Environmental Health

If you are interested in becoming an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, please note that applications for specific professions are accepted based on the current needs of the Corps. Please visit our How to Apply page for updates on which professions are currently being accepted.



Environmental Health officer portrait

Environmental health officers in the Commissioned Corps ensure public health and safety in a variety of domestic and international roles. For environmental health officers, work areas are diverse and numerous. Examples include epidemiological surveillance, disease prevention, radiological health, industrial hygiene, food safety, injury prevention and education, and emergency preparedness. During natural disasters and other emergencies, environmental health officers protect the public from environmental threats and help communities recover. As part of a committed cadre of health professionals, you will enjoy leadership opportunities, excellent benefits, and work/life balance, all while protecting and improving the health of the Nation.

“The environmental health profession has evolved from primarily general practitioners to include highly specialized areas of expertise such as Industrial Hygienists, Epidemiologists, Consumer Safety Officers, Health Physicists, Injury Prevention Specialists, Emergency Response Coordinators, and Hazardous Material Specialists. The practice of environmental health has developed into a cadre of committed public health professionals dedicated to public service and to the improvement of the health of our Nation. As public health leaders, our primary focus should be on the reduction and elimination of public health risk factors in the working and living environments. Our knowledge, skills, and abilities are to be used daily to protect and improve the health and welfare of all people. The skills and abilities of Environmental Health Officers are in demand in a varied array of environments and duty stations.”

Captain Michael M. Welch
Chief Environmental Health Officer
U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Salary and Benefits

For the most part, Commissioned Corps officers enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in their sister uniform services. Among the many benefits officers receive are:

  • Competitive starting pay that increases with promotions and years of service
  • Loan repayment potential
  • Health care and dental care for officers at no cost
  • Low-cost health care and dental care for your family
  • Healthcare benefits continue during retirement
  • Low-cost group life insurance
  • Thirty days of paid vacation per year – beginning the first year
  • Paid sick leave, maternity leave, and Federal holidays
  • Retirement plan with benefits elegibility beginning after 20 years of service
  • Thrift Savings Plan (retirement saving and investment plan similar to 401(k))

Page Last Modified on 2/3/2014