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Become An Environmental Health Specialist

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Working As An Environmental Health Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $70,210

    Average Salary

What Does An Environmental Health Specialist Do

An Environmental Health Specialist is responsible for determining the existence of possible health hazards and taking measures to prevent or corect them. They monitor health and safety conditions in resedential, industrial, commercial, and recreational settings.

How To Become An Environmental Health Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field.


Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject is required.

Typical courses include radiation science, hazardous material management and control, risk communications, and respiratory protection. These courses may vary with the specialty in which a student wants to work. For example, courses in health physics focus on topics that differ from those in industrial hygiene.

High school students interested in becoming occupational health and safety specialists should take courses in English, math, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to use advanced technology. They often work with complex testing equipment.

Communication skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers. They need to be able to work with technicians to collect and test samples of possible hazards, such as dust or vapors, in the workplace.

Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety specialists need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.

Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly. Some specialists work in environments that can be uncomfortable, such as tunnels or mines.

Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is voluntary, many employers encourage it. Certification is available through several organizations, depending on the field in which the specialists work. Specialists must have graduated from an accredited educational program and have work experience to be eligible to take most certification exams. To keep their certification, specialists usually are required to complete periodic continuing education.

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Environmental Health Specialist jobs

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Top Skills for An Environmental Health Specialist


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Top Environmental Health Specialist Skills

  1. Public Health Laws
  2. Food Safety Classes
  3. Emergency Response
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted food safety inspections, performed plan review of new establishments, conducted food safety classes.
  • Developed and implemented Emergency Response Team Programs, and trained employees in agency specific safety/industrial hygiene/sanitation programs.
  • Review plans for food service establishments and child care facilities.
  • Conducted preventive medicine inspections, surveys, and control operations and assisted with preventive medicine laboratory procedures.
  • Inspected licensed establishments and public facilities to ensure compliance with state and local health regulations.

Top Environmental Health Specialist Employers

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Environmental Health Specialist Videos

What Can You Do with Public Health Degree

Career Advice on becoming a Health and Safety Manager by Hamish B (Full Version)

A Day in the Life :: Environmental Health