Public health and safety is something that affects us all. And in the field, environmental health stands out as an excellent way to contribute a lot of good to our public health while still earning a great salary. After working for some time in the field, you may choose to become a professor of environmental health. This career path can take an investment of time and energy, but for many it’s well worth the effort.
Becoming a professor of environmental health isn’t for everyone, but for many it’s a dream position that allows them to enjoy a wide range of personal and professional benefits. If you’re unsure about whether or not it’s right for you, keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Professor of Environmental Health?
A professor of environmental health is someone who has spent years of their life working in the environmental health field and who decides to enter a teaching role at a college or university. For the first portion of their career they’ll work on various environmental health related issues like protecting food supplies and reduction of pollution, but when they become a professor they’ll lend their expertise towards training the new batch of environmental health professionals.
Job duties for these highly skilled environmental health experts will usually include the following:
- Developing lectures and lesson plans that hone a class’ skills in the field of environmental health
- Deliver lectures and engage students in an effort to impart knowledge upon them
- Track grades and work with students to help them succeed in the class
- Complete research within the university to further move environmental health forward
- Communicate with other colleagues to help develop new strategies for instruction
It’s a rewarding job in terms of personal and professional satisfaction, and as such it’s well worth considering for anyone interested in the field.
There are of course some personal characteristics that can have a big impact on your ability to succeed in the environmental health field and in a professor’s position specifically. The following skillsets will help tremendously.
- Desire to Help Others – Those who become a professor should have an innate desire to help others by giving them the education needed to become professionals in their field.
- Good Public Speaking Skills – Since delivering lectures will be a major part of teaching, it’s important that you have strong speaking skills.
- Good Computer Skills – Many schools now use online teaching technology, and even those that don’t will require professors to use computers for a variety of things.
- Strong Writing Ability – Being able to craft good lectures is only part of the job. You’ll also need to be able to write research papers, proposals, and more as part of your daily job.
Nature of the Work
Working as a professor of environmental health usually involves two things – research and/or teaching. The teaching aspect of the job will involve developing lesson plans, delivering lectures, grading essays and papers, and working with your students to help them understand what is being taught to them.
On the research side of the job, professors will work in lab settings or in their office reviewing information and data and crafting reports or papers to have published in professional journals related to the field. By working in the university setting, professors are able to help prepare a new generation of environmental health professionals while also working on their own research in an effort to enhance the field in new ways.
Education and Training
In order to find employment as an environmental health professor, you’ll have to complete several years of education. It generally begins with completing a Bachelor’s degree program in environmental health or related fields. After this, completion of a doctorate program will be required as well. This program focuses more on the education of others and on completing research related to the field than it does on practical applications. Often, universities looking for professors will require several years of experience working in the environmental health field before they will consider an individual for employment – in some cases as much as 12 years’ experience may be required.
Salaries will depend largely upon where one finds employment, but professors often earn more than $65,000 annually in their position. Other factors influencing pay include experience, position, tenure, and more.