The field of public health offers many career opportunities for all levels of professionals, and one of these sectors of public health is environmental health. Environmental health executives are professionals who enjoy a substantial yearly salary while simultaneously taking a proactive approach to improving the health and overall wellness of their own community or communities abroad.
During difficult economic times, it can be tough to find a career that allows for stability and a great deal of demand, but public health careers have proven to be able to withstand the tides of change. A career as an environmental health executive provides a person with room for professional growth, a comfortable living, and the ability to help their fellow man, making these careers ones worth learning more about.
What Is An Environmental Health Executive?
An environmental health executive is a type of administrative public health professional who oversees environmental factors as they relate to public health. Being at the executive level, this type of professional will also typically oversee the work of an environmental health team as they identify environmental public health risks, develop procedures, and come up with solutions to save hazards from affecting the overall level of health of a population. These types of executives will often be well versed in all environmental legislation, with new changes to any legislation included, and they may also propose new legislation in order to better accommodate the health of a community.
An environmental health executive may be tasked with doing any of the following:
- Studying or researching the environmental law of an area
- Overseeing the work of an environmental health team
- Creating or developing new procedures to more efficiently keep track of environmental hazards and how they may relate to public health
- Implementation of all new procedures
- Proposing new legislation to lawmakers that can help to eliminate environmental health hazards and their effect on local communities
- Notifying other public health officials of any environmental health hazards that may be present in relation to overall public health
An environmental health executive is in an administrative position, and this will typically mean that they are in charge of overseeing the work of an entire environmental health team. This team will assess any hazards that an environment may bring to a population, as well as come up with solutions to these potential risks. The executive in charge of this team will not only oversee the work of other staff members, but they may develop new procedures, propose legislation, and notify other public health officials of risks as well.
Education And Training
An environmental health executive will typically need to have a master’s degree, although some may require executives to hold a higher degree such as a doctorate. The first step in becoming an environmental health executive is to attend a 4 year undergraduate program in the field of public health, health care administration, or another field relating to environmental health. The courses taken during the this program will focus on not only public health and management, but environmental health and environmental concerns as well to complete a full spectrum of learning and a strong base of knowledge for the career.
Once a bachelor’s degree is earned, one can then go on to earn a master’s degree in either public health, business administration, or an environmental health related field, and this program will take around 2 years to complete. During the course of the program an internship in a public health setting working alongside professionals is normally experienced, and this internship may last as little as 1 year to as many as 3 years.
Certificates in public health practice or an executive certificate may then be earned if a person wishes to become a certified environmental health executive, and although this is not always required it is often recommended. Certification may then need to be renewed periodically in order for a person to keep a certified status.
The need for environmental health executives is expected to grow by 11% or just over 261,000 jobs by the year 2022, making this one career field that offers a lot in terms of employment opportunity. The average environmental health executive can also expect to earn around $101,650 per year on average, although more experience will typically come with higher pay.