Sanitarian

Sanitarian Careers

As the job market slowly increases employment prospects many of these jobs are still tentative, and they are often not worthy of the commitment of a career.  Public health jobs, however, can offer good stability, good wages, and a way to be of service to the community.  This sector of employment is definitely on the rise, and it provides a multitude of prospects for people who are really looking to start a career.

Among the concerns of public health initiatives is also the concern for population welfare and safety.  The position of sanitarian helps to ensure this for the community, but is also an ideal entry level position that has a lot of room for growth.  If you are interested in supporting the wellbeing of the community and of advancing your won potential, then a job as a sanitarian can offer you many benefits.

What Is A Sanitarian?

A sanitarian is an investigator of health and safety within an environment.  This may be the workplace, food preparation facilities, industrial producers, or even the general environment.  Sanitarians not only enforce health and safety regulation, but they also identify risk factors between people and in specific spaces.

Sanitarians would be expected to do the following:

  •   Observe conduct in facilities to ensure that the spread of disease is minimized.
  •   Educate individuals and the public on proper methods to reduce contamination.
  •   Develop general protocols for industrial and public hygiene.
  •   Enforce current regulations for health in community practices.
  •   Monitor the handling and disposal of wastes within businesses, hospitals, and the public sector.

Characteristics

Other qualities that can aid you as a sanitarian would include:

  •   Analytical thinking:  You will need to be able to draw connections between practices and the spread of disease.
  •   Observation:  You will need to be able to identify situation, practices, and environments that may pose a risk.
  •   Communication:  You will also need to educate people about the proper handling of materials, including foods and toxins.
  •   Leadership skills:  As an industry expert, you will also need to be able to take charge when implementing new protocols and be able to guide the public into more sanitary practices.

Nature Of The Work

Sanitarians divide their time between field observations and data collection, and office work.  The onsite aspect of this job will bring you in contact with both the public sector and industrial and business settings.  When assessing best practices, you will be inspecting equipment and personal practices.  You may also need to conduct interview with the public regarding habits for the disposal of waste as well as hygienic behaviors.

In the office setting you will be assessing the information you have gathered and considering the long term consequences of current procedures.  You will also write reports that outline these findings, and develop preventive strategies that can be taught out on a public level.

Education And Training

Sanitarians may gain employment with just a four year Bachelor’s degree and one to three years of work experience.  Some sanitarians will continue on to a Master’s degree in public health and hygiene, and this educational path can offer considerable advancement benefits,  Coursework that is needed to enter this field may include chemistry, biology, safety and sanitation, as well as microbiology and pathology. 

Licensing and certifications are obtainable through state board examinations.  Not all employers require this, but it can be important to get these credentials for more job prospects and the possibility of advancement.  Most state boards will also require that you go through continuing education hours in order to maintain your licensed status.

Pay scales can range for sanitarians, depending upon the employer and also on your education and experience.  An average starting salary for an entry level candidate is around $40,000 per year.  The median wage for this position is closer to $70,000, and advanced positions can make over $100,000.  This offers considerable room to grow, but also provides a good starting point for a career as a sanitarian.

The prospects for employment in this field are also quite healthy.  Increased concern about workplace and public health has helped to grow this job and provide better future employment.  This field is expected to see a steady rise in employment and it is projected that 13% more job openings will be created between 2012 and 2022.  If you are interested in ensuring public health through preventive measures, then the career of a sanitarian can offer you financial stability and the possibility to advance.


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