Describe your sector in a nutshell.
Environmental Health is a branch of public health which concerns itself with the natural and built environment and the effects on human health. This includes monitoring the air we breathe, the food we consume, the water that we bathe in and drink and the conditions that we live and work in. Those working in Environmental Health, work to improve these conditions to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the public.
In your day-to-day duties as an Environmental Health Officer or Assistant Environmental Health Officer you may:
- inspect businesses for food hygiene and food standards
- investigate outbreaks of food poisoning and infectious disease
- collect samples for laboratory testing
- inspect houses to make sure they’re safe for people to live in
- enforce environmental health laws and give evidence in court
- investigate noise and environmental nuisance complaints
- provide advice to community groups or businesses and give educational talks to improve people’s health
What are the different career opportunities/jobs available in your sector?
Roles (currently filled) within HMGoG’s Environmental Agency are as follows:
- Environmental Health Officer
- Assistant Environmental Health Officer
- Administrative Officer
- Public Health Operative
What’s interesting/fun about your sector/industry? Why should a young person want to work there?
A career in Environmental Health can be broad and varied which means that no two days are the same! You would deal with a wide range of people such as business owners, landlords and members of the public to find solutions to complex issues which can be both rewarding and satisfying. The variety and very nature of the job requires that you are outdoors instead of typing away at a computer.
What is demand looking like in your sector? How do you think this will change in the future?
Environmental health is a diverse subject. Environmental Health Officers can work in regulatory and enforcement settings but their knowledge and experience are continuously sought by education, retailers, hotel chains, cruise lines, health services and consultancies.
What skills and qualities are desired in a candidate joining your sector?
- Attention to detail
- Committed to protecting the public’s health and safety
- Good negotiating skills
- Active listening skills
- Effective verbal and written communication skills
What is the approximate salary range can people earn?
- Environmental Health Officer – starting salary £36,877
- Assistant Environmental Health Officer – starting salary £29,527
- Administrative Officer – starting salary £22,481
- Public Health Operative – starting salary £31,500
What career pathways are available for a young person wanting to join your sector? (University and non-uni routes)
A-levels are the usual route to securing a place at university and progressing to becoming an Environmental Health Officer. Professionally Registered with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). Subjects taken should include science. You must undergo an accredited BSc Environmental Health degree course which upon completion of an accredited degree will also allow you to become Professionally Registered with CIEH. Further information on CIEH accredited BSc degree courses can be found at https://www.cieh.org/what-is-environmental-health/how-do-i-become-an-ehp/undergraduate-bsc-courses/. When vacancies arise for other posts within the Environmental Agency the requirements are typically five GCSEs including a pass in English and Maths.
Any advice you would give to a young person wanting to join your sector?
We always encourage any young person interested in Environmental Health to make themselves known to the Environmental Agency. We have a history of welcoming students to visit us for volunteering and training opportunities. This can increase awareness of the role that environmental health plays in modern society and could be advantageous when applying for future employment.