What is an Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP)?

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) protect and improve the environment that the people live in. At the front-line, each discipline of environmental health is imperative to improving the public’s health by ensuring conditions are safe and habitable.

“EHPs need a broad skillset and an understanding of a complex range of issues. Their education, training and experience make them adept at problem-solving, working in partnership with others to seek holistic solutions. Being able to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people, from company directors to chefs, food business operators to landlords is also an essential quality. EHPs will learn the necessary technical disciplines during their training.” ~ CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health)

Taking a profession in Environmental Health can be a very rewarding career for people who want influence, satisfaction and challenge.

“The variety and the success stories! No two days are ever the same and I have a finger in a lot of pies. This can be very demanding at times, but I work with brilliant people in my teams and in my partnership groups who all share the same vision of improving lives.” ~ Jennifer Parkinson – Environmental Health Manager (Health & Wellbeing) at Ards and North Down Borough Council

What are the daily routines of EHPs?

Environmental Health Practitioners also known as Environmental Health Officers (EHO) can work in different settings depending on their profession in the Public or Private Sector.

In local authority or government, they would offer advice to businesses and schools, conduct inspections to ensure standards and legal requirements are met. In some instances, they may be required to gather evidence and present it in court.

In the private sector, EHPs would generally conduct audits and provide expert consultations to make sure rules and regulations are up to standard.

EHPs typically work normal office hours, with some work out-of-hours, evenings and weekends. EHPs would visit businesses, factories, offices, houses and commercial sites. Environments can be noisy, unpleasant and dirty.

Since Covid-19, the type of working has changed drastically with a lot of the work done on a Hybrid/Flexible basis – EHPs would be able to carry out inspections then work remotely to complete reports.

“Environmental health practitioners work closely with other professionals in related agencies, such as the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards, and local health authorities. They also work closely with developers, architects and engineers to find decontamination and reclamation solutions, and with a wide range of other professionals, including solicitors, surveyors, police officers and coroners.” ~ CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health)

Environmental Health Practitioners could be working with the following:

  • Assessing risks and advising businesses on occupational health risks and protecting the public from environmental hazards

  • Investigating complaints about neighbourhood noise and other nuisance.

  • Investigating contaminated land sites.

  • Inspecting food premises.

  • Investigating outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.

  • Providing specialist advice to individuals and businesses on environmental health matters

  • Gathering evidence in court cases regarding environmental issues.

  • Assessing health risks from poor housing standards.

How much are EHPs paid?

Practitioners can work in Permanent/Contractual/Temporary routes and would be paid a Salary/Hourly rate/ Per Inspection rates.

According to PayScale (payscale.com) for 2022, the starting base salary in the UK for an EHP is averaged is around:

  • £25,000 per annum

With more experience, EHPs can earn around:

  • £30,000 to £38,000 per annum

Senior practitioners can earn over £45,000 a year or more.

EHPs who go via the Contractual route can average £30 to £40+ per hour depending on experience. A career in Environmental Health is really rewarding!

Next Issue

Join us next week where we delve deeper into the different fields and disciplines in Environmental Health!


Nick Cheung

Marketing Executive

Buckingham Futures HQ

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