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Career Profile of a Health Inspector

Job Descriptions December 7, 2012

Health inspectors ensure public sanitation and environmental standards are in compliance. Industrial complexes, swimming pools, hotels, and restaurants rely on health inspectors to inspect and enforce health statutes. Usually, aspiring health inspectors arm themselves with a bachelor degree in natural science.

Educational Prerequisites for a Health Inspector

Health inspectors are referred to as specialists in environmental health or as sanitarians, and hold a bachelor degree in natural science, sanitary science or environmental health before launching themselves in this career field.

Employment in a sanitarian position requires candidates to have completed forty-five quarter hours or thirty semester hours of natural sciences in a bachelor degree program. Some employers do not insist on a candidate holding a degree as long as such applicant has logged coursework of natural sciences lasting thirty hours.

Public health, toxicology, soil science, industrial hygiene, air pollution, anatomy, pathology, physics, chemistry and biology are among the available natural science courses that potential health inspectors can pursue. However, majoring in a social science such as psychology or anthropology is unlikely to prove useful in landing the job.

Health inspectors should plan to take a course that is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, among others.

Registration Requirements for a Health Inspector

In order to practice as a health inspector, a potential candidate will need to take a registration exam as required by a majority of county and state health departments. Apart from the educational requirement that need to be fulfilled before taking the exam, the candidate will need to have prior work experience in health inspection or a related area. The registration exams are held during the year and administered by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) or other professional organization. Pests, hazardous materials, wastewater, water, food safety, and investigative and sampling procedures are among the exam topics regularly covered.

Continuing Education Prerequisites

Renewals of registration by environmental health specialists are required by a majority of municipalities; health inspectors need continuing education credits for such renewal to occur. Renewal of registration usually transpires every one or two years and calls for twelve to fifteen hours of continuing education credits, annually. Health inspectors can benefit through continuing education from an accredited university, non-profit professional organizations, and government agencies.

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