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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.

Also Known As

Environmental Health Officer, Public Health Inspector, Public Health Executive 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

  • 2263: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2006 NOC-S

  • C163: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2011 NOC

  • 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC

  • 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2021 NOC

  • 21120: Public and environmental health and safety professionals

2023 OaSIS

  • 21120.00: Public and environmental health and safety professionals
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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
  • Rental housing
  • Public accommodations such as hotels and motels
  • Schools
  • Child care facilities
  • Playgrounds
  • Supportive living and long-term care facilities
  • Animal facilities (feedlots)
  • Water supplies (private and public)
  • Swimming pools, whirlpools, and spray parks
  • Public beaches and recreational camps
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Personal services facilities such as tattoo shops
  • Work camps
  • Special events venues
  • Waste management systems
  • Workplaces

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

  • Food safety
  • Water quality (drinking and recreational)
  • Communicable disease or infection outbreak control
  • Emergency or disaster management (such as during floods, tornadoes, wildfires)
  • Tobacco, smoking, or vaping regulations
  • Public markets / farmer’s markets / special events venues
  • Commercial food facilities
  • Institutional sanitation
  • Public health complaints
  • Air quality (outdoor and indoor)
  • Land contamination

They act as secondary emergency responders in health-related circumstances (ensuring safe food, water, and shelter for people effected by emergencies) during events such as forest fires or floods. They also help people learn and 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, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Public health inspectors spend much of their time inspecting a wide range of work settings and locations, so travel is often required. While in their offices, they prepare reports, set up schedules, and answer questions from the public. They normally work alone but they may consult with other health professionals and service organizations. Examples include local municipalities, the SPCA, and child-protection services.

They most often work regular office hours but they may work overtime, weekends, and on-call shifts.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2006 NOC: 2263

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Public health inspectors need:

  • Interpersonal, communication, and time-management skills
  • The ability to manage multiple tasks and set priorities
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and risk-assessment skills

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC: 2263

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 93 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 12, 2021 and Jun 15, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Inspect workplaces for safety or health hazards
Tasks: Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
Attention to detail
Tasks: Develop and implement health and safety plans
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Tasks: Provide information/training to employers, employees and general public
Type of Inspection and Investigation: Workplace
Tasks: Investigate workplace accidents or illnesses
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Public health inspectors must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental health or equivalent education.


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Outside Alberta
  • The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby offers a bachelor of technology program in environmental public health. This 2-year program is designed for people with a strong science background that includes 2 prior years of post-secondary course work, a technical diploma, or a degree. See the applicants’ entrance requirements for details.
  • 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 with an average of at least 65%. Certain English, math, and science courses are required. Chemistry is required, and Physics is recommended.
  • Conestoga College Institute of Technology in Kitchener offers a 4-year bachelor of environmental public health (honours) program. See their Applying to Conestoga page for details on entrance requirements.
  • Toronto Metropolitan University offers a 4-year bachelor of applied science - public health and safety degree program. See the Alberta applicants’ entrance requirements for details. They also offer a 2-year program for applicants with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university. These applicants must have as part of their degree (or other post-secondary education) credit for at least one single-term course in chemistry.
  • Universite du Montreal offers a bachelor of environmental public health and occupational safety degree program. See their Admissions from other Canadian Provinces page for details on entrance requirements.
Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Not Regulated

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, 2024

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

  • Regional, provincial, and federal 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.

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 their own vehicle.

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety occupational group, 75.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 219 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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

 

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC: 2263
Average Wage
$42.25
Per Hour
Average Salary
$82,969.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2263 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.27 $59.14 $35.13 $34.62
Overall $20.55 $73.98 $42.25 $40.38
Top $24.41 $95.97 $47.57 $46.15

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
26%
26%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
16%
16%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
6%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, AB/NT/NU website: ciphi.ca/ab-nt-nu

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

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: hsaa.ca

National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH-CCSNE) website: ncceh.ca

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

Updated Mar 31, 2024. 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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