Health Care State Inspector: Job Description, Salary and Career Info

Health care state inspectors require formal education. Learn about the degree requirements, job description and duties as well as the salary and certification information to see if this is the right career for you.

Health care state inspectors are government workers who ensure businesses follow all health and safety regulations. They need at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. Certification is also an option for those with the appropriate level of education and experience.

Essential Information

Health care state inspectors, also known as occupational health technicians, hold businesses and factories responsible for the working conditions within their establishments. Potential inspectors need a bachelor's degree, professionally recognized certifications, and work experience in a safety field.

Required Education A bachelor's degree in occupational health, engineering, chemistry or a related discipline
Certifying Agencies The Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technicians &
The Board of Certified Safety Professionals
Certification Requirements Qualifying education, up to five years of experience and passage of one or more examinations
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 4% (Occupational Health & Safety Specialists)
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $70,210 (Occupational Health & Safety Specialists)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Health Care State Inspector Job Description

The role of a health care inspector is to ensure that businesses follow the health and safety regulations of their state's government. Health care inspectors rely on thorough examinations and inspections to make sure buildings are up to code and that employee practices are both sanitary and safe. These professionals commonly refer to checklists to see that all the necessary precautions are taken, using visual inspection, interviews, and the information from pertinent paperwork to determine whether a business can continue operations.

State health care inspectors have a large say in how businesses are run, and if they find an establishment to be unsafe or unsanitary they have the power to shut it down until the problem is fixed. There are some inspectors who have specific areas of focus, such as only inspecting processing plants or slaughterhouses, but most inspectors will be required to inspect a wide variety of business operations.

Salary and Job Outlook Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, the median annual salary earned by occupational health and safety specialists, including occupational health inspectors, was $70,210. Salaries do vary by state, however. The BLS indicated that specialists working in the District of Columbia, California, Maryland, Alaska and North Dakota earned the highest salaries in the nation, with mean salaries reported in such states as $82,400 and more.

The BLS also projected a 4% increase in employment during 2014-2024, which was slower than the average expected increase for all jobs during that period.

Health Care State Inspector Career Info

Aspiring health care inspectors must have the appropriate education and experience. Most states require their health inspectors to have a bachelor's degree in a field such as occupational health, chemistry, or engineering. Additionally, most states encourage professional credentialing.

Industry-recognized certification is offered by both The Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technicians (CCHEST) and The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (CSP). Healthcare inspectors may sit for the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist Certification exam offered CCHEST after five years of experience in the field and qualifying education. The CSP certification is slightly more stringent; candidates must have a bachelor's degree, three to five years of safety experience and pass two examinations.

Those hoping to become health care state inspectors should first obtain a bachelor's degree in occupational health, engineering, chemistry or a related field. Certification is also a good idea for those wanting to advance in the career field, but requires a bachelor's degree, on-the-job experience, and the completion of all required examinations.

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