Environmental health inspectors work to protect the public and the environment by performing inspections and enforcing relevant laws. They may inspect - for example - drinking water, wastewater treatment facilities, noise pollution and hazardous materials, among others. When they notice a violation or hazard, they must report it and provide information on how to eliminate or mitigate it. The environmental health inspector may also provide education related to environmental and safety hazards.
Most of the time, environmental health inspectors work for local, state or federal government agencies; they may also work for environmental non-profit organizations. These inspectors may attend relevant training classes to build their skills, as well as read professional journals and attend workshops and conferences. They may also be responsible for training, coaching and/or mentoring new or more junior inspectors. Good interpersonal and communication skills are important since environmental health inspectors are required to work with organizations they inspect and colleagues within their organization.
Employers typically require that candidates have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in public health; physical, biological or environmental science; or another relevant field. A master’s or doctoral degree in a relevant field may be preferred; certification by the state may be needed as well. Environmental health inspectors must have a valid driver's license, and they may need to be licensed to operate a larger vehicle or heavy equipment. Additionally, some employers require that candidates obtain relevant hazardous material certifications.