Environmental Health Specialist

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

4 or more

Hourly Wage:

$24.32-$62.68 (Mean: $41.38)

One-page Description (PDF):

Environmental Health Specialist

Professional Activities

Environmental Health Specialists (EHS) work to identify environmental conditions that can make people sick or injured, and then take steps to eliminate or minimize these undesirable conditions. An EHS works with a variety of media such as food, water, and air to reduce human morbidity and mortality. There is also a strong focus on hazardous materials management, vector and pest control, and communicable disease prevention. Many environmental health professionals spend their days conducting surveys, performing research, and providing education on various environmental health related topics. Some specialized environmental health professionals work in hospitals or industrial settings to help ensure a safe environment.

Working as an EHS is a challenging and rewarding career, and working in rural Alaska offers many unique challenges. The remote arctic setting offers a variety of opportunities for one to make measurable improvements. Individuals who choose a career in environmental health science are making a decision to spend their life creating a healthier world for others to live in.

Environmental Health Specialists work in a variety of settings including government agencies, public health departments, universities and private industry, including hospitals. In Alaska they also work for the Indian Health Service and tribal health organizations.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from a high school with strong college preparatory background, especially in math and science.
  • Completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree in environmental health science or related field. Though many positions will require the Environmental Health Degree from an Accredited program.
  • Successful completion of the National Environmental Health Association’s Registered Environmental Health Specialist exam. This is normally accomplished shortly after the individual has graduated college and has had an opportunity to gain some work experience.
  • Many environmental health specialists go on to complete a master’s degree in public health or environmental health.

Academic Programs

Currently there is not an accredited EH program Alaska. A list of accredited undergraduate and graduate programs can be obtained at:

The National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)
PO Box 66057
Burien, WA 98166
Phone: (206) 522-5272
Fax: (206) 985-9805
Email: ehacinfo@aehap.org
Website: http://www.ehacoffice.org/

The closest environmental health program is in Seattle, WA.

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
School of Public Health, University of Washington
Box 357234
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 543-6991
Email: ehug@uw.edu
Website: http://deohs.washington.edu/

Note: For students interested in obtaining a position with the federal government as an Environmental Health Specialist, many positions require that students have a degree from an accredited program.

Contacts

State Contacts:

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Health
555 Cordova Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-7644
Website: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/eh/

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Division of Environmental Health and Engineering
4000 Ambassador Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 563-2662
Website: http://www.anthc.org/cs/dehe/

National Contact:

National Environmental Health Association
720 S. Colorado Blvd, Ste 1000-N
Denver, CO 80246-1926
Phone: (303) 756-9090
Fax: (303) 691-9490
Email: staff@neha.org
Website: http://www.neha.org

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