wastewater disposal systems and well installations.
• determine pollution problems and initiate stop-action orders.
• develop and manage programs to prevent toxic waste contamination, control
insects and rodents, dispose of waste and ensure clean water supplies.
• consult and advise physicians and other medical personnel about community
health hazards.
• help draft laws and regulations; testify in court.
• evaluate the handling, processing and serving of food and milk to identify hazards
and ensure compliance.
• educate communities on environmental health issues.
• conduct and analyze epidemiological data regarding disease outbreaks.
• utilize computers to effectively manage data.
• communicate well with the public.
Specialties include milk and dairy production, food protection, sewage disposal, pesticide management, air pollution, institutional sanitation, environmental and occupational health, as well as health safety and sanitation in pools, lodging establishments and migrant labor camps.
Average Salary Range
$24,000 – $47,000
Educational Requirements
Students interested in becoming environmental health specialists should prepare by taking the most challenging high school courses available in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses.
Most environmental health specialists earn bachelor’s degrees in environmental health. In some instances, related education such as biology, geology or environmental engineering is acceptable. Master’s and doctoral degrees can be earned and certification is available.

Professional Associations

National Environmental
Health Association
720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 970-S
Denver, CO 80246-1925
(303) 756-9090
www.neha.org