Environmental Health Officers

ANZSCO ID 251311

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
3,600
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
76%
Female Share
54%
Average age
42

Summary

Environmental Health Officers develop, enforce and evaluate environmental health policies, programs and strategies to improve health outcomes, and oversee the implementation and monitoring of environmental health legislation.

Specialisations: Food Safety Auditor, Food Safety Officer.

A bachelor degree in environmental health, environmental science, health science, public health or another related field is usually needed to work as an Environmental Health Officer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Tasks

  • Develops, implements and reviews environmental health management plans and occupational health and safety plans.

  • Prepares and implements plans and strategies for the safe, economic and suitable disposal of commercial, industrial, medical and household wastes.

  • Advises on and enforces relevant legislation.

  • Implements prevention programs and strategies for communicable diseases, food safety, waste water treatment and disposal systems, recreation and domestic water quality and any contaminated or hazardous substances.

  • Works to minimise air, sea, water and noise pollution to improve health outcomes.

  • Identifies hazards, assesses and controls risks in the workplace.

  • Develops, implements and monitors programs minimising workplace and environmental pollution involving chemical and physical hazards.

  • Promotes ergonomic principles within the workplace such as matching furniture, equipment and work activities to the needs of employees.

  • Inspects and audits workplaces, processes, plant, chemical and physical hazards for legislative compliance.

  • Trains employees in personal protective equipment and safe working procedures.

  • Records and investigates injuries and equipment damage, as well as reporting on safety performance.

  • Co-ordinates the return of injured workers into the workplace.

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 76% of people employed as Environmental Health Officers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
55.4%
2
Health Care and Social Assistance
20.3%
3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
5.4%
4
Manufacturing
4.0%
5
Other industries
12.9%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

27.7% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

23.3% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

23.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.1% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

11.7% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.2% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Environmental Health Officers All Jobs Average
NSW 27.7 31.6
VIC 23.3 25.6
QLD 23.2 20.0
SA 8.1 7.0
WA 11.7 10.8
TAS 2.8 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 2.2 1.9


  • Around 46% of Environmental Health Officers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
42
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
54%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Environmental Health Officers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.

    Females make up 54% of the workforce. This is 6 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Environmental Health Officers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.5 5.0
20-24 4.6 9.3
25-34 23.4 22.9
35-44 27.5 22.0
45-54 24.3 21.6
55-59 9.9 9.0
60-64 6.7 6.0
65 and Over 3.2 4.2
Median Age 42 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in environmental health, environmental science, health science, public health or another related field is usually needed to work as an Environmental Health Officer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Health Industry and Public Sector VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Environmental Health Officers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 19.0 10.1
Bachelor degree 44.8 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 15.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 9.9 21.1
Year 12 6.0 18.1
Year 11 1.0 4.8
Year 10 and below 4.1 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 57%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 55%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 55%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 55%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 55%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 54%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 54%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 52%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 50%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 50%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 50%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 50%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 48%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 48%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 46%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 46%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 46%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 79%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 71%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 68%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 66%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 65%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 63%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 62%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 60%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 60%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 60%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 58%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 58%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 56%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 55%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 55%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 54%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 53%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 52%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 48%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 43%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 66%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 64%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 59%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 55%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 54%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 54%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 54%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 52%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 50%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 50%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 46%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 45%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 45%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 41%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 41%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 79%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 76%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 76%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 76%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 75%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 74%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 74%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 71%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 71%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 71%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 70%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 67%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 67%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 65%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 64%

    Influencing people

    Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.

  • 64%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 62%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 60%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 55%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 51%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 95%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 76%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 57%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 57%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 38%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 74%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 67%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 67%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 97%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 96%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 93%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 90%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 87%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 87%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 86%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 84%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 84%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 84%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 83%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 82%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 81%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 78%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 78%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 76%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 76%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 72%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 72%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 72%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-9011.00 - Occupational Health and Safety Specialists.


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