Public Health Inspector
Public Health Inspectors work to promote and protect environmental public health through inspection, enforcement, monitoring and education. Whether enforcing provincial health legislation or responding to questions from the general public, Public Health Inspectors work to prevent the occurrence of disease.
These professionals evaluate and monitor health hazards and develop strategies to control risks posed to the health of the public. They ensure compliance with provincial regulations regarding health hazards, food premises, public water supply systems, on-site sewage disposal systems, and smoke-free places. They also educate the public on topics relating to their field.
An Exciting Field of Work
In general, Public Health Inspectors:
- Routinely inspect the food preparation operations of restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals and other public facilities or institutions
- Advise on drinking water quality
- Advise on recreational water quality
- Inspect on-site sewage disposal systems
- Inspect personal services establishments, such as tattoo parlors, indoor tanning facilities, hair and aesthetic salons, etc.
- Investigate health hazard complaints and outbreaks of food or waterborne diseases
- Investigate incidences of animal bites
- Collect samples of water (drinking or recreational), sewage or food for analysis, typically for investigative purposes
- Develop, implement and evaluate health programs and strategies
- Investigate establishments which have contravened applicable jurisdictional legislation and initiate enforcement procedures
- Provide consultation and training to the general public and various stakeholders on issues or programs of environmental public health
Personal Characteristics / Skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Analytical and problem solving skills
- Strong observational skills with the ability to give attention to detail
- Capacity for independent critical thinking
- Concern for the health and well-being of the community
- Ability to read and interpret legislation
Education and Training
A Bachelor degree in Health Sciences (Public Health), Environmental Health or equivalent is required. Students with science degree may also be eligible to enter fast track programs.
Education program offered in New Brunswick
The Bachelor degree in Public Health is not available in New Brunswick. However a two year Environmental Technology program preparing students to pursue further studies in Health Science is offered in New Brunswick by the following educational institution:
- Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) – French program
Length of Study / Training
4.0 - 6.0 years
Licence and certification
Public Health Inspectors require certification with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).
Helpful High School Courses
Employment and Common Working Conditions
Public Health Inspectors work in a variety of settings, such as:
- Government departments and agencies
- Sewage and water treatment plants;
- Environmental and pollution control departments
- Agencies interested in industrial health and hygiene or food sanitation
- Solid waste management agencies
- Private sector, i.e., food industry
Public Health Inspectors generally work normal business hours Monday to Friday, although this may vary depending on the employer. They typically split their work between the office and field work. Field work generally consists of site inspection and investigation.
Employment Prospects - GOOD
Given the increased public awareness of the field of environmental public health, the demand for Public Health Inspectors is expected to grow.