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What are the Different Health Inspector Jobs?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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There are many different types of health inspector jobs ranging from food inspectors to environmental health specialists. Regardless of job title, all health inspectors aim to make a product or environment safer for humans. While the position of a health inspector can be lucrative, people who wish to become health inspectors must also be able to communicate well with others.

Most people are well-acquainted with health inspectors who inspect restaurants. These inspectors are quite common, though most restaurant inspectors also have other inspection jobs. It is not uncommon for a restaurant health inspector to double as a community pool inspector, an elderly home inspector, or a public school inspector. Nearly any facility that comes in contact with the human population must be inspected on a regular basis.

Environmental health specialists are slightly different from regular health inspectors, though the nature of environmental health work is largely the same. Inspectors who work as environmental specialists frequently inspect wells, sewage systems, and other water areas. Additionally, anything that has a direct relation to the environment must be inspected by an environmental specialist.

Some health inspector jobs require specific and dangerous training. Inspectors who inspect toxic waste facilities must be able to determine the cleanliness and safety of a toxic waste area, which can only be done with extensive training. Health inspectors look for a number of different things during an inspection, including the presence of hazardous waste, diseased animals and insects, noises that may cause damage to workers, and anything else that may impact safety levels within a workplace.

All buildings, restaurants, and facilities must pass general health inspections in most countries. Some countries do not have health inspection regulations, however. Within North America, failure to pass a health inspection can result in a fine, a warning, or the closure of a business. Every day, restaurants and other facilities in North America are closed due to health hazards. It is the responsibility of a restaurant or facility owner to fix any health problems.

Health inspector jobs can be found by searching through job banks or by applying to a government agency. Prior to securing a job as a health inspector, candidates must have adequate education and training. Those seeking health inspector jobs will find that the position of an inspector is a difficult one that frequently includes long hours. Health inspector jobs are not glamorous, but many foods and goods would be unsafe without the watchful eye of a thorough health inspector.

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Discussion Comments

By jonrss — On Dec 23, 2011

@backdraft - I have also worked in a lot of restaurants and I've noticed the same thing. But I remember seeing one health inspector once that was like an army drill instructor. He looked over the restaurant with a fine tooth comb and when my manager objected to some of his grades the inspector completely chewed him out. Everyone had their jaw on the floor. This guy was so intense!

So I guess they are not all burned out. This guy went about his job like he was saving the world. There is one in every bunch.

By backdraft — On Dec 22, 2011

I have worked in several different restaurants over the years and I have seen a lot of health inspectors come in to look over our restaurants. I have not had a lot of one to one interaction with them but I have been able to observe them from a distance.

I have to say, a lot of them seem really burned out and kind of fed up with their jobs. I think they have a pretty overwhelming task and a lot of them are overworked. And the work is pretty thankless too. Nobody notices you until you screw something up. Also, no one is glad to see you when you go knocking on a restaurant's door. Health inspectors have it rough.

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