Public Health Opportunities


Education in Public Health:

Careers in Public Health: 

The Northampton Health Department currently has the following position available.






Position is responsible for interpretation and enforcement of state and local public health regulations.   



The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


  • Performs sanitary inspections to ascertain compliance with applicable laws and regulations; investigates nuisances, sources of filth, and causes of disease in order to abate violations and correct unsanitary conditions.  
  • Reviews applications for food service (designs, certificates, etc.), septic system plan designs, and applications for recreational camps for compliance.  
  • Consults with license and permit applicants and provides guidance on meeting regulatory requirements
  • Performs inspections of eating and drinking establishments to ascertain compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Enforces Title V; reviews designs, witnesses soil tests and percolation tests to determine adequacy of sites for installation of private sewage disposal systems including new, or replacement systems; maintains associated records, files and reports
  • Performs inspections of swimming pools, public bathing areas and recreational camps to ascertain compliance with laws and regulations.  
  • Investigates violations of, and enforces the provisions of, Chapter II of the State Housing Code:  Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation.  Performs inspections to eliminate vermin and rodents, and to determine lead paint levels, asbestos violations, hazardous spills, obnoxious odors, etc.; interprets and enforces regulations, prepares reports, and performs related work.  
  • Performs community outreach and educates the public on food safety practices and other public health issues.
  • For all inspections performed, maintains appropriate records, forms, supplies and prepares required reports, field notes and advisory letters as needed.   
  • Performs similar or related work as required.  




Under general direction, employee plans and prioritizes the majority of work independently, in accordance with standard practices. Employee is expected to solve most problems of detail or unusual situations by adapting methods or interpreting instructions accordingly.  Instructions for new assignments or special projects usually consist of statements of desired objectives, deadlines and priorities.  Technical and policy problems or changes in procedures are discussed with supervisor.  




The work involves numerous standardized practices, procedures, or general instructions that govern the work and in some cases may require additional interpretation.   Judgment is needed to locate, select and apply the most pertinent practice, procedure, regulation or guideline.




The work consists of the practical application of a variety of concepts, practices and specialized techniques relating to a professional or technical field.  Assignments typically involve evaluation and interpretation of factors, conditions or unusual circumstances; inspecting, testing or evaluating compliance with established standards or criteria; gathering, analyzing and evaluating facts or data using specialized fact finding techniques; or determining the methods to accomplish the work.




Relationships are primarily with co-workers, vendors and the public, involving frequent explanation, discussion or interpretation of practices, procedures, regulations or guidelines in order to render service, plan or coordinate work efforts, or resolve operating problems.  Other regular contacts are with service recipients and employees of outside organizations.  More than ordinary courtesy, tact and diplomacy is required to resolve complaints or deal with hostile, uncooperative or uninformed persons.  




The employee has access to sensitive and confidential information in the performance of their duties.




Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in public health, environmental science or a related field and from one to two years of technical experience in the field of environmental sanitation or health inspection, or any equivalent combination of education and experience, required.   


Following licenses/certifications/designations required:  Food Protection Certification, Title V, Soil Evaluation, and Certified Pool Operator.   


Massachusetts Class D Driver’s License required.  




Knowledge: Knowledge of state and local laws, codes, regulations and rules pertaining to public health and sanitation; knowledge of current inspection and control procedures. 


Abilities:  Ability to interpret and enforce regulations in a firm, tactful, and impartial manner.  Ability to use various computer software applications.  


Skills: Verbal and written communication skills.  




Working conditions involve occasional exposure to elements found in the field, such as work sites, walking property to inspect, construction sites, etc.  The employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours. 




Physical Skills


Administrative work is performed in an office setting requiring sitting, standing, walking. When in the field, may require some agility and physical strength, such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain, or standing or walking most of the work period. Occasionally, work may require lifting heavy objects and carrying them (up to 50 lbs.). There may be need to stretch and reach to retrieve materials.


Motor Skills


The work may require motor skills for activities such as moving objects, using office equipment, including but not limited to telephones, personal computers, handheld technology, and other office equipment. 


Visual Skills


Essential position functions require ability to review documents for analytical purposes, ability to drive a car, ability to adjust focus, and ability to view objects using close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception.