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Environmental Health

Machinist Mate performs a jack-o-water sample test aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

Environmental Health

Navy environmental health specialists help protect servicemembers’ health and safety by preventing and controlling the spread of disease. They gain exceptional experience in countless locations worldwide. Perform cutting-edge research using the latest technology. And become a part of something much bigger than just a group of coworkers.

Navy environmental health specialists help protect servicemembers’ health and safety by preventing and controlling the spread of disease. They gain exceptional experience in countless locations worldwide. Perform cutting-edge research using the latest technology. And become a part of something much bigger than just a group of coworkers.

Meet real Sailors & learn from their experiences.
Gas Turbine System Technician prepares fuel samples for a bottom sediment and water test in the oil lab after a refueling-at-sea.

About This Job

With a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, Navy Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) focus on prevention and control of diseases in Navy and Marine Corps populations. In this role, you will:

  • Determine effective methods of health-threat assessment  
  • Conduct ongoing disease and environmental surveillance  
  • Identify potential dangers and develop countermeasures for actual and potential threats
part time
full time
Full Time
Part Time

As a Navy EHO, you may focus on:

  • Food service sanitation
  • Drinking water surveillance
  • Disease outbreak investigations
  • Helping combat the threat of bioterrorism

You could even find yourself:

  • Providing guidance to Commanding Officers, Operational/Joint/Coalition Force Commanders and Installation Commanders on food safety, water and wastewater safety; communicable disease control; risk communication; and epidemiological/biostatistic methods of assessing threats
  • Gaining a nationally recognized credential as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) from the National Environmental Health Association
  • Championing a variety of essential programs like food sanitation and safety; public health sanitation; thermal stress control; swimming pool/recreational sanitation; ashore and afloat water and wastewater sanitation; vector control; preventive medicine for ground forces; and disease surveillance and prevention

Full Time
Part Time

Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Environmental Health Officers in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your profession in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.

For Annual Training, Environmental Health Officers may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or on bases in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.

Full Time
Part Time

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Environmental Health Officers in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.

With flexible training options, Medical Service Corps Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own career – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.

The Medical Service Corps in the Navy Reserve offers you a truly diverse variety of operational venues. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian location you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.

Full Time
Part Time

As a Reservist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you’ll receive your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:*

  • Up to $50,000 in graduate school loan repayment assistance  
  • Up to $30,000 in specialty pay  
  • An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $10,000

*Offers cannot be combined and depend on specialty. Sign-on bonus offer option available only to those with prior Navy experience (NAVET).

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Full Time
Part Time

To qualify for employment consideration as an Environmental Health Officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the United States  
  • Bachelor's or master's degree in environmental health from a program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Accreditation Council (EHAC) OR a master's of Public Health degree with a concentration in environmental health from a college of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Degree should include courses in environmental health, epidemiology, food safety, water quality, air quality, solid waste and wastewater management, communicable diseases, public health sanitation, vector control, toxicology, risk assessment, risk communication, biostatistics, and microbiology
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty  
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41  
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Certification as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) or Registered Sanitarian (RS) through the National Environmental Health Association or a state agency
  • Masters applicants should have an undergraduate degree in environmental health or biological life sciences. Physical science degrees, such as chemistry and physics, may be acceptable with additional coursework in the life sciences, such as microbiology, zoology or human physiology
  • Field experience in an environmental health- or public health-related occupation
  • Completed graduate-level coursework with GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Interview by an Active Duty Environmental Health Officer (Lieutenant or above)

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you intend to serve Active Duty or Reserve Duty, and whether you are currently serving, have served before or have never served before.


Paid training. Competitive salary. Comprehensive health coverage. Generous vacation. World travel. The list goes on.