Environmental Health Specialist Careers

Overview and Job Duties

With the degraded environmental conditions, the need of environmental health specialists has been increasing which has led thousands of students studying this diverse discipline. If you want to contribute towards the health industry, then earning an accredited degree in environmental health may lead you towards a successful career. Environmental health specialists are mainly concerned with determining, controlling and improving the environmental quality of the whole society along with improving health care measures. This could be a good start to serve the health industry with your dedication and hard work.

Environmental health specialists typically observe the changes in environment and work to improve its quality. Pollutants that are hazardous and may pose a threat or danger to public health and environments are analyzed and tested by these experts. They come up with environmental protection regulations and determine the appropriate health standards for businesses, as well as residential and public areas. These environmental health specialists are accountable for implementing federal, state, and local regulations which include food sanitation, elimination of infectious and hazardous wastes, along with the protection of institutional environments. Hazardous samples are also collected and tested by these experts to ensure public health safety.

Furthermore, they must be aware of the high-tech devices that are used in the process of testing samples. One of the major responsibilities includes consulting physicians and medical personnel about environmental and healthcare matters. In order to work as an environmental health specialist, one must possess good interpersonal and written skills to dispense research data.

Career Outlook

Through the year 2012, the employment opportunities for environmental health specialist are expected grow between 10% to 20%. This is due to the fact that most of the environmental health specialists have been working for federal, state and local agencies, which makes the job ratio higher than other occupations. These experts may find job opportunities in local and state healthcare departments, wildlife parks, environmental enforcement agencies, hospitals, and private businesses. There are also employment opportunities available in the educational sector, as educators or lecturer. You might acquire one of these positions depending upon your qualifications and experience:

– Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
– Field Service Specialist
– Safety Specialist
– Site Acquisition Specialist


According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of an environmental health specialist might be $61,770 per year.

Educational Requirements

To attain a higher position at work, it is necessary to have a good educational background which usually begins in high school. If you are willing to work as an environmental health specialist in future, you must take high school courses in biology, calculus, geometry, physics, health occupation, algebra, and trigonometry. Later, you can easily apply for a graduate program in environmental health.

On the other hand, a master’s or doctoral degree in environmental health would bring great opportunities your way during your professional career. You could also obtain an optional certification from National Environmental Health Association which is mandatory for some of the environmental health specialist positions.

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