A career as an environmental health supervisor lends a lot of benefits to those who choose to go down this professional path, as this career provides the high paying salary, job security, and room for growth that not many careers are offering during these difficult economic times. Like many careers in public health, environmental health supervisors can also directly aid their communities with the work they perform.
While this is just one of many exciting careers in the public health field, those who are interested in environmental factors and how they relate to public health make ideal environmental health supervisors. This leadership position allows a person to take control of an environmental health team in many ways, and it is just one public health career worthy of consideration.
What Is An Environmental Health Supervisor?
One of the many aspects of public health is the effect that environmental factors have on the health of a population. Some risks that an environment may pose could lead to diseases or injuries, and identifying these risks as well as coming up with solutions is what an environmental health team will do to aid the overall health of a population. The environmental health supervisor is the person in charge of leading this team, as well as taking a hands on approach to problem solving, research, and program development.
Some tasks an environmental health supervisor may perform on an average day are:
- Training of new environmental health employees as part of a team
- Setting work quality standards to be adhered to by the environmental health team
- Planning weekly or long-term goals to be reached by the environmental health team
- Organizing and directing a team of employees in order to effectively and efficiently reach all work goals both short and long term
- Delegating assignments to various team members
- Creating work reviews and reports of various team members and how they relate to the overall goal of an environmental health project
- Counseling team members and taking disciplinary measures when needed
- Yearly staff evaluations
- Creating salary adjustments and promotions for members within an environmental health team
- Helping the team to develop plans and solutions for environmental health hazards
The environmental health supervisor is the one in control of an environmental health team, and this will mean performing a wide array of different tasks on a day to day basis. While some tasks will directly involve environmental health concerns, other days will be spent taking an administrative role and ensuring that all projects are being completed according to plan and the overall goals are on their way to being reached.
Education And Training
It is recommended that environmental health professionals at the supervisor level obtain a master’s degree in public health or an environmental health related equivalent. This will mean a person will first have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in public health, health administration, or another related field through the passing of a 4 year undergraduate program. This undergraduate program may be taken at the university or college of a person’s choosing, however any prerequisite courses that may be needed for a master’s degree program should be paid careful attention to.
Once a bachelor’s degree program is completed, the student will then go on to study for 2 years in a master’s degree program in public health specializing in environmental health, and with this program will typically come an internship of at least 1 year. During the course of this internship, the student will work alongside professionals in the field of environmental health to build a strong foundation of hands on experience allowing them to prepare for all they may see while working professionally as an environmental health supervisor.
Public health and environmental health certificate courses may then be taken if a professional should choose to become certified, and this choice is always recommended. Being certified in the field puts an environmental health supervisor at an advantage for employment and certification is often desired if one wishes to work in a specialized field.
An environmental health supervisor can make as much as $81,000 per year, or more depending on working location and experience, and this type of salary allows for a very comfortable living. The demand for environmental health supervisors is expected to rise by 12% by the year 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.