Placer Employment Opportunities

Environmental Health - Trainee

Recruitment #2019-14518-01


This is a paid trainee position in the environmental health specialist series. To be considered for this position, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications by possessing both the equivalent to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in any of the biological or physical sciences, environmental health science, engineering or a related field AND a letter of approval issued by the State of California Department of Public Health verifying eligibility for training. Note: This letter is a minimum requirement for the Environmental Health Trainee classification and applicants must possess a valid letter at the time of applying for this recruitment to move forward in the recruitment process.

Individuals who do not possess the required letter by the State of California, but are interested in pursuing a future career as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist, are encouraged to click HERE for more information. CPS HR has been contracted by the CA Department of Public Health to provide transcript evaluation services for Environmental Health Specialist (EHS) trainee, Options I-IV. All questions regarding transcript evaluation must be directed to CPS HR. Placer County Human Resources does not provide transcript evaluation services.


The Department of Health and Human Services – Environmental Health Division is currently seeking candidates for the Consumer Protection, Hazardous Materials and Solid Waste Programs. Under supervision, the Environmental Specialist trainee learns scientific and professional level office and field work to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations. The primary responsibility of staff assigned to the Consumer Protection inspection and permitting programs involves compliance with regulated food facilities, body art facilities, swimming pools, public drinking water systems and campgrounds. The primary responsibility of staff assigned to the Hazardous Materials program is to ensure compliance with laws and regulations at business facilities that handle hazardous material and hazardous waste, operate underground storage tanks and above ground storage tanks that store hazardous materials or hazardous waste, emergency response to hazardous chemical releases, planning and site mitigation. Staff assigned to the Solid Waste program conduct compliance inspections and support solid waste disposal facilities and resource recovery and recycling programs, waste tire management, medical waste management and nonhazardous waste recycling programs.

The position may need to travel to the Tahoe-Truckee area on occasion to support the division's satellite office. Upon completion of the State of California Environmental Health Trainee requirements and issuance of a State of California Environmental Health Specialist registration, applicants will be eligible to be promoted to Assistant Registered Environmental Health Specialist. As an Assistant Registered Environmental Health Specialist, you may be required to participate in the Stand-By-Rotation for emergency response.


To learn, administer and enforce Federal, State and local statutes, ordinances and regulations related to public health and sanitation as a Trainee; to learn to encourage sound sanitary and environmental health practices; and to learn to protect the environment and the public.


The Environmental Health Trainee is a training level classification in the Environmental Health Specialist Series established to qualify incumbents in the training and experience requirements to become a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the State of California. This class is distinguished from the Registered Environmental Health Specialist by the performance of the less complex routine tasks and duties assigned to positions within this series.  Positions in this classification do not possess registration as an Environmental Health Specialist by the State of California. Employees at this level are expected to perform under guidance and direction.  Since this class is used as a training class, employees may have only limited or no directly related work experience.  Upon completion of the State of California Environmental Health Trainee requirements and issuance of a State of California Environmental Health Specialist registration number, incumbents meet the eligibility requirements for the flexibly staffed Assistant Registered Environmental Health Specialist classification.


Receives immediate and close supervision from the Supervising Environmental Health Specialist and may receive technical and functional supervision and training from an Assistant or Associate Registered Environmental Health Specialist.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Learns to inspect and evaluate restaurants and other retail food establishments, public bathing, spa and other recreational and institutional facilities; learns to provide food handling education and other relevant public health and sanitation information; and learn to participate in State-mandated food recalls. 
  • Learns to conduct plan checks of new or remodel construction plans for restaurant, pool and spa facilities relative to regulatory compliance; learns to investigate complaints about sewage and various public health nuisances; learns to conduct epidemiological investigations; learns to handle housing and vector complaints; and learn to investigate food borne illnesses. 
  • Learns to conduct site evaluations of proposed developments, including soils testing, to determine site capability for sewage disposal; learns to evaluate submitted designs and proposed septic systems relative to site conditions; learns to evaluate feasibility of proposed subdivisions and set conditions for approval; and learns to recommend approval or denial of variances and appeals.
  • Learns to evaluate existing sewage disposal and water treatment installations and facilities for regulatory compliance; learns to evaluate need for expansion or replacement of treatment systems; learns to evaluate well sites and well construction for code compliance and acceptance as domestic water supply; and learns to test and assess public drinking water potability. 
  • Learns to evaluate solid waste handling and disposal facilities; learns to review and recommend approval of or note exceptions to engineering reports regarding construction, operation, monitoring and closure/post closure maintenance and use; and learns to respond to complaints and inquiries from the public regarding solid waste handling and disposal. 
  • Learns to participate in environmental review process of assigned projects; learns to identify and evaluate concerns regarding discretionary entitlement applications; learn to process environmental assessment questionnaires and environmental impact reports; learns to provide information regarding public health and sanitation issues involved in projects to proponents, the public and public hearing bodies. 
  • Learns to conduct site assessments as part of environmental review process; learns to develop recommendations for approval or denial; and learns to make environmental health findings to County Planning Department and draft comments as opinion from Environmental Health Division. 
  • Learns to inspect and evaluate facilities that handle hazardous materials; learns to review hazardous materials business plans for regulatory compliance; learns to inspect above ground containers and underground storage tanks; and learns to approve plans for and monitor underground storage tank removal and installation. 
  • Learns to provide collection and information services for household hazardous waste; learns to respond to hazardous materials release/threatened release and provide technical assistance to emergency response team; and learns to respond to complaints or requests for service from public regarding hazardous materials/waste storage, use, or disposal in business, institutional, or private residential settings. 
  • Learns to conduct investigations and assessments and respond to complaints involving issues of environmental health and sanitation; learns to work with all affected parties, in resolution of problems and issues; and learns to coordinate with other County divisions and departments and other public agencies and jurisdictions to protect the public health. 
  • Learns to provide information to the public regarding environmental health and sanitation issues and respond to questions and inquiries in the office, by telephone, in person at field sites, or through educational presentations; learns to prepare staff and regulatory reports and correspondences; and learns to establish and maintain appropriate and accurate files and records.
  • Builds and maintains positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees and the public using principles of good customer service.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Experience and Training
Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Experience: No experience is required.

Training: Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in any of the biological or physical sciences, environmental health science, engineering or a related field.

License or Certificate:

  • Possession of a letter of approval issued by the State of California Department of Public Health verifying eligibility for training.
  • May need to possess a valid driver’s license as required by the position.  Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.


Knowledge of:

  • Physical and biological sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, geology, hydrology and soils science.
  • Principles and practices of scientific research and statistical methodology.
  • Computer software, including word processing, spreadsheet, data base, and various statistical analysis applications.
  • Modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment.
  • Principles and practices of work safety.
  • English usage, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Ability to:

  • Learn to perform the duties of an Environmental Health Specialist.
  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job. Intermittently observe, identify and analyze public health and sanitation problems and learn to develop solutions; analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; learn to interpret, enforce and explain statutes, regulations, policies and procedures; and maintain awareness of safety at all times.
  • On a continuous basis, sit at desk or in vehicle for long periods of time; intermittently walk, stand, kneel, climb, bend and reach while conducting field inspections and investigations, or making various tests; see to observe field conditions; differentiate colors on charts, maps, or identification shields, in soil or food, or as part of testing; hear to evaluate proper functioning of various kinds of equipment; use a telephone; write or use a keyboard to communicate; perform simple and power grasping, pushing, pulling and fine manipulation; and lift moderate weight.
  • Learn to compile, analyze and evaluate technical information and prepare recommendations regarding further action.
  • Perform mathematical computations and statistical analysis.
  • Learn to interpret plans, drawings and specifications.
  • Learn to use various test sampling, monitoring, measuring and laboratory supplies and equipment and specialized protective gear as needed.
  • Learn to act quickly and calmly in emergency situations.
  • Learn to obtain information through interview and work firmly and courteously with the public.
  • Learn to analyze situations quickly and objectively and to determine proper course of action.
  • Work unusual and prolonged work schedules in the event of an environmental or public health emergency.
  • Use a computer, calculator, typewriter, telephone, two-way radio, camera, dictation machine, facsimile machine, postage meter and photocopy machine.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Training & Experience Rating (100%)

Based upon responses to the supplemental questionnaire, the applicant’s education, training and experience will be evaluated using a pre-determined formula.  Scores from this evaluation will determine applicant ranking and placement on the eligible list.


Prior to the date of hire, applicants must undergo a fingerprint test by the Department of Justice, pass a medical examination (which may include a drug screening and possibly a psychological evaluation), sign a constitutional oath and submit proof of U.S. citizenship or legal right to remain and work in the U.S.  For some positions, applicants may also be required to submit proof of age, undergo a background investigation (which may include a voice stress analysis and/or a polygraph) and/or be bonded. Additionally, positions in law enforcement classifications, and those supporting law enforcement functions will be required to complete a conviction history questionnaire prior to or during the interview process. Applicants for positions with access to Medi-Cal billing software or who are licensed providers must clear the Federal Exclusion List, credentialing, and social security verification. Failure to clear these requirements may result in an employment offer being withdrawn.


The following information represents benefits currently available to permanent Placer County employees and may be subject to change.  It is advisable that applicants inquire as to the most current benefit package during hiring interviews or by contacting the Human Resources Department.

Click here to view benefits for General bargaining unit

Selection Plan

Tentative Recruitment Schedule

  • Minimum Qualifications Screening: Week of 11/25/19
  • Training and Experience Rating: Week of 11/25/19
  • Establish Eligible List: Week of 12/2/19

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