Environmental Health Specialist I/II – Food Safety – Public Health

  • Clark County
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Jan 24, 2020
Full time Government

Job Description

Job Summary 

Environmental Health Specialists (EHS) work within the section of Environmental Public Health (EPH) and are responsible for protecting the health of citizens by enforcing EPH rules and regulations, educating stakeholders, preventing exposure to environmental hazards by promoting healthy natural and built environments within Clark County. This position will be assigned basic job duties:


  • Design/Plan Review - within many EPH programs, the EHS will review designs and plans such as: onsite septic systems (OSS), drinking water wells, plot plans, food establishment floor plans, public pools and spas. This review is critical to ensure the safety of the facility or infrastructure and compliance with State and Local requirements.
  • Site Inspections - in coordination with property owners, facility operators, licensed designers and licensed engineers, the EHS will ensure the site matches design and plan criteria. These inspections ensure processes protect the public health and prevent injury.
  • Complaint and Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation - an EHS will investigate complaints by performing records searches, site visits, interviews of complainants and gathering other pertinent information.
  • Enforcement of Regulation - an EHS will, when necessary, initiate enforcement when regulations are not met. The goal is to ensure compliance with public health rules. In many instances, the EHS will partner with other agencies that can improve the process or offer resources to the one with whom enforcement is being pursued.
  • Technical Assistance - the EHS will offer technical expertise to property owners, business owners, private industry, real estate agents, developers, partnering agencies, county departments and other stakeholders. This task can include significant research and communication.


The position may be asked to work in other EPH programs as needed.

  • In addition the following is required:
  • Understand and promote the public health mission of the department.
  • Provide courteous, respectful, efficient customer service to all department clients.
  • Honor diversity of all department employees and constituents.
  • Participate in department training.
  • Strive for personal excellence in public health work.


This position is represented by Local 335 – LIUNA (Health Care Division, Laborers International Union of North America). The Environmental Health Specialist (EHS) I classification is the entry level in the alternately staffed Environmental Health Specialist job family. Incumbents work under the guidance and direction of an EHS II or Lead performing the more routine case work in assigned area(s). Incumbents hired in the EHS I classification are expected to progress to the EHS II level. The Environmental Health Specialist (EHS) II classification is the journey level in the EHS job family. The EHS II performs the full work of the classification, and exercises more independence, understands variations from the norm, and may be responsible for training entry level incumbents. New employees may be hired at either EHS I or EHS II classification, depending on qualifications and experience.



Education and Experience: 

Bachelor of Science degree in environmental health or a closely related area.  Two years successful experience in obtaining compliance with environmental health standards.  Positions assigned to onsite sewage inspection require an Inspector Certificate of Competency.  Registration as a Sanitarian preferred.  Any satisfactory equivalent combination of experience and training which ensures the ability to perform the work may be substituted.


Knowledge of:

  • Key components of cultural competency; awareness of differences, attitude to examine believes and values, knowledge of differences and skills to effectively and appropriately work across cultures.
  • Core competencies for Public Health Professionals and able to use them in identifying professional growth opportunities.
  • Standard methods and techniques of inspectional work in environmental sanitation and public health; applicable rules and regulations for the specialized area(s) assigned.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the principles, practices, and terminology of environmental public health.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of bacteriology, chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences as applied to environmental public health.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of general sanitation and sanitary practices.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of environmental public health laws and regulations and investigative techniques.
  • Public relations techniques.
  • Effective communication techniques, verbally or in writing.

Ability to:

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, supervisors, co-workers and business establishments.
  • Offer excellent customer service.
  • Work with varied stakeholders, especially private contractors and property owners.
  • Able to work independently with attention to detail.
  • Express ideas effectively both orally and in writing and maintain accurate records.
  • Recognize and address discrimination, stereotypes and stigmas in the work place. Work collaborative with coworkers to improve internal systems. 
  • Effectively use office technology such as a smartphone, personal computer, Microsoft Office software, email, and internet to accomplish job functions.
  • Effectively and respectfully work with persons from diverse backgrounds including; age, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, socioeconomic status, physical characteristics, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, health status, genetic predisposition, political belief, mental or physical ability.
  • Identify the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in determining the delivery of Public Health services.
  • Research and implement approaches to address problems that take into account cultural differences.
  • Recognize features of personal behavior which are affected by culture.
  • Ability to interpret, applies, and enforces environmental public health laws, regulations, requirements, and policies.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Recognize potential health hazards and recommend corrective action.
  • Gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion.
  • Work outdoors for extended periods under a wide variety of weather conditions.
  • Perform work duties that require lifting of at least 50lbs, stooping, bending, walking over sloped and/or uneven ground and other varied environments and conditions.


  • Skill in analyzing, compiling, recording, and assessing data.
  • Apply understanding and knowledge of cultural differences and similarities when working with diverse populations.

Other Necessary Qualifications:

  • Must be able to respond to public health emergencies or exercises at any time, except while on scheduled vacation or other leave.  In addition, leaves may be cancelled under public health emergencies.
  • Must successfully complete basic incident management courses and participate in emergency response trainings as requested.
  • Must protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal law.
  • Must adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines, including but not limited to timely completion of mandatory trainings.
  • Must be willing to use your personal vehicle for work purposes, and provide proof of current vehicle liability insurance.  Evidence of valid driver license and certified copy of driving record abstract is required at time of hire. Must adhere to the Department employee immunity policy and provide documents as requested.
  • Maintenance of specific certifications and/or licenses (if appropriate).


An online application is required. For complete job announcement, application requirements, and to apply on-line, please visit our website at:


Equal Opportunity Employer

Clark County is committed to increasing the ethnic, cultural and social diversity of its workforce and ensuring that diversity is a key priority of our organization. We are committed to providing equal opportunity and access regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a disabled person, sexual orientation/gender identity, veteran status or any other status protected by law. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Clark County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Plan is available at http://www.clark.wa.gov/human-resources/documents

If you are in need of ADA/Section 504 assistance for accommodations, please contact Human Resources at (360) 397-2456; Relay (800) 833-6388.

Close 02/02/2020



Salary Grade: Local 335.34 ($26.17 - $34.18) per hour