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Environmental Health Specialist II – Food Safety Specialist - Vancouver, WA

Clark County

$27.61 - $36.76 an hour





Job Summary

Environmental Health Specialists (EHS) work within the section of Environmental Public Health (EPH) and are responsible for protecting the health of citizens by enforcing EPH rules and regulations, educating stakeholders, preventing exposure to environmental hazards by promoting healthy natural and built environments within Clark County.

This position is represented by Laborer's International Union of North America Health Care Division- Local 335.

This position will be assigned basic job duties:

  • Design/Plan Review - within many EPH programs, the EHS will review designs and plans such as: onsite septic systems (OSS), drinking water wells, plot plans, food establishment floor plans, public pools and spas. This review is critical to ensure the safety of the facility or infrastructure and compliance with State and Local requirements.
  • Site Inspections - in coordination with property owners, facility operators, licensed designers and licensed engineers, the EHS will ensure the site matches design and plan criteria. These inspections ensure processes protect the public health and prevent injury.
  • Complaint and Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation - an EHS will investigate complaints by performing records searches, site visits, interviews of complainants and gathering other pertinent information.
  • Enforcement of Regulation - an EHS will, when necessary, initiate enforcement when regulations are not met. The goal is to ensure compliance with public health rules. In many instances, the EHS will partner with other agencies that can improve the process or offer resources to the one with whom enforcement is being pursued.
  • Technical Assistance - the EHS will offer technical expertise to property owners, business owners, private industry, real estate agents, developers, partnering agencies, county departments and other stakeholders. This task can include significant research and communication.

The position may be asked to work in other EPH programs as needed. Organizational responsibilities include understanding and promoting the public health mission of the department; providing courteous, respectful, efficient customer service to all Public Health customers; honoring diversity of all department employees and constituents; participating in Emergency Preparedness activities and on-call rotations; striving for personal excellence in public health work.

In addition the following is required

  • Understand and promote the public health mission of the department.
  • Provide courteous, respectful, efficient customer service to all department clients.
  • Honor diversity of all department employees and constituents.
  • Participate in department training.
  • Strive for personal excellence in public health work.
  • Participation on internal and external work groups, committees coalitions.
  • Work activities that are less frequent but staff should be aware of such as participation in grant writing, program evaluation activities, etc.

Food Safety Specialists:

  • Conduct inspections of schools, restaurants, grocery stores, taverns, bakeries, meat markets and other retail food establishments according to assigned schedule.
  • Record violations found during inspections, evaluate findings, discuss with owner or manager, and determine correction priorities.
  • Make follow-up evaluations and initiates enforcement procedures, if necessary, including the issuance of closure notices.
  • Resolve complaints concerning food borne illnesses by interviewing affected individuals, obtaining clinical specimens, collecting food samples, interviewing employees, tracing possible sources of contamination, consulting with state epidemiologist, evaluating findings and writing reports.
  • Provide information on building requirements for new and remodeled food establishments and answers questions from the public regarding public health requirements for food service establishments.
  • Review submitted plans for food establishments and conducts pre-opening inspections to see that requirements are met.
  • Give presentations to food service workers and other groups regarding the prevention of food borne illnesses and proper food handling procedures.
  • Assist in encouraging timely permit payment from operators.


Education and Experience:

The successful candidate will likely have a combination of education, experience, and qualifications equivalent to or including the following:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in environmental health or a closely related area.
  • Two years successful experience in obtaining compliance with environmental health standards. (EHS II classification only – if hired, applicants with less than 2 years of applicable experience will be classified as an EHS I).
  • Positions assigned to onsite sewage design review and approval requires an Inspector Certificate of Competency through the Washington State Department of Licensing. Should be obtained within three years of hire.
  • Registration as a Registered Sanitarian (RS) or Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) preferred.
  • Any satisfactory equivalent combination of experience and training which ensures the ability to perform the work may be substituted.

Knowledge of:

  • Key components of cultural competency; awareness of differences, attitude to examine believes and values, knowledge of differences and skills to effectively and appropriately work across cultures.
  • Core competencies for Public Health Professionals and able to use them in identifying professional growth opportunities.
  • Standard methods and techniques of inspectional work in environmental sanitation and public health; applicable rules and regulations for the specialized area(s) assigned.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the principles, practices, and terminology of environmental public health.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of bacteriology, chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences as applied to environmental public health.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of general sanitation and sanitary practices.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of environmental public health laws and regulations and investigative techniques.

Ability to:

  • Offer excellent customer service.
  • Work with varied stakeholders, especially private contractors, property owners, and business owners.
  • Able to work independently with attention to detail.
  • Express ideas effectively both orally and in writing and maintain accurate records
  • Recognize and address discrimination, stereotypes and stigmas in the work place.
  • Work collaboratively with coworkers to improve internal systems.
  • Effectively use office technology such as a smartphone, personal computer, Microsoft Office software, email, and internet to accomplish job functions.
  • Effectively and respectfully work with persons from diverse backgrounds including; age, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, socioeconomic status, physical characteristics, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, health status, genetic predisposition, political belief, mental or physical ability.
  • Identify the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in determining the delivery of Public Health services.
  • Research and implement approaches to address problems that take into account cultural differences.
  • Recognize features of personal behavior which are affected by culture.
  • Ability to interpret, apply, and enforce environmental public health laws, regulations, requirements, and policies.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Recognize potential health hazards and recommend corrective action.
  • Gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion.
  • Work outdoors for extended periods under a wide variety of weather conditions.
  • Perform work duties that require lifting of at least 50lbs, stooping, bending, walking over sloped and/or uneven ground and other varied environments and conditions.


  • Skill in analyzing, compiling, recording, and assessing data.
  • Apply understanding and knowledge of cultural differences and similarities when working with diverse populations.

Other Necessary Qualifications:

  • Must be able to respond to public health emergencies or exercises at any time, except while on scheduled vacation or other leave. In addition, leaves may be cancelled under public health emergencies.
  • Must successfully complete basic incident management courses and participate in emergency response trainings as requested.
  • Must protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal law.
  • Must adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines, including but not limited to timely completion of mandatory trainings.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license, insurance and has access to reliable transportation for daily job duties.
  • Must adhere to the Department employee immunity policy and provide documents as requested.
  • Maintenance of specific certifications and/or licenses (if appropriate).


An online application is required. For complete job announcement, application requirements, and to apply on-line, please visit our website at:

Equal Opportunity Employer

Clark County is committed to increasing the ethnic, cultural and social diversity of its workforce and ensuring that diversity is a key priority of our organization. We are committed to providing equal opportunity and access regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a disabled person, sexual orientation/gender identity, veteran status or any other status protected by law. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Clark County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Plan is available at

If you are in need of ADA/Section 504 assistance for accommodations, please contact Human Resources at (360) 397-2456; Relay (800) 833-6388.

Salary Grade: Local 335.38A ($27.61 - $36.76) per hour


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