Health inspectors are public safety workers. They're employed by local or state government agencies to ensure businesses such as restaurants, hospitals, public swimming pools and tattoo parlors run safe and sanitary operations. Health inspectors also investigate cases involving improper sewage treatment, animal bites and quarantine.
Qualifying for the Job
Becoming a health inspector requires at least a high school diploma and a strong aptitude for math and sciences such as physics, biology and chemistry. Some employers hire applicants who have completed a public or environmental health training program. Others might require a specified number of college credits, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. Common majors for health inspectors include environmental health, biological science or physical science. Once the educational requirements are met, you'll have to pass a written or oral examination to get registered to work. Exams and registration are usually handled by state health departments, which may have a special division devoted to public health and safety.
Meeting the Demands of the Job
Health inspectors spend a lot of time walking to and through different facilities, so the job requires physical stamina. Strong communication skills are important because inspectors interact with a wide range of people and are required to write reports about what they found during inspections. They need to know the laws and procedures regulating their areas of concentration. They also need a sharp eye for detecting infractions and potential hazards, which requires being detail-oriented and having problem-solving skills.