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Health Inspector Video: Educational Requirements for a Career in Public Health

Health Inspector Video: Educational Requirements for a Career in Public Health Transcript

If you are interested in a career in public health, you may want to consider becoming a health inspector. Health inspectors investigate potential health hazards that can affect community health. There are many areas of public health and safety these inspectors can work and specialize in.

Introduction

Health inspectors are public employees trained to investigate potential health hazards. Their job is to help to prevent harm to the general public, as well as workers, buildings and the environment. After their initial investigation, health inspectors take action to eliminate any hazards that were discovered. Their investigative work can include anything from restaurants and swimming pools to nursing homes.

Job Duties and Skills

As a health inspector, you will spend most of your time in the field, inspecting a variety of locations and buildings. Inspections can occur in restaurants, public schools, pools and nursing homes. Health inspectors may be charged with investigating individual complaints or health and sanity complaints, such as sewage overflows or garbage. Being familiar with codes, permits, and building regulations is a must. Good communication skills are also important. You will use your skills to write reports, relay information to the people you are inspecting and do follow-up investigations.

Training Required

The level of education required will depend on your employer. Some expect health inspectors to have a bachelor's degree in Occupational Health or in a similar area, such as biology or engineering. Others may even require a master's degree in a relevant area. Health and safety technicians also have the option of completing a 1-year training program at a technical college. Though typically not required, there are also a variety of certifications health inspectors can obtain. Some of these include Certified Safety Professional, Certified Industrial Hygienist or Occupational Health and Safety Technologist.

Career Opportunities

Health inspectors can go by many titles, such as an environmental health specialist or occupational safety specialist. Regardless of title, health inspectors are almost always public employees who work for Federal, State, or local government agencies. However, there are a few health inspectors who can be found in the private sector for other companies as well.

Conclusion

Health inspectors can be found in the private sector, but often work for government agencies. They spend much of their working hours in the field, providing inspections for a variety of locations, buildings and areas. Training depends on the type of position held--anything from an associate's to a master's degree may be needed. It is a position that requires knowledge of many different codes and regulations and good communication skills in order to relay those regulations to the correct individuals.

Sources

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos017.htm

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