UNCOVER EH Infographic on Key Findings

See the key findings uncovered by our landmark assessment of the environmental health workforce. For the more than 1,700 environmental health professionals we surveyed…

Food safety is the most common program area EH professionals work in, and many work in more than one.

  • Food Safety & Protection 76%
  • Public Swimming Pools 57%
  • Emergency Preparedness & Response 47%
  • Schools 46%
  • Onsite Wastewater (Septic Systems) 44%
  • Private or Onsite Drinking Water 43%
  • Hotels/Motels 39%
  • Vector Control 38%
  • Body Art (Tattoo) 36%
  • Daycare/Early Child Development Facilities 34%

While balanced between men and women, the EH workforce has opportunities to become more racially and ethnically diverse. 

About half of the EH workforce is women

  • Women 49%
  • Men 51%

More than 8 in 10 EH professionals are white.

  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1%
  • American Indian 3%
  • Asian 4%
  • Black or African American 7%
  • White 85%

6% of the EH workforce is Hispanic.

The EH workforce is aging, presenting recruitment needs. 

1 in 4 EH professionals is over 55 years of age.

1 in 4 EH professionals plans to retire within 5 years.

The EH workforce is well educated, but degrees are not always in EH.

  • Doctoral 3%
  • Master’s 30%
  • Bachelor’s 62%
  • Associate 2%
  • None 3%

Only 1 in 5 bachelor’s degrees is in EH.

2 in 5 EH bachelor degrees are from academic programs accredited by the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council, considered the gold standard.

REHS/RS is a common credential, and position titles vary. 

64% have the Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS) credential.

1 out of 2 EH professionals has the title Environmental Health Specialist.

  • EH Specialist 50%
  • Sanitarian 20%
  • Other, varying titles 30%

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Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH) collected information from more than 1,700 EH professionals in health departments across the nation, the first such assessment of the EH workforce. UNCOVER EH seeks to assess and improve the profession and practice of environmental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Environmental Health Association, and Baylor University partnered on this initiative.

Page last reviewed: May 14, 2019