What is an REHS?

An REHS is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. You may know them as Health Inspectors. They work to improve the quality of life and health through environmental education, consultation, and enforcement. Although a majority of Health Inspectors work for government agencies, many are also employed in the private sector. What you might not know is the origin of the profession. 

What Does an REHS Do?

  • Restaurants, Groceries, and all Retail Food Service Facilities
  • Businesses that store Hazardous Materials or treat Hazardous Wastes
  • Public Swimming Pools at Hotels, Apartments, Schools, etc.
  • Underground Storage Tanks for Petroleum Products
  • Small Public Water Systems to enforce Safe Drinking Water Laws
  • Aboveground Storage Tanks for Hazardous Materials
  • Medical Waste Treatment and Transfer Facilities
  • Wastewater Disposal Systems
  • Solid Waste Systems
  • Labor Camps, Mobile Home Parks and other Housing
  • Public Kennels and Animal Boarding Facilities
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Waterborne Illness
  • Sewage Leaks
  • Illegal Vendors
  • Wells
  • Septic Systems
  • New or Remodeled Facilities as noted above
  • Illegal Vendors
  • Nuisance and Health Related Complaint Abatement
  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Used Oil Recycling
  • Hazardous Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Collection
  • Solid Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Countywide Planning Guidance and/or Input
  • Land Use and Development Plan Reviews
  • Animal Shelter
  • Emergency and Disaster Response
  • Noise Control
  • Lead Abatement Oversight
  • Toxic Sites Mitigation Oversight
  • Groundwater Management

How Do I Become an REHS (Health Inspector)?

Disclaimer: Please note that this information is provided as a resource for people who want to learn how to become an REHS. To view the complete, most current requirements and instructions, please visit the California Department of Public Health’s webpage on the Registered Environmental Health Specialist Program. Our page is meant to be helpful, but we cannot guarantee that this is the most recent information as CDPH may frequently update their page. Please refer to the CDPH webpage for the most recent information.

First, read about the educational requirements. Keep in mind that these requirements are preferred but not the only way to become an REHS. Most science degrees will qualify you to get the job but you may need more classes and training in order to take the registration exam.

If you meet the educational requirements, or have a Bachelor’s degree in the science-related concentration, submit an application for REHS registration to the State Department of Public Health. View the CDPH application and fee information in the links below.

The next step is to send your official transcripts to CPS Human Resources along with the required fee. View the CPSHR application and fee information in the links below.

After you have completed the steps listed above, you will wait approximately 4 to 6 weeks until you receive a Letter of Eligibility from CPS. It will read, “You are eligible to commence working as an Environmental Health Specialist Trainee.” This letter will let you know what else you need to do to take the state registration exam.

The letter will indicate which of five options you have been placed in. Each option is a way of distinguishing how much of the educational requirement you have met. This will affect the number of hours of training and experience, and any additional classes that you will need complete prior to qualifying to take the state registration exam. View the educational criteria used to place you into the appropriate option in the links below.

Once you receive the Letter of Eligibility from CPS Human Resources, you are eligible to apply with San Bernardino County Human Resources (HR) as an Environmental Health Services Trainee.

One More Reason to Become a REHS!

A career as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist ranks #22 out of 100 according to CNN Money and Payscale.com’s list of greatest careers in America!