Public Health Inspector

Environmental Health Careers with State and County Health Departments

Employing science and engineering graduates from a variety of disciplines, environmental health programs offer meaningful and satisfying careers helping protect people and communities from public health risks. They provide an attractive variety of work assignments and settings, and ample opportunity for professional development and advancement. State positions and most county jobs offer excellent fringe benefits including subsidized health insurance coverage, reasonable and flexible work hours, generous amounts of leave time, and unrivaled pension plans. In combination, these factors allow science and technology graduates to experience gratifying careers while enjoying an enviable quality of life.

Recent surveys indicate there is a substantial shortfall of candidates for these jobs.

Job Description

Operating under the direction of sanitarians and other environmental health professionals, Public Health Inspectors conduct inspections and prepare reports that document compliance with the Public Health Law and the State Sanitary Code in settings such as: food service establishments (restaurants); children's camps; hotels; campgrounds; swimming pools; bathing beaches; and water and sewage treatment systems. Inspectors may also conduct investigations of public health complaints and emergencies.

Related Titles

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and some county health departments employ Public Health Inspectors. Other county health departments and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDHMH) have similar positions with titles such as Public Health Technician and Environmental Aide.


Candidates typically must possess an associate's degree or have completed 60 credit hours, including 12 credit hours in the natural sciences. Acceptable natural sciences include biology, chemistry, geology, hydrology or physics. Applicants who meet these minimum qualifications must complete a written exam to be placed on a civil service candidate list.


NYSDOH uses the title of Public Health Inspector primarily as a summer position (May through September) in the state's nine district offices (see the back for the locations of these offices). Some counties employ staff with this title in regular full-time positions.


Salaries and benefits will vary depending on location, title and grade level. For example, the state Public Health Inspector title (grade 11) has a salary range of about $32,500 to $41,500 (approximately $16.50 per hour), effective April 2008. In accordance with labor union contracts, this range will increase each of next several years.

Contact & Application Information

Vacancy announcements are issued periodically. Information for NYSDOH positions can be found on the agency's employment web page. Additional information on environmental health jobs and activities can be found at the Public Health Works! page. Questions about employment opportunities with the NYSDOH may be e-mailed to or you may contact the agency's Bureau of Personnel Management at 518-486-1812.

Note: If there is no current candidate list when a job is being filled, the agency may directly hire applicants who meet the minimum qualifications. Interested applicants, especially for seasonal jobs, are encouraged to contact the district office in their area to determine if there are vacancies.

Employment opportunities at county health departments can be obtained by contacting the individual county (contact information for these can be obtained from the New York Department of Civil Service links, or through related links at the NYSDOH web site listed above.

New York City job postings and related information are found at, or information can be obtained at (212) 788-4655.

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) District Offices

Canton District

  • Counties served: St. Lawrence
  • Address: 58 Gouverneur Street
    Canton 13617-3200
  • Director: Bruce Stone,
  • Phone: (315) 386-1040

Saranac Lake District

  • Counties served: Essex, Franklin, Hamilton
  • Address: 41 St. Bernard Street
    Saranac Lake 12983-1839
  • Director: Jules Callaghan,
  • Phone: (518) 891-1800

Geneva District

  • Counties served: Ontario, Wayne, Yates
  • Address: 624 Pre-Emption Road
    Geneva 14456-1334
  • Director: Nicholas Rich,
  • Phone: (315) 789-3030

Watertown District

  • Counties served: Jefferson, Lewis
  • Address: Dulles State Office Building
    317 Washington Street
    Watertown 13601-3741
  • Director: Sheri Palmer,
  • Phone: (315) 785-2277

Glens Falls District

  • Counties served: Saratoga, Warren, Washington
  • Address: 77 Mohican Street
    Glens Falls, 12801-4429
  • Director: Anita Gabalski,
  • Phone: (518) 793-3893

Herkimer District

  • Counties served: Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery
  • Address: 5665 State Route 5
    Herkimer 13350-9721
  • Director: Donald Van Patten,
  • Phone: (315) 866-6879

Hornell District

  • Counties served: Schuyler, Steuben
  • Address: 107 Broadway, room 105
    Hornell 14843-0430
  • Director: Tomas Klaseus,
  • Phone: (607) 324-8371

Monticello District

  • Counties served: Sullivan
  • Address: 50 North Street, Suite 2
    Monticello 12701-1711
  • Director: Michael J. Duffy,
  • Phone: (845) 794-2045

Oneonta District

  • Counties served: Delaware, Greene, Otsego
  • Address: 28 Hill Street, Suite 201
    Oneonta 13820-9804
  • Director: Audrey Lewis,
  • Phone: (607) 432-3911