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Local Health Departments in New Jersey

Local Health Departments in New Jersey

Registered Environmental Health Specialist

What is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS)?

A Registered Environmental Health Specialist administers environmental and health programs for both public and private agencies and organizations in food protection and safety, water protection, air quality, noise, industrial and land pollution, sewage disposal, hazardous and toxic substances, solid waste management, and institutional health.   In general, a Registered Environmental Health Specialist is employed by a local health agency, e.g., an individual municipal local health agency, a regional health commission, or a county health department.  Alternative, some individuals are employed by the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, or private consulting companies, or private food concerns.

Registered Environmental Health Specialist Qualifications

The minimum qualifications to be admitted to the Registered Environmental Health Specialist examination are as follows:

    1. hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university which is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education in a program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council,

      or;

    2. hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university which is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education.  The degree must include a minimum of 32 credit hours in biology, chemistry, physics and/or environmental sciences and mathematics.  Only up to six (6) of the 32 credits may be in college-level mathematics.  At least one of the courses must be a laboratory course in the biology, physics, chemistry, or the environmental sciences. Courses with grades less than 2.0 (“C”) shall not be considered; and

      1. satisfactorily complete one (1) year of post-graduate, full-time employment with a local health agency which is recognized by the Department of Health .  This employment shall be under the supervision of a New Jersey-licensed Health Officer or a New Jersey-licensed Registered Environmental Health Specialist.

        or;

      2. satisfactorily complete a course in the environmental and public health which is approved by the Department of Health and is conducted by an accredited college or university which is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education; and satisfactorily complete a field training course approved by the Department of Health .  Currently the only course which is so recognized by the Department is the Environment and Public Health Course which is given by Rutgers University, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Office of Continuing Professional Education.

        or;

      3. satisfactorily complete an additional six undergraduate or graduate level courses in (1) Environment and Health, (2) Food Safety, Food Sanitation or Food Microbiology, (3) Epidemiology, (4) Public Health Practice and Administration, (5) Microbiology or Communicable Diseases, and (6) Soils. These courses must be worth a minimum of two (2) credits each. Courses with grades less than 2.0 ("C") shall not be considered In addition to the course requirements, satisfactorily complete 200 hours of a structured field training program with a local health agency which is recognized by the Department of Health . This training must also include 40 hours of training with a New Jersey Department of Health Registered Environmental Health Specialist and must include such activities as inspection of wholesale food establishments, campgrounds, institutions, etc. Students must have their activities supervised and verified by a New Jersey-licensed Registered Environmental Health Specialist of a New Jersey-licensed Health Officer. Arrangements for the internships are the sole responsibility of the student. A listing of local health agencies can be found at http://nj.gov/health/lh/directory/lhdselectcounty.shtml.

    Rutgers resources for REHS examination preparation

    Registered Environmental Health Specialist Application

    Admission to the examination is dependent upon the information that you submit.  Your application must be accompanied by documentary evidence in support of your training, education, and experience.  All letters verifying your experience must list in detail all the duties, responsibilities, and length of time you served in the particular field.  An official transcript under seal must be submitted from your college(s) or university(ies).  Student copies will not be accepted.  Any science course with a grade of less than 2.0 (“C”) shall not be considered as part of the required 32 credit hours.  If you were educated outside of the United States, you must provide an evaluation of your foreign transcript.  You may obtain an evaluation by contacting either World Education Services, Inc. at www.wes.org or Joseph Silny & Associates at www.jsilny.com.  The application must also include a copy of the course catalogue description of the required courses.  Copies of certificates, awards, or other similar documents are appropriate documentation in support of your training qualifications.  Incomplete applications shall be rejected and the application fee shall not be refunded.

    The application fee is $50.00 and must be submitted as part of your application.  The fee must be in the form of a check or money order made payable to "Treasurer, State of New Jersey."  All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.  The fee that accompanies your application covers the cost of reviewing and processing the application; it cannot be refunded even if you are found ineligible for the examination.

    Download application for the Registered Environmental Health Specialist examination

    Registered Environmental Health Specialist Examination

    The New Jersey Registered Environmental Health Specialist examination consists of 100 questions which are designed to assess competency in a fixed response format.  The content includes such diverse topics as: administration, communicable disease, food protection and safety, water and wastewater, vectors, pests and weeds, epidemiology, potable water, air quality and noise, swimming pools and recreational facilities, statutes and rules, and hazardous materials.

    The passing score or “cut score” for this examination is 70 percent and is based on a minimum competence criteria as developed by practitioners in the field.  The sole purpose of a licensing examination is to identify persons who possess the minimum knowledge and experience necessary to perform tasks on the job safely and competently -- not to select the “top” candidates or ensure the success of licensed persons.  Therefore, licensing examinations are very different from academic or employment examinations.  Academic examinations assess how well a person can define and comprehend terms and concepts.  Employment examinations can rank order candidates who possess qualifications for the job.  For additional information or to request an application, contact the Licensure, Compliance and Enforcement Program.

    Download application for the Registered Environmental Health Specialist examination


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Last Modified: Friday, 13-Jul-12 13:28:05