Sanitarians typically work in public health divisions of states, counties, cities and towns; they are sometimes referred to as public health inspectors. Sanitarians' primary role is to promote public health. Their duties may include conducting environmental health inspections at restaurants and other food service establishments, hotels, campgrounds, swimming pools, water and sewage treatment systems, hospitals, adult care facilities and other locations. Additionally, they must prepare inspection reports for the establishments that they inspect and, if applicable, cite violations and recommend improvements. Sanitarians review written plans prepared by these establishments related to facility operations and corrections.
Together with other public health workers, non-profit organizations and/or physicians, sanitarians may be involved in investigating illness outbreaks, lead poisoning, chemical exposure, water contamination and other public health hazards. They respond to complaints related to public health violations and emergencies, and they may attend professional training and train or coach new or more junior sanitarians.
Employers generally require that sanitarians possess a bachelor's degree in public health or another relevant field; previous experience is generally preferred or required as well. In some states, employers require that candidates attend and pass training courses provided by the state's department of public health. Sanitarians must be ethical, reliable and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and they must be able to work independently with minimum or no supervision, as well as in a team environment.
Inspect sanitation levels and procedures for various programs or institutions.
Travel to different locations.
Approve and file licenses.
Investigate sanitation concerns and compliance issues.