Public Health Engineers, usually considered a sub-group of environmental engineering, employ specific engineering skills to solve environmental issues related to public health. They enforce state and local health regulations related to public water, air quality, sewage and material waste systems. This type of engineer needs to clearly understand and implement established governmental sanitary codes.
Consulting positions are common among public health engineers and require working with public officials, other engineers and related professionals. Public health engineers problem solve, analyze and apply engineering methodologies to environmental health projects.
As with most environmental engineers, public health specialists typically begin with a bachelor’s degree. Computer and technology certificates and degrees also increase educational value. In many states, public health engineers are required to pass a licensing exam.
Public Health Engineers investigate and evaluate the sanitation of any number of public entities including beaches, parks, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, food services and more. Air and water quality also fall under the direction of public health engineers.
Public health engineers often have the following daily tasks:
An array of skills including troubleshooting, written and oral communication, and attention to detail are required for success in this career. These specialists combine concern for the public’s wellbeing and engineering skills to meet a vital societal need.
The importance of public health and education about public safety requires a continuous need for this type of engineer. The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates continuous growth in this profession over the next decade. As well, compensation for this career is expected to grow by at least 12 to 15 percent.
Depending on the type of job and amount of experience, the salaries for environmental engineers range from $43,000 to $90,000 annually.