The health and safety of the environments in which we live, work, and play is more important than ever before. Everywhere – from where you dine to where you receive health care – must adhere to set health and safety regulations, so that they do not pose risks to those visiting. But who determines if the environment is a healthy and safe one for the community? What protocols do these professionals follow, to effectively assess risks and ensure safety?
Enter, a Sanitarian. A Sanitarian is a public health specialist who investigates health and safety within an environment. These professionals can work in public health divisions of towns, cities, counties, and states. They can also work in the private sector. Sanitarians conduct inspections in environments that must stay sanitary – such as water treatment facilities, food service establishments, food production facilities, healthcare organizations, and swimming pools.
Given the obvious need for trained professionals to keep the environments around us safe and sanitary, this is a great career choice for anyone who wants to make a difference in our communities. Below, we outline how to become a Sanitarian in five steps.
- Earn postsecondary degree.
Before becoming a Sanitarian, your first step will be to earn a postsecondary degree, ideally that is relevant to your passion area. Many aspiring Sanitarians start by pursuing a bachelor’s in public health, occupational health and safety, engineering, or science.
2. Gain relevant experience:
In addition to a college education, most employers require on-the-job training and in-field experience. Given the importance of this type of work, experience is important to ensure there are no mistakes being made, and environments are inspected efficiently. This on-the-job experience and training allows specialists to truly immerse themselves in the job by learning relevant laws, rules and regulations that may apply to their job.
3. Earn a Master’s in Public Health Degree:
Although it depends on the job and exact role, most employers will require an advanced degree in the public health field. Sanitarians often will pursue a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree, which provides the advanced education and training needed to safeguard our public health. For example, in Goodwin’s MPH program, students learn about environmental health, injury prevention, occupational health, public health policies, as well as gain hands-on experience through an internship.
4. Become a certified professional:
To text your career to the next level, you can become a certified Sanitarian. For example, you can pursue the Registered Environmental Health Specialists / Registered Sanitarian certification offered by the National Environmental Health Association. Also, depending on the exact Sanitarian job you desire, there are also additional certifications and/or licenses that you could pursue. For example, Asbestos licensing or lead licensing are common among environmental practitioners in Connecticut.
5. Land your Sanitarian dream job:
The path to become a Sanitarian may look a little different for everyone, but by following the steps above, you can find the job that is right for you. Whether you want to work in the public or private sector, Sanitarian professionals will always be in need. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,800 occupational health and safety jobs will be available by the year 2029. The career services department within your graduate school can help you navigate the job search process and help you advance your career.
The path to become a Sanitarian, although it requires a lot of education and dedication, can be achieved with the right steps taken. This is a wonderful career choice for anyone who wants to give back to their communities – by safeguarding the environments that we frequently visit, or that affect our lives in one way or another.
If you would like additional information about how to become a Sanitarian or would like to learn more about how Goodwin University’s Master’s in Public Health program can help you become a Sanitarian, contact Goodwin today. Call 800-889-3282.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.