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Environmental health professionals are at the forefront of public health, as every aspect of environmental health is designed to improve the public’s health and wellbeing.
Training and qualifications required
You can apply to become a local enforcement officer with GCSEs or equivalent qualifications and experience of working in environmental health. For more senior roles you’ll need to undertake professional training, such as a Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) or Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) qualification in Food Premises Inspection, Food Control, Food Safety, or Food and Health. To become an environmental health practitioner or officer, you will need a degree or higher degree level that is accredited by the CIEH or the REHIS before passing professional exams. A BSc Environmental Health Practitioner degree apprenticeship has been approved for delivery. To get onto a degree apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with an employer.
Expected working hours and salary range
Working hours are likely to vary depending on the nature of the role and may involve some evening and weekend working (for example in responding to an environmental incident). An environmental health officer may earn up to £32,000; a senior environmental health officer up to £35,000. A team leader might earn up to £41,000.
Desirable skills and values
You'll need to be tactful and diplomatic, have an awareness of and commitment to customer care principles, and be effective at analysing problems, evaluating and recommending options. More senior roles will require knowledge and demonstrable experience across a number of environmental health disciplines.
You might choose to specialise and take postgraduate qualifications, or move into a management role. Opportunities to become a chief executive also exist. Roles in the private sector may be available for senior staff.