How to Become an Environmental Health Practitioner

How to Become an Environmental Health Practitioner

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

A four year college degree with a scientific major is required for this profession. For those pursuing a career in environmental health, it is advisable to acquire a degree from an accredited environmental health program.

Accreditation is highly esteemed by employers. In fact, students from accredited programs are the only ones eligible to take part in the US Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps Officer Student Extern Training Program.

The only accreditation body in this field is the National Environmental Health Science Protection Accreditation Council.

Public Health Programs Master List by Accreditation Category

The preparation timeline below provides an example curriculum:

Grade Level Example Courses
  • Intro to Environmental Health
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • Water Quality Control & Lab
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus I
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Organic Chemistry
  • Food Protection & Sanitation & Lab
  • Medical Entomology & Lab
  • Air Quality Control
  • Quantitative Air Analysis Lab
  • Occupational Health
  • Environmental Health Practices
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Physics I
  • Global Disparities in Public Health
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Environmental Regulation & Law
  • Etiology of Infectious Diseases & Lab
  • Radiation Safety
  • Biosafety and Bioterrorism
  • Environmental Health Practices
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
  • Noise and Hearing Conservation
  • Institutional & Residential Environments
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Remaining Requirements & Electives

2. Earn the Required Certification

Depending on the chosen field and/or location, earning a certification is sometimes necessary to be fully qualified for a position. The National environmental Health Association offers a myriad of credentials including:

Each certification has eligibility requirements and an exam that must be passed. Review the materials above for more information about how to become certified in your selected field.