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Career and Education Opportunities for Environmental Health and Safety Specialists in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for environmental health and safety specialists. There are currently 690 jobs for environmental health and safety specialists in Maine and this is projected to grow 9% to about 750 jobs 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. 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.

The income of an environmental health and safety specialist is about $23 per hour or $48,850 annually on average in Maine. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $28 hourly or $59,750 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences, people working as environmental health and safety specialists in Maine earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences nationally. Environmental health and safety specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: ecological risk assessor, water pollution specialist, and compliance control chemist.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Portland area, including six within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as an environmental health and safety specialist. 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 Portland include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist Training

University of New England - Biddeford, ME

University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Rd, Biddeford, ME 04005. University of New England is a small university located in Biddeford, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,939 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of New England 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 which graduated 5 students in 2008.

University of Maine at Farmington - Farmington, ME

University of Maine at Farmington, 224 Main St, Farmington, ME 04938-9978. University of Maine at Farmington is a small university located in Farmington, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,191 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Maine at Farmington has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Science which graduated three students in 2008.

Bowdoin College - Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin College, 5700 College Station - President's Office, Brunswick, ME 04011-8448. Bowdoin College is a small college located in Brunswick, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,723 students and an admission rate of 19%. Bowdoin College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Studies which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine - Standish, ME

Saint Joseph's College of Maine, 278 Whites Bridge Rd, Standish, ME 04084-5236. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a small college located in Standish, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,771 students and an admission rate of 78%. Saint Joseph's College of Maine has 2 areas of study related to Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. They are:

  • Environmental Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Environmental Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Bates College - Lewiston, ME

Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240. Bates College is a small college located in Lewiston, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,776 students and an admission rate of 29%. Bates College has a bachelor's degree program in Environmental Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME

University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has 2 areas of study related to Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. They are:

  • Environmental Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Environmental Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.