Environmental Health Director

Finding job placement can be a difficult task for many professionals who are faced with a shortage of openings in their industry.  Public health careers have actually been thriving through this employment drought, and this field also has the benefit of many specialties that are related to the health and welfare of the public.  The position of environmental health director is one such job that can offer a steady career path.

Environmental health directors support public health through efforts to create safe and sustainable living conditions for populations.  As a public health job, it has a good earning prospect also offers stability in the field.  If you are interested in creating a better personal and public living situation, then a position as an environmental health director could be a good job to explore.

What Is An Environmental Health Director?

Environmental health directors will observe, study, and assess the impact that populations have on the environment, as well as the quality of the environment in relation to sustaining communities.  They consider issues such as pollution and waste run off and work to directly affect lawmakers in their decisions regarding industry and land usage.  Environmental health directors will also assess how levels of toxins in the soil, water, and air can affect public health outcomes.

Environmental health directors are responsible for the following job activities:

  •   Devise methods for collecting data as is pertinent to important community issues.
  •   Gather information from the environment through samples and observation.
  •   Develop strategies to promote environmental and population sustainability.
  •   Offer evidence based on these findings to influence public policies.

Characteristics

The following professional qualities will also assist you as an environmental health director:

  •   Analytical thinking:  This job requires that you are able to review the information that you have collected and extrapolate cause and effect as well as possible outcomes.
  •   Self-motivation:  Much of this job is spent in the field and you must be able to set your won schedule and stick to it.
  •   Problem solving skills:  You will be asked to come up with viable solutions that support public health, industrial growth, and environmental safety.
  •   Diplomacy:  You will need to behave in a professional and persuasive manner when working to influence policy decisions.

Nature Of The Work

Environmental health directors will spend much of their time in the field, gathering samples and analyzing trends in nature.  Although this aspect of the work is often the most time consuming part, you will also need to divide the rest of your time between the lab and the office.  Lab work will include analyzing the samples and plotting data, as well as considering the implications of this information. 

You will need to write up your finding and conclusions in reports that are submitted to the department of health.  Environmental health directors may also be required to present findings and suggestions at land usage hearing and other court proceedings that will affect the welfare of the environment and the population.  Environmental health directors will often play a pivotal part in legislative proceedings.

Education And Training

Many environmental directors can attain employment with a Bachelor’s degree, although continuing in to graduate studies can increase pay grade and advancement opportunities.  If you are considering this line of work, then a program that includes biology, chemistry, ecology, and life sciences would provide a solid background.  If you are continuing with a Master program then a focus on management could also be helpful. 

Certifications and special training are not necessary for this position, but it is recommended that you are familiar with both field work and lab work.  Some Master’s programs will include this training, but an internship that lasts at least one year is recommended.

Wages for an environmental health director can vary greatly, depending upon whether you are working at a local, state, or federal level.  Some entry level salaries are around $40,000 per year, although the average pay for this profession is usually around $65,000 annually.  Top wages with federal employment can be over $100,000 per year.  This indicates that advancement in the field is quite optimal.

Positions for environmental health directors are also steadily increasing.  The growth rate for this occupation is faster than average.  The projected rise for between 2012 and 2022 is estimated at about 15% and indicates an actual 14,000 positions.  If you would like to start a career that fits your lifestyle and offers great benefits, the job of environmental health director could be the way to go.


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