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Public Health Inspector

Public health inspectors identify and evaluate immediate and potential health hazards, and promote human health through consultation, education and enforcement of legislation.

  • Avg. Salary $80,949.00
  • Avg. Wage $42.48
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 7,900
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Environmental Health Officer, Health Inspector/Officer, Inspector

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety (2263) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety (C163) 
  • 2011 NOC: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

27%
27%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Public Health Inspector is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety
METHODICAL

Interest in handling materials to collect water samples and other materials for analyses; and to develop, implement and evaluate health and safety programs and strategies

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing data from investigations of health and safety related complaints, spills of hazardous chemicals, outbreaks of diseases and poisonings and from workplace accidents and illnesses

DIRECTIVE

Interest in speaking with employers, employees and the general public to deliver training and advise on public health, environmental protection and workplace safety issues; and in initiating enforcement procedures to fine or to close establishments that contravene municipal, provincial and federal regulations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Public health inspectors investigate, evaluate and deal with health-related complaints related to environmental factors. To ensure compliance with public health legislation and regulations, they inspect public and private facilities such as:

  • food processing, preparation and service establishments
  • waste management systems
  • workplaces
  • rental housing
  • hotels, motels and other public accommodations
  • schools
  • child care facilities
  • long term care facilities
  • animal facilities
  • private and public water supplies
  • swimming pools, whirlpools and water spray parks
  • public beaches and recreational camps
  • places of entertainment
  • personal services facilities (for example, tattoo shops)
  • work camps.

In general, public health inspectors assess the particular circumstances, provide advice and ensure compliance with policies and regulations regarding:

  • food and water borne communicable diseases
  • insect and rodent control
  • food problems and institutional sanitation
  • public health complaints
  • outdoor and indoor air quality
  • contaminated land.

Public health inspectors also educate the public to help people understand regulations and the need for proper health protection. For example, they may be involved in injury prevention programs, tobacco control programs or other health promotion programs.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Public health inspectors spend a significant portion of their time conducting inspections in a wide range of work settings. While in their offices, they prepare reports, set up schedules and answer questions from the public. They normally work alone but may consult with other health team members, health professionals and service organizations such as the SPCA and child protection services.

Public health inspectors usually work regular office hours. However, overtime sometimes is required.

Lifting up to 10 kilograms may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Public health inspectors need the following characteristics:

  • good interpersonal skills
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • good time management skills
  • problem solving and decision making skills.

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work, analyzing information and dealing with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Public health inspectors must have a bachelor's degree in environmental health or equivalent education. Employers also may require applicants to have a clear security check, regularly updated immunization and a valid drivers license. Some require applicants to have their own vehicle.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Concordia University of Edmonton

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

Thompson Rivers University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Outside Alberta:

  • the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby offers a Bachelor of Technology program in Environmental Health. This two year program is designed for people with a strong science background who have completed two years of post-secondary course work, a technical diploma or a degree. Preference is given to applicants who have completed their entrance requirements within five years of applying and achieved a C+ in the required post-secondary science courses and a B in post-secondary English.
  • Cape Breton University in Sydney offers a four year Bachelor of Health Sciences program in Public Health. The entrance requirement is a high school diploma with an average of at least 60 per cent in required English, math, chemistry courses and one other science. Biology is recommended.
  • First Nations University of Canada in Regina offers a Bachelor's of Applied Science degree program in Environmental Health and Science. The entrance requirement is a high school diploma with an average of at least 65 per cent in English Language Arts 30-1, Pure Math 30 and one of Biology 30, Chemistry 30 or Physics 30.
  • Ryerson University in Toronto offers a four year Bachelor of Applied Science - Occupational and Public Health degree program. The entrance requirement for Alberta applicants is a high school diploma with a competitive average in five academic Grade 12 subjects (including English). Chemistry 30, Biology 30, Physics 30 and Pure or Applied Math 30 (or equivalent) are recommended. Ryerson also offers a two year program for applicants who already have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.
Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Except in Quebec, public health inspectors must be certified by the Board of Certification of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Candidates who have an approved bachelor's degree in environmental health and twelve weeks of acceptable field work experience must pass oral examinations and submit two field reports to qualify for the Certificate of Public Health Inspection (Canada) designation. Once certified, public health inspectors must demonstrate continuing education in their field to maintain their professional certification.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most public health inspectors are employed by local public health authorities. Some are employed in:

  • regional, provincial and national health departments
  • environmental and pollution control departments
  • sewage and water treatment plants
  • agencies interested in industrial health and hygiene or food sanitation
  • solid waste management agencies.

A growing number of public health inspectors are employed in the private sector. Some work as private consultants.

Experienced inspectors may advance from staff inspector to environmental health specialist and senior inspector positions, and possibly to chief inspector or director positions.

Public health inspectors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety. In Alberta, 85% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C163: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 94 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $55.00 $35.55 $35.90
Overall $20.00 $71.43 $42.48 $41.97
Top $23.00 $92.86 $48.87 $49.40

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Utilities
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Manufacturing
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Construction
Retail Trade
Business, Building and Other Support Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

31%
31%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

27%
27%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, Alberta website: www.ciphi.ab.ca

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, national website: www.ciphi.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Jun 01, 2010. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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