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Class Title: Environmental Health Specialist; Trainee Class Code: 30, Miscellaneous; Status: Beginning Level

DEFINITION Under direct and close supervision, assists with and learns to inspect and conduct investigations of environmental health conditions to ensure that federal, state, local and environmental health and safety laws, ordinances and regulations are adhered to throughout Sierra County by obtaining compliance or corrective action, educating the public concerning environmental health and safety, and performance of other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTARISTICS This is the entry level position for the Environmental Health Specialist classification series. The Environmental Health Specialist Trainee position is designed to enable incumbents to be trained and qualify for state registration while working under close supervision. Assignments are generally limited in scope and under the direction of the Environmental Health Specialist III or higher. Individuals in this class are trainees and learn to conduct a broad array of education, inspection, and enforcement activities in all environmental health program areas. Incumbents must be eligible to obtain California State Registration as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) within 36 months of initial employment. After attaining registration and demonstrating sound work habits, they are eligible for advancement to the Environmental Health Specialist I level, upon evaluation of performance.

REPORTS TO: Director of Human Services or Designee


EXAMPLES OF DUTIES – Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assists with and learns to perform inspections and investigations covering a broad range of environmental health programs. Some typical program responsibilities include food handling and processing facilities, organized camps, detention facilities, mobile home parks, swimming pools, spas, housing and dwelling units, water well construction, industrial plants, biomedical waste facilities, public and private buildings, water supply systems, sewage disposal systems, solid waste disposal facilities, underground storage tank facilities, hazardous materials incidents, proposed land use applications, vector and rabies control, disaster sanitation, and solid, liquid, and hazardous materials management.
  • Assists in reviewing plans for proposed onsite sewage disposal systems and other wastewater disposal systems to ensure site and soil criteria are suitable for system installation, recommends permit approval, and conducts evaluations and installation inspections of systems as requested.
  • Assists in reviewing various land use proposals including parcel splits, subdivisions, and special use permits to ensure suitable water and sewage disposal requirements are met. Provides comments and recommendations to the Planning Department and/or other agencies as necessary.
  • Coordinates with other public officials, private industry, and the general public on environmental health issues as appropriate.
  • Assists with and learns to conduct investigations of complaints and nuisances such as improper solid waste disposal, insect problems, animal bites, unsanitary liquid waste disposal and related problems; obtains facts, evidence, and samples; recommends abatement and control measures, secures evidence of violations of environmental laws.
  • Takes water, sewage, soil, and waste samples and assists with data interpretation.
  • Explains environmental laws and regulations to the public, makes abatement recommendations, and advises on methods of meeting and maintaining requirements.
  • Promotes public education on public health and environmental health issues, prepares and/or distributes educational materials.
  • Keeps records and prepares documentation and reports.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by supervisor.


The successful candidate would possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in environmental health, biological or nature science, chemistry, physics, environmental health, community health or a closely related field with 30 semester units or 45 quarter units of basic sciences.

Must meet eligibility requirements for registration as an Environmental Health Specialist in the state of California and possess a letter issued by the responsible agency/organization stating that those requirements have been met. Must possess within 36 months after appointment a valid certificate of registration as an Environmental Health Specialist in the state of California pursuant to California Administrative Code, Title 17, Sections 7941-7941.5. Failure to meet this requirement may result in disqualification or termination.

Knowledge of:

  • Perform the following with competent knowledge of special skills:
  • General public and business administration principles and practices.
  • Governmental functions and organization, operation of related agencies and community organizations
  • Basic principles and practices of environmental health and hazardous waste inspection, review, compliance, consultation, and enforcement.
  • Sampling techniques and standards.
  • Computerized Environmental Health database and information systems.
  • Principles and practices of quality customer service, especially theories and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and specifically health equity and disparities.

Ability to:

  • Gather and analyze data and apply knowledge of a specialized and complex nature, reaching valid conclusions.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with public and private entities.
  • Analyze situations accurately and take effective action.
  • Plan, organize and carry out research, analyze and evaluate data and legislation, and make recommendations based on findings.
  • Prepare a variety of technical reports.
  • Assist with and learn to perform a variety of environmental health and hazardous waste investigations, inspections, and enforcement, and provide instruction, guidance, and consultation in correction of environmental health problems and unsanitary conditions.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, to diverse audiences, specifically, racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse communities, and instruct in the methods and procedures of sanitary inspection and correction of unsanitary conditions.
  • Work effectively with people of various education and socioeconomic backgrounds by respecting beliefs, interpersonal styles and behaviors of both clients and coworkers.
  • Work independently and accept increasing responsibility.
  • Organize workload and set priorities.
  • Operate a keyboard, calculator, copier, facsimile and like equipment.

Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience which would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.

Other Requirements: Must have a valid driver’s license and insurance.

TYPICAL WORKING CONDITIONS: Work is performed in an office environment and requires frequent travel to various locations within Sierra County for field inspections. Work includes continuous contact with staff and the public. Work may involve stressful situations.

SPECIAL WORKING CONDITIONS Requires the ability to perform on-site inspections including exertion of a moderate amount of physical effort to stoop, crouch, climb and lift in performance of assigned duties with potential exposure to variable temperatures, slippery surfaces, loud noises, sunburn, dust and pollen, bee stings, vector-borne diseases, angry or hostile persons, hazardous materials, wetness, such as while walking in the rain or through a stream on a site inspection, exposure to raw or partially treated sewage, inadequate ventilation, aggressive dogs and other wildlife.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Requires the ability to sit at desk for long periods of time and intermittently walk, stand, stoop, kneel, crouch, and reach while performing office duties; lift and/or move objects weighing up to 25 pounds; use hands to finger, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. Must be able to maintain effective audio-visual discrimination and perception needed for making observations, communicating with others, reading, and writing, and operating office equipment. Must be able to use a telephone to communicate verbally and a keyboard to communicate through written means, to review information and enter/retrieve data, to see and read characters on a computer screen. Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.

Sierra County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Sierra County employees and volunteers are deemed Disaster Service Workers pursuant to California Government Code Section 3101.

SALARY: EHS Trainee Salary Range $5.211.68-$6,334.83 Monthly EHS I Salary Range $5,472.33-$6,651.65Monthly EHS II Salary Range $5,768.81-$7,012.03 Monthly EHS III Salary Range $6,226.82-$7,568.73 Monthly Senior EHS Salary Range $6,485.57-$7,883.25 Monthly

Additional Information:

Application Instructions for Registration Equivelancy Determinations

Environmental Health Specialist Application For Equivalency Determination

Registered Environmental Health Specialist Program

Sierra County is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Sierra County Employees and Volunteers are deemed Disaster Service Workers,
Pursuant to California Government Code Section 3101.

Submit resume and completed application to:
Sierra County Personnel Department
P.O. Box 513
Downieville, CA 95936
or call Judi Behlke @ 530-289-2879


Minimum Education and Experience

Education Required: Bachelor's
Driver's License Required: Yes