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Scope of Practice
Food inspection
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental health specialists promote the control of infectious disease through environmental hygiene by enforcing health and safety standards relating to food, water, septic systems and other consumer products. Environmental health specialists use public health "surveillance" to track and anticipate health problems.
 
Public health surveillance involves the ongoing collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of information about health events. These data help determine, for example, which foods pose the biggest risk to health, how and when people are most likely to be affected, and what health risks may result from disasters such as floods.
 
Environmental health specialists also conduct routine inspections and provide pre-construction plan review of public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, day care businesses, food processing plants, institutions, public swimming pools and other recreational facilities to ensure that minimum health and safety standards are met.
 
Environmental health specialists frequently work for public agencies such as county health departments, and state agencies such as Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority.

Waste Water Specialist
Waste water specialists evaluate soil data for design and installation of waste water systems that utilize soil as part of the disposal process.
 
Education & Training
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental health specialists must have one of the following combinations of education and training to obtain registration in Oregon:
  • Bachelor's degree from a university or college with at least 45 quarter-hours of science background in environmental sanitation and two years of experience in environmental health working under the supervision of an environmental health specialist

  • Or, a graduate degree in community health or public health and one year of experience in environmental health working under the supervision of an environmental health specialist

  • Reciprocity: Bachelor's or graduate degree as noted above and affidavit of licensure demonstrating proof of current active registration with no current or pending disciplinary action. The registration must have been issued by a regulatory body of another state or a national association recognized by the board.

Waste Water Specialist
Waste water specialists must have one of the following combinations of education and experience to obtain registration in Oregon:
  • Bachelor's degree from a university or college with at least 45 quarter-hours of soil science courses and two years of experience in waste water treatment, disposal and reuse working under the supervision of a registered waste water specialist

  • Or, a graduate degree in soil sciences and one year of experience in waste water treatment, disposal and reuse working under the supervision of a registered waste water specialist

  • Or, a graduate degree in soil sciences and a current registration as a certified professional soil scientist

  • Reciprocity: Bachelor's or graduate degree as noted above and affidavit of licensure demonstrating proof of current active registration with no current or pending disciplinary action. The registration must have been issued by a regulatory body of another state or a national association recognized by the board.

Environmental Health Trainee
Applicants who do not meet the work experience requirements but who meet the educational requirements may obtain a trainee license.  Each combination of education and experience has a specific training period (as specified above).  
 
A trainee may take the written examination before completion of the required work experience but must take the Oregon Laws and Rules examination before a trainee registration will be issued. (Please see more information below under Oregon Laws & Rules Examination.)
 
Application Process
Environmental health specialists and waste water specialists must pay an application fee and obtain application forms online or by request to the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA). 
 
Click here to access the Forms page.
 
Click here to access the Fees page.
 
Click here to access Identification Requirements.
 

 

Oregon Laws & Rules Examination (for Trainee Applicants)

To obtain an environmental health specialist trainee registration, applicants must complete an Oregon Laws and Rules Examination, which is administered through iLearn. A certificate of completion must be printed upon passage of the examination and submitted to the agency with a trainee registration application.

 

The following information is provided to assist trainee registrants with information needed to prepare and complete the required Oregon Laws and Rules Examination.


NEW - Changes to the Environmental Health Specialist Trainee Examination 

Laws and Rules Examination Blueprint

Learn Course Description

iLearn New User Guide

  
 
National Environmental Health Association Examination
Applicants for registration as an environmental health specialist must pass the Registered Environmental Health Specialist Examination (REHS). The exam must be passed within three years preceding the date of application for registration.
 
Applicants approved to sit for the REHS examination receive a letter from OHLA describing the necessary steps to take the exam.  Requests to sit for the REHS examination usually take two to three weeks for processing by NEHA.
 
Note: Applicants who are coming to Oregon via the reciprocity pathway (already licensed in another state) do not need to take the REHS examination.
 
For a blueprint and study materials, visit http://www.neha.org/index.shtml.
 
Waste Water Specialist Examination

Applicants for registration as a waste water specialist must pass the state-prepared waste water specialist examination within three years preceding the date of application for registration, unless they are applying for registration through reciprocity (already registered in another state).

Waste Water Specialist Examination Blueprint and Source Materials

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing Education

Environmental health specialists and waste water specialists must complete 2.0 credits or 20 contact hours every two years.
 
Continuing education must address subject matter related to environmental sanitation or waste water sanitation.

 
Click here for more information on the Continuing Education page.

 
Renewal Process
Application for registration renewal should be made in advance of the registration expiration date, which is one year from the date of issuance.  If the renewal is made by the expiration date, the cost to renew is the same as the original registration fee. 
 
Click here to renew online.