Learn How to Become a Public Heat Inspector in Four Easy Steps
Public Heat Inspector facilities, businesses and organizations to assess safety standards and health. If you’re passionate about improving the wellbeing of your community, this can be a rewarding career choice. We will outline the duties of these professionals, offer guidance on becoming one, provide an overview of their average salary and outlook.
What does a public health inspector do?
Public health inspectors are professionals who inspect establishments, businesses and facilities to enforce safety, sanitation and health requirements that protect public health. Typically employed by government departments or agencies, these experts possess knowledge of federal, state and local regulations related to public health. Their scope of work extends from restaurants and schools to housing complexes, healthcare facilities and hotels – they inspect them all!
Public health inspector: What Are My Responsibilities?
Inspectors of public health spend a great deal of their time traveling to inspect businesses and facilities. To protect themselves, these inspectors may wear helmets or respirators when inspecting these locations. Although their job duties can vary, some common tasks they perform include:
- To identify potential health, safety or sanitation violations within a business or organization, you should conduct an on-site physical inspection. When selecting the best sanitation and sterilization methods for a facility, evaluate equipment like kitchens and storage spaces for potential issues.
- Based on the results of inspections, issue fines or suspend business licenses as necessary.
- If further verification is needed to assess quality improvements made after an initial inspection, return for a second one and send samples (e.g. pool water) to laboratories for testing.
- Stay abreast of research safety and health laws within your field by staying current in this area.
- Plan and carry out education programs to educate the public on safety and health topics.
Becoming a public-health inspector
These are the steps necessary for becoming one.
Earn a Degree
Public health inspectors are typically required to hold at least an associate’s degree by most employers. You may have more job prospects in this field if you hold either a bachelor’s or associate degree in health science, natural science, or another related field. In addition to your degree requirements, you can take courses related to physics, biology, chemistry, geology and other health sciences while working towards it; these classes will prepare you for work as a public health professional.
Gain Experience through an Internship
Gain valuable practical experience in public health while you pursue your degree. Internships are often available with local or state health departments, offering students a great opportunity to learn about safety and health practices within a professional environment. They allow you to observe public inspectors at work and communicate with business owners to enforce regulations.
Meet all employment requirements
Once you have graduated with your degree, make sure you meet the necessary criteria to be employed as a public-health inspector. In some states and jurisdictions, passing an exam or certificate program may be required. To find out what these requirements are in your region, look at job postings or reach out to your county health department. Additionally, ensure you possess a valid driver’s license since most employers require drivers to inspect sites or businesses.
Certification isn’t mandatory in every state or jurisdiction, but it can be an effective way to demonstrate your expertise regarding safety and public health standards. Plus, you’ll gain new skills that will help advance your career. Research certification programs and research the ones best suited to meet your career objectives. Many employers recognize the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), which offers various certification programs and continuing education courses. NEHA certifications include:
Food Safety Auditor This program will equip you with the knowledge to conduct food safety audits and verify food safety protocols. As either an external or internal inspector, you’ll also gain insight into evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of existing programs for food safety.
Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS): Earning this highly coveted credential requires passing a 225-question exam testing your knowledge of environmental health surveillance, inspections and compliance review. Your certification proves you possess expertise on various environmental health topics.
Certified Professional Food Safety (CPFS): Public inspectors may earn the CPFS designation with a bachelor’s or equivalent degree. This credential indicates your ability to evaluate food safety programs and set sanitation standards for safety.