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Public Health Inspector

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

  • Avg. Salary $89,167.00
  • Avg. Wage $44.02
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 9,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Environmental Public Health Officer, Inspector, Public Health Inspector / Officer

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • 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

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


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


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

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Public health inspectors ensure compliance with public health legislation and regulations. They investigate, evaluate, and deal with health-related complaints related to environmental factors. 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
  • Supportive living and 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, such as tattoo shops
  • Work camps

In general, they assess circumstances, provide advice, and ensure compliance with policies and regulations. These could pertain to:

  • Food- and water-borne communicable diseases
  • Insect and rodent control
  • Commercial food facilities
  • Institutional sanitation
  • Public health complaints
  • Outdoor and indoor air quality
  • Contaminated land

They 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 and other health-promotion programs.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Public health inspectors spend much of their time inspecting 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. However, they may consult with other health team members, health professionals and service organizations. Examples include the SPCA and child-protection services.

The most often work regular office hours. They sometimes work overtime.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Public health inspectors need:

  • Interpersonal, communication, and time-management skills
  • Tact
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Public health inspectors must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental health or equivalent education. Employers may require applicants to have a clear security check and regularly updated immunizations. Some require applicants to have a valid driver’s licence and perhaps 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

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 2-year program is designed for people with a strong science background including 2 years of post-secondary course work, a technical diploma, or a degree. Preferred applicants have completed these requirements within 5 years of applying. They have achieved a C+ in the required post-secondary science courses and a B in post-secondary English.
  • Cape Breton University in Sydney offers a 4-year Bachelor of Health Sciences program in Public Health. The entrance requirement is a high school diploma. This must include an average of at least 60% in required English, math, and chemistry courses. One other science is required. Biology is recommended.
  • Ryerson University in Toronto offers a 4-year Bachelor of Applied Science - Occupational and Public Health degree program. The entrance requirement for Alberta applicants is a high school diploma. This must include a competitive average in 5 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 2-year program for applicants with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Except in Quebec, public health inspectors must be certified by the Board of Certification of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. To qualify for the Certificate of Public Health Inspection (Canada) designation, candidates must:

  • Hold an approved bachelor’s degree in environmental health
  • Have completed 12 weeks of acceptable field work
  • Pass oral examinations
  • Submit two field reports

Once certified, they must maintain their certification by pursuing continuing education in their field.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most public health inspectors work for local public health authorities. Some work for:

  • 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 work in the private sector. Some work as private consultants.

Experienced inspectors may advance from staff inspector to environmental health specialist and senior inspector positions. They may move on 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 [pdf] 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 154 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 Mar 31, 2019

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
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $58.67 $36.46 $37.00
Overall $23.10 $68.42 $44.02 $42.00
Top $25.00 $80.62 $49.92 $47.00

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, Alberta website:

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, national website:

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. 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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