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Career and Education Opportunities for Environmental Health and Safety Specialists in Los Angeles, California

If you want to be an environmental health and safety specialist, the Los Angeles, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 10,000 working environmental health and safety specialists in California; this should grow by 26% to 12,600 working environmental health and safety specialists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for environmental health and safety specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 27.9% over the next eight years. Environmental health and safety specialists generally conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population.

The income of an environmental health and safety specialist is about $33 hourly or $69,700 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $28 hourly or $59,750 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences, people working as environmental health and safety specialists in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences nationally. People working as environmental health and safety specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: environmental designer, environmental affairs specialist, and research environmental scientist.

There are twelve schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be an environmental health and safety specialist, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Given that the most common education level for environmental health and safety specialists is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be an environmental health and safety specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, environmental health and safety specialists conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. They also utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.

Environmental health and safety specialists analyze data to establish their validity and scientific significance. They also communicate scientific and technical data to the public, organizations, or internal audiences through oral briefings or public hearings. Equally important, environmental health and safety specialists have to furnish scientific and technical guidance, support and oversight to governmental agencies or the public. Finally, environmental health and safety specialists inspect and implement environmental technical standards and formal regulations that meet all appropriate requirements.

Every day, environmental health and safety specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for environmental health and safety specialists to furnish advice on proper standards and regulations or the development of policies and codes of practice for environmental management. They are often called upon to ready charts or graphs from data samples, providing summary data on the environmental relevance of the data. They also collect and report environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological and mineralogical data, and soil or water samples. They are sometimes expected to decide on data collection methods to be employed in research projects and surveys. Somewhat less frequently, environmental health and safety specialists are also expected to formulate and design research models, using knowledge of mathematical and statistical concepts.

Environmental health and safety specialists sometimes are asked to design methods to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, on the basis of the study and assessment of industrial production and physical, biological, and social environments. They also have to be able to design programs designed to obtain the most productive, non-damaging use of land and supervise or train students, environmental technologists or other related staff. And finally, they sometimes have to investigate and report on accidents affecting the environment.

Like many other jobs, environmental health and safety specialists must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
  • Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
  • Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist Training

Pomona College - Claremont, CA

Pomona College, 550 N College Ave Alexander Hall, Claremont, CA 91711-6319. Pomona College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,532 students and an admission rate of 16%. Pomona College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Science which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Science.

Claremont McKenna College - Claremont, CA

Claremont McKenna College, 500 E 9th St, Claremont, CA 91711-6400. Claremont McKenna College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,212 students and an admission rate of 19%. Claremont McKenna College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Studies.

California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

California State University-Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3599. California State University-Fullerton is a large university located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,990 students and an admission rate of 60%. California State University-Fullerton has a master's degree program in Environmental Studies which graduated thirty students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has a bachelor's degree and a doctor's degree program in Environmental Science which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

Pitzer College - Claremont, CA

Pitzer College, 1050 North Mills Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711-6101. Pitzer College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,025 students and an admission rate of 22%. Pitzer College has 2 areas of study related to Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. They are:

  • Environmental Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Environmental Science, bachelor's degree.

Fullerton College - Fullerton, CA

Fullerton College, 321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095. Fullerton College is a large college located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,500 students. Fullerton College has an associate's degree program in Environmental Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Golden West College - Huntington Beach, CA

Golden West College, 15744 Golden West, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2710. Golden West College is a large college located in Huntington Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,000 students. Golden West College has an associate's degree program in Environmental Science.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 2 areas of study related to Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. They are:

  • Environmental Studies, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated six, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Environmental Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of California-Irvine - Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine, , Irvine, CA 92697. University of California-Irvine is a large university located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,899 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of California-Irvine has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Environmental Studies which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.

Occidental College - Los Angeles, CA

Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90041-3392. Occidental College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,868 students and an admission rate of 39%. Occidental College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Studies.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

Associate Safety Professional: The Associate Safety Professional (ASP) designation is the start of the process toward achieving the CSP certification.

For more information, see the Board of Certified Safety Professionals website.

Environmental Professional Intern: The EPI credential is an opportunity for students who anticipate entering the environmental field, or for graduates who have entered the field within the last five years, to demonstrate personal knowledge of general environmental science.

For more information, see the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice website.

Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian: The REHS/RS is the premiere NEHA credential.

For more information, see the National Environmental Health Association website.

Certified Environmental Health Technician: CEHT is for individuals who are interested in field intensive environmental health activities--such as testing, sampling, and inspections, and who are required to provide information on safe environmental health practices and to eliminate environmental health hazards.

For more information, see the National Environmental Health Association website.

Registered Environmental Technician: A Registered Environmental Technician is an individual who, in support of and under the direction of Registered Hazardous Substances Professionals, environmental pofessionals and scientists, carries out in a responsible manner proven techniques of a technical nature in a particular hazardous materials/waste management field.

For more information, see the National Environmental Health Association website.

Associate Environmental Professional: Associate Environmental Professional is the entry level program of professional environmental certification.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

Forensic Mold Master: The purpose of the Forensics Mold Master (FMM) credential program is to establish a person's understanding of the basic forensic principles of water intrusion sources and the relationship to resulting mold spore development; testing and data interpretation; and limited mitigation using engineered controls.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

Registered Radiation Protection Technologist: A Radiation Protection Technologist is a person engaged in providing radiation protection to the radiation worker, the general public, and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation.

For more information, see the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists website.

Certified Recycling Systems Professional: Earning this certification shows your employer and your colleagues that you are committed to only the highest standards in our industry.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Certified Composting Technical Associate: Those earning this prestigious designation have specifically demonstrated their abilities in how to effectively plan, design, and operate composting sites.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems - Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency that only the top in a field can show.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Bioreactor Landfill - Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in this new technology.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LICENSES

Registered Environmental Health Specialist

Licensing agency: Department of Health Services
Address: Environ. Health Specialist Registration Program, P.O. Box 942732, MS 396, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320

Phone: (916) 324-5663
Website: Department of Health Services Environ. Health Specialist Registration Program

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.