Public Health

Salary
Degreed environmental specialists in Florida earned an average salary of $54,912 in 2009.

Educational Programs
Certificate
Florida Atlantic University

Associate Degree
Broward College
Central Florida Community College
Hillsborough Community College
Miami-Dade College
Pensacola Junior College

Bachelor's Degree
Eckerd College
Florida A & M University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
Florida State University
Jacksonville University
Nova Southeastern University
St. Leo University
Stetson University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Miami
University of South Florida
University of Tampa
University of West Florida

Master's Degree
Florida A & M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
Florida State University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Miami
University of North Florida
University of South Florida

Doctor of Philosophy
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
Florida State University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Miami
University of South Florida

Professional Associations
Florida Engineering Society
Florida Environmental Health Assoc.
Florida Public Health Association
National Environmental Health Assoc.
National Society of Prof. Engineers

Environmental specialists protect and preserve the well-being of the environment and human health. The broad field of contemporary environmental problems faced by the state of Florida and the nation include drinking and surface water quality, solid and hazardous waste storage and disposal, indoor and outdoor air quality, radiological health, occupational health, systems ecology (interrelationship of organisms and their environments), and housing hygiene.

Environmental specialists at the technician level collect and analyze hazardous samples, record information, prepare reports, maintain monitoring equipment, inspect facilities such as restaurants and swimming pools for cleanliness and safety, and provide supportive services to environmental engineers and scientific professionals. Environmental specialists at the professional level act as consultants, investigators, and evaluators for environmental health and safety issues. They base decisions on concrete evidence gathered under strict standard.

Environmental Specialist

Areas of Specialization
Environmental specialists may specialize in air and industrial hygiene, radiological health, environmental chemistry and biology, environmental management, environmental technicians, environmental marketing, environmental health, environmental landscaping, wastewater, surface and drinking water resources, food protection, or similar fields.

Work Environment
Environmental specialists work in government environmental regulatory and public health agencies, industry, utilities, environmental engineering consulting firms, and universities.

Job Outlook
Approximately 106 job openings are expected each year in Florida for environmental technicians. This represents an annual average growth rate of 1.8 percent. Nationally, job growth is faster than average.

Advancement
With a graduate degree, an environmental specialist may be involved in research, management, or administration.

Length of Training/Requirements
Environmental health programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in Florida. A bachelor's degree with substantial course work in science and engineering is a prerequisite for admission to graduate programs. The curriculum for environmental specialists and environmental engineers includes core courses in hazardous materials regulations, recovery, incineration and disposal, sampling and analysis, statistics, environmental biology and chemistry, elements of atmospheric pollution, environmental resources management, and pollution control design. A bachelor's degree or equivalent experience is required for most environmental specialist positions.

Licensure/Certification
Students with a bachelor's degree from an approved engineering program and four years of engineering experience are eligible to take the licensure examination. Upon passing the exam, a professional engineering license will be issued by the Board of Professional Engineers. Environmental specialists must have a degree in environmental science or related disciplines and must pass an examination offered by the Department of Health's Bureau of Facility Programs to be certified in on-site sewage treatment or food hygiene if they work for the Department of Health. The Florida and National Environmental Health Associations also offer a registration examination for all areas of environmental health. Continuing education hours are required every two years for relicensure. The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP) administers the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) Program which provides environmental professionals who possess special qualifications of education, experience, and accomplishment with the opportunity to be judged by a board of peers. Those individuals awarded the Certified Environmental Professional credential may use the designation "CEP" after their name (http://www.abcep.org/).



Updated: 2009