Environmental health officer

environmental health practitioner (EHP)

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would make sure that the places where people live, work and go for leisure and sport are safe, healthy and hygienic.

Your work would protect people from dangers like pollution, unsafe food and pests.

You could deal with a wide range of issues including:

  • Food safety
  • Environmental protection
  • Pollution control
  • Noise control
  • Health and safety at work
  • Waste management
  • Housing standards

You might specialise in one of these areas, or you might deal with all environmental health issues in your local area or company. You could work in both the private and public sectors.

Depending on your specific job, you would:

  • Inspect businesses to make sure they meet health and safety, food hygiene and food standards
  • Follow up public complaints and investigate outbreaks of food poisoning, infectious disease or pests
  • Collect samples for laboratory testing
  • Enforce environmental health laws
  • Investigate accidents at work
  • Advise community groups and give educational talks
  • Give evidence in cases that come to court
  • Keep records and write reports
  • Advise employers on all environmental health matters

You would need to understand legislation and procedures and explain the requirements to the business you inspect.

You would work closely with environmental health officers from other areas as well as with government

Working conditions

Hours

You would work between 35 and 39 hours per week, Monday to Friday, which may occasionally include evening or weekend work. Part-time work and job sharing may be available

Environment

You would have an office base, but would spend much of your time out in the workplace or visiting businesses and homes.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Negotiating
  • Taking initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Cooperating
  • Empathising
  • Researching
  • Problem Solving

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You need a honours degree (SCQF level 10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in Environmental Health accredited by Royal Environmental Health Institute Of Scotland (REHIS). 

Once in a job you would need to complete structured professional practice training and pass REHIS professional exams to achieve the REHIS Diploma in Environmental Health, the qualification required to become an Environmental Health Officer.

To enter an Environmental Health degree requires Nationals and at least four Highers at BBBB (SCQF level 6).

Entry to a postgraduate qualification usually requires an honours degree and may require relevant experience.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses) 
  • Sciences (required by most courses) 
  • English
  • Geography
  • ICT
  • Social studies

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show understanding rights and responsibilities, the ability to work with others and scientific and observational skills.

Employers may ask that you have a driving licence.