Health Inspector Schools and Courses

Health inspectors examine construction sites, residential areas and food-service facilities to ensure compliance with local, state and federal health regulations. Find out about training requirements as well as certification options. Schools offering Epidemiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Level of Education Is Required for Health Inspectors?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most health and safety inspectors hold bachelor's degrees (www.bls.gov). However, education requirements for inspectors may vary, particularly among state, county and municipal governments.

For example, you need to hold at least an associate's degree in order to work as a public health inspector in the state of New York. In Philadelphia, environmental health inspectors must hold at least a high school diploma, and certification in lead assessment or pesticide application may be required depending on the job site. According to the BLS, employers usually provide additional training in city- or state-specific health codes and inspection methods.

What Kinds of Programs Are Available?

A few colleges and universities offer 4-year bachelor's programs in public health and occupational safety. While enrolled in a public health bachelor's program, you can take courses in hazardous materials, environmental health, basic epidemiology and public health administration. Occupational safety programs explore topics like industrial hygiene, ergonomics, occupational injuries and health regulations. You might gain hands-on experience by interning with a private business or government agency. Some bachelor's programs are available in both online and campus-based formats.

What Types of Certification Can I Earn?

While certification isn't always a necessity, employers may prefer job applicants who hold professional credentials. You could pursue the Certified Industrial Hygienist designation offered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) issues the Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian, the Certified Environmental Health Technician and the Certified Professional in Food Safety credentials. For each type of certification, a combination of postsecondary training and professional experience is required, in addition to successful completion of an exam.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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