Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of Environmental Health In West Virginia?

The goal of Environmental Health Programs in West Virginia is to ensure the health and well-being of the citizens and visitors to the state. This is accomplished by educating the public, offering services, and by enforcing public health laws through the various permitted programs we offer and inspect. These programs include food sanitation, individual on-site sewage and water  supplies, epidemiological surveillance (Rabies, West Nile Virus, La  Cross Encephalitis, Lyme Disease), child care facilities, schools, manufactured home communities, recreational facilities, institutions, lodging facilities, care facilities, and body piercing/tattoo studios. 

Other services provided are investigation of complaints where public health laws may have been violated, water samples, radon testing, and technical assistance to developers and realtors. Environmental Health workers also conduct educational programs for food service workers and individual sewage system installers and contractors. 


What is a Sanitarian?

Sanitarians are environmental health professionals whose professional pursuits and duties are necessary to the promotion of life, health, and well-being of the public. In West Virginia, Sanitarians are employed at both Local Health Departments and with the Bureau for Public Health in the Office of Environmental Health Services. Generally, these folks work in the Public Health Sanitation Division, although Sanitarians do hold positions in other divisions or agencies and work under other functional job titles.

Sanitarians are governed by a State Board of Sanitarians under Chapter 30 Article 17 of the West Virginia Code. Anyone performing the duties of a Sanitarian in West Virginia is required to follow the registration law. The law requires that all newly hired Sanitarians attend and pass a 300 hour Sanitarian Training course provided by the Bureau for Public Health. Once this has been accomplished, the trainee submits an Application for Registration as a Sanitarian in Training to the Board.  Individuals are eligible to become a Registered Sanitarian, (R.S.) after working for 2 years in  this capacity, having successfully passed the exam provided by National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and  submitting an Application for Registration as a Sanitarian in Training to the Board. In addition, the Board requires that all professionals under their jurisdiction obtain 15 hours of continuing education each year. 

*Information taken from Public Health Sanitation Division Website


How Do I Become A Sanitarian?

Step 1: Contact or visit Workforce - West Virginia Office for information or visit the West Virginia Division of Personnel web site: Applying for State Jobs

Step 2: Once you have completed the application process with the West Virginia of Personnel, your application will be rated and your name will be placed on a register for the counties in which you have indicated you will accept employment.   

Step 3: When a vacancy for a Sanitarian occurs, the agency that has the vacancy has several options. They can:

  1.  Post the vacancy as a Sanitarian 1, for which they will request a copy of the register for their county. If your name is on the register for that county, you can be called for an interview. You can also apply directly to an agency for a vacancy in an area in which you had not expressed interest. Vacancies are posted at the Division of Personnel web site. 
  2. Post the vacancy requiring that applicants already be trained and/or registered.  Only those already working in Sanitarian positions within the State will be eligible candidates for such a posting. 
  3. Post the vacancy for multiple levels of experience, filling only one job with the best candidate based on those who apply. This enables an office to hire someone who has no experience to fill a vacancy, if no one who is already trained applies. 

*Information taken from Public Health Sanitation Division Website


What Rules Govern Sanitarian Registration In West Virginia?

Pursuant to West Virginia State Code, Chapter 30, Article 17, the State Board of Sanitarians began registering Sanitarians in West Virginia on July 1, 1992. The Board is made up of seven members, four currently employed as a Registered Sanitarian, one currently employed as a Sanitarian, and two citizen members not employed as a Sanitarian. Each of these members is appointed by the Governor and serves a five year term. Each year the members select from among themselves a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. 

*Information taken from West Virginia State Board of Sanitarians Website