Health Inspector Jobs: License and Career Facts

Learn the job duties of health inspectors. Find out the certification and licensure requirements, as well as salary and employment projections in the field. Schools offering Community Health Education & Advocacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a health inspector, you ensure that water and sewage treatment plants, restaurants, swimming pools and a wide variety of other places follow health and safety guidelines. You inspect these establishments routinely, occasionally in response to complaints and emergencies. Postsecondary education is typically required for this occupation, and so is licensure.

Degree Options Bachelor's degree in occupational safety or environmental health
License/Certificate Exams administered by the State
Median Salary (2017) $71,780 per year for all occupational health and safety specialists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Training and License Requirements To Be a Health Inspector?

Many health inspector employers require you to have a bachelor's degree with a certain number of credit hours in environmental sciences, biology or chemistry. These requirements vary from state to state. You likely also need a license (or certification), which can be acquired by passing examinations overseen by the state government. There are many health certification options available in health and safety, and you may want to wait until you are sure you have a job lined up before attempting one of these exams. The department that hires you may assist you in training for and obtaining your certification.

How Can I Become Certified?

The department you wish to work for may have its own certification conditions and information; checking its website is a good way to get started. You may be required to submit any school transcripts to qualify for a certification exam. You may also need to take a class to prior to taking the exam. A government agency or local college may provide these courses. Upon receiving certification, you may be able to obtain a similar certification in another government department by reciprocity, though this method may not be available if your first certification is from another state or country.

What Does a Career as a Health Inspector Look Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for occupational health and safety specialists is set to grow by 8% in the decade between 2016 and 2026, which is average growth compared to other industries. While 83,700 people were employed as health and safety specialists in 2016, the BLS states that 26% of them were employed by government agencies. Other careers where these specialists are employed include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitals
  • Management and consulting services
  • Construction

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