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Environmental Health Specialist

Salary: Environmental Health Specialist Trainee (#3275)

$21.98-$26.83 hourly / $3,822-$4,666 monthly / Range: 5528

Environmental Health Specialist (#3276)

$25.39-$31.00 hourly / $4,417-$5,392 monthly / Range: 5818

DEFINITION: Under general supervision, conducts inspections of public facilities to ensure compliance with local, State, and Federal laws and regulations governing environmental health and safety; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: These are flexibly staffed classes. The Trainee is the entry level in the Environmental Health Specialist series. Incumbents work under supervision of a registered Specialist, performing general and routine environmental health duties and are expected to pass a state registration exam within 6 to 18 months after appointment (depending upon previous training/education). The Trainee is distinguished from the Environmental Health Specialist in that the latter functions at the registered and full journey level, performing inspection and compliance duties independently. The Specialist is distinguished from that of Environmental Health Specialist, Senior in that the latter performs more technically complex and specialized duties and/or is assigned lead responsibility.


1. Conducts inspections of retail food producing, distributing and serving establishments, institutional facilities, organized camps, recreational facilities, water systems, and private wells to ensure compliance with environmental health and safety laws and regulations; checks for and determines significant variance from approved conditions in matters such as temperature of food, equipment design, ventilation, lighting, structural design, and sanitation and recommends corrective measures; and issues inspection reports, notices to correct, and permits.
2. Investigates citizens' complaints related to environmental health problems; takes samples for laboratory analysis; conducts field surveys; prepares reports documenting findings and recommendation; prepares letters to violators of State and local Health and Safety Codes, setting forth compliance schedules to correct violations; and presents evidence and testimony in court proceedings.
3. Advises business owners, builders, and other members of the public on interpretation of and conformity with environmental health and safety requirements; provides information on methods for correcting nuisances and unsanitary conditions; and makes presentations before public bodies and community groups.


TRAINEE: Possession of a bachelor's degree, i including 30 semester units of basic sciences, AND proof of Environmental Health Specialist Trainee certification as set forth in Section 106635 of the California Health and Safety Code. (The State Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Section evaluates coursework and issues certification upon submission of completed application with fee and official college transcripts.)

SPECIALIST: Possession of a valid Environmental Health Specialist Certificate of Registration issued by the State Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Specialist Registration Program as set forth in Section 106635 of the California Health and Safety Code.

TRAINEE AND SPECIALIST: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License at the time of appointment.

Knowledge of:

Trainee and Specialist: principles of general chemistry, physics, microbiology, biology, and calculus.

Specialist: State, Federal, and local laws and regulations governing environmental health and safety; principles of organic chemistry and epidemiology; principles and practices of environmental health and public administration; statistics.

Ability to:

Trainee: learn, interpret, and apply laws and regulations; collect specimens correctly and learn to interpret lab analysis.

Trainee and Specialist: conduct routine inspections using the proper tools and equipment; define problem areas; collect, interpret, and evaluate data and draw valid conclusions; evaluate situations and respond effectively; identify potential violations and take corrective action; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with people of diverse socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; communicate and interact in situations requiring instruction and persuasion; prepare and present clear and concise written narrative and statistical reports; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, other departments, and the general public; demonstrate tact and diplomacy.


Trainee: Incumbents are expected to obtain Environmental Health Specialist registration and to demonstrate possession of and competency in the necessary knowledge and abilities to be promoted to Environmental Health Specialist within 18 months of appointment.

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