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Environmental Health Work

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 6 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Health Work Health And Safety

Environmental health officers are somewhat of a background career to doctors and other similar health professionals. While doctors will treat a disease when it actually occurs, an environmental health officer will perform health work in a preventative fashion to support health and safety while preventing illness from ever occurring. Although this role is not highly visible and at the forefront of health care in the same way a physician's role is very visible, an environmental health officer still has one of the more important jobs in the health care field.

Working to Improve Public Health

An environmental health officer is one of many health careers that safeguard public health. In this role, you would help to keep the food we consume safe to eat and you would also verify that it is of high quality. Overall, your job is to help create a stronger, safer and healthier public environment.

Pay varies enormously but usually starts at approximately £23,000 and can move up towards £50,000 and more for senior environmental engineers at the national level. The career has excellent prospects and allows you to choose work as a general environmental health officer or a specialist one. Typically, an undergraduate degree in environmental health is required for work and any graduate level coursework will only improve your career prospects.

During your degree course, you will study a variety of different subjects such as science, psychology, statistics and epidemiology as well as food health and safety along with occupational health. You will participate in laboratories and you will also learn to work both independently and in a team. In addition, you can expect to undertake practical training as well, which will solidify the important skills learned in the classroom.

The vast majority of environmental health officers will work in the public area and may work alongside other public health officers to protect the public from potential hazards. An environmental health officer could work to inspect housing, which ensures it meets acceptable standards. Another area of work might be workplace accidents and safety standards. Even issues relating to air pollution are within the scope of an environmental health officer.

Private Sector Work as an Environmental Health Officer

Many environmental health officers are now working in the private sector, where they are employed as consultants by many different types of organisations, ranging from retail establishments to airlines or public areas of health and safety. Some environmental health officers will train in Britain but may choose to work abroad in developing countries, which allows them to use their skills to improve health standards around the world.

A Day in the Life of an Environmental Health Officer

In the field of environmental health, each day can be quite different from the last one. Rather than sit at a desk all day, you will have the opportunity to do health work with many different kinds of people and you can also feel good about knowing that your health work is making an important difference in public health.

Environmental health work is a necessary and vital aspect of public health and safety. Your work in this career will not only make a difference in the health and safety of the country, but it will also give you the satisfaction that you are using your excellent communication skills and passion for health to the best of your ability.

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