What's a Registered Sanitarian (RS)???
NEHA Exam Information (please coordinate any exam taking with the MT Bd of Sanitarians Office)
Registered Sanitarians (RS) work in the field of Public Health with an emphasis on environmental conditions. In some states, Registered Sanitarians are called "Registered Environmental Health Specialists or REHS". In Montana, most Registered Sanitarians are employed by local health departments under the auspices of a Health Board and a Health Officer. Sanitarians may also be employed by state agencies such as the MT Department of Health & Human Services, MT Dept of Environmental Quality and the MT Dept of Agriculture. There are also a growing number of sanitarians who are self-employed and work as consultants to the public, business and government. In general, all public health professionals work to protect and improve the health of the public.
To become a licensed RS in Montana, you must have a BS degree in Environmental Health or an equivalent degree including specific course requirements, and you must pass a national exam (provided by NEHA) with a 68% or better score. For more information, please contact the Montana Board of Sanitarians.
To maintain your RS in Montana, you must renew your license each year, and also you are responsible for obtaining 15 contact hours of continuing education credit every 2 years.
In the state of Montana, the responsibilities of an RS can include:
Licensed Food Establishment Programs - Facilities such as restaurants, convenience stores, bakeries, meat markets, deli shops, grocery stores and other businesses where food is provided to the public or manufactured to be sold to the public are regularly inspected as part of a program to monitor food safety procedures and compliance with current food safety regulations. This program may include education of food handlers, facility plan reviews, work with compliance plans, enforcement actions and other work.
Licensed Public Accommodations Programs - Facilities such as hotels, motels, trailer courts, campgrounds, RV Parks, work camps, bed & breakfasts are routinely inspected for compliance with public accommodation regulations. This program also may include pool and spa inspections, facility plan reviews, work with compliance plans, enforcement actions and other work.
Other Inspection Work - May include inspections of daycare facilities, temporary events, farmer's markets, school food programs, hospital & nursing home food programs, tattoo facilities, etc.
Communicable Disease Prevention Program - Investigate possible food, waterborne and zoonotic illness incidents and provide guidance with response measures to control the incident. Education is provided to help keep such incidents from reoccurring. Work in this program often involves a lot of networking with other agencies and other public health professionals.
Air Quality Programs - May involve monitoring of particulates and other constituents known to be air pollutants. May involve working with local ordinances and regulations regarding wood burning stoves and other emissions. May include working with compliance plans and other enforcement action work. May include Indoor Air Quality work related to radon testing, mitigation and working with new home construction contractors. Additional work with public education on radon, molds, mildew, carbon monoxide etc.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Programs - Provides review, permitting and installation inspection of onsite wastewater systems in accordance with minimum state standards and local regulations. May include review of environmental assessments (site evaluations) of property. May include education of installers, site evaluators and the public on wastewater treatment topics including proper system operation, maintenance and trouble shooting of problems.
Onsite Drinking Water Programs - Provides sanitary inspections of onsite public water supplies, education and advice ot the public regarding individual water supply well systems. May include lab related water testing and test interpretations.
Sanitation in Subdivisions Programs - Provides review of environmental assessments (site evaluations) or property proposed to be subdivided. Also includes review of proposed drinking water supply systems, onsite wastewater treatment systems, stormwater drainage provisions and solid waste provisions. Work in this program often involves a lot of networking with state agencies.
Motor Vehicle Recycling Programs - Involves attempted notification of abandoned vehicle owners, arrangements with local businesses to collect abandoned vehicles, monitoring of storage yard conditions and networking with state agencies for collection of stored vehicles of recycling purposes.
Environmental Health Complaints Program - Involves investigation and possible enforcement of complaints related to any of the programs noted above, and other general issues and complaints related to public and environmental health.