Land Use Environmental Health Specialist I

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Quality Control
Posted on May 27, 2023
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Starting salary up to $42.33/hour ($88,347/year), a cash allowance of $600/month, and a competitive total compensation package! Plus, a $15,000 signing bonus^*
Permit Sonoma is recruiting to fill positions at either the I, II, and/or Senior level. If you are interested in applying at the other levels of this opportunity, you must apply to the separate, concurrent recruitments being conducted for those levels. 
Currently available positions include a full-time position, a part-time time-limited position that is funded through June 30, 2024, and extra-help positions. The employment list established from this recruitment may be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list.
Please note that the State of California Department of Public Health oversees the REHS process for this position. Applicants without REHS certification will not be considered qualified for this position.
For additional information regarding how to meet State requirements, including how out-of-state equivalency determinations are made, please visit the California Department of Public Health's website.
Join Our Team

Sonoma County contains numerous soil types and is at the forefront of innovative and experimental septic systems. Currently, across the County, approximately 4,000 permitted, non-standard systems are being monitored. As a Land Use Environmental Health Specialist in Permit Sonoma, you will provide a unique level of expertise in the evaluation and permitting of septic systems and water well construction. You will also work with the public to encourage sound sanitation practices; assess and approve permits for land development, including private sewage systems and water wells; and provide consultation, information, and educational services regarding soils and groundwater concerns. Additionally, Land Use Environmental Health Specialists plan check and conduct inspections of assigned geographic areas. Please visit our website to learn more about the valuable services we provide to the community we serve - our community!
Qualified candidates must be certified by the State of California as a REHS per California Health and Safety Code Sections 106600-106735. Additionally, the ideal candidates will possess:
  • Land-use development training and experience, particularly with wells and/or septic systems
  • A high level of professionalism, and excellent customer service skills
  • Good judgment and the ability to make sound decisions, particularly in compliance situations
  • The ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • A desire to work in a fast-paced environment and the ability to effectively address competing priorities

Due to the nature of the inspection work that the Land Use Environmental Specialists perform, incumbents are required to work indoors, in an office setting, and outdoors. They drive across the County in assigned County vehicles on dirt roads, pavements, and in various weather conditions. As these positions conduct site inspections in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County, incumbents may be exposed to natural hazards such as poison oak, ticks, and other wildlife. If you enjoy a mixture of office and outdoor work and are comfortable working in hiking boots, bring your REHS skills and positive attitude to Permit Sonoma!

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing your contributions work to better our shared community. You can also look forward to flexible work arrangements and excellent benefits* including:

  • A hybrid telework schedule that meets the needs of our staff, department operations, and the communities we serve
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • With time and good performance, the opportunity for advancement to the II level (Salary up to $46.02/hour)
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $850 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment

^Hiring Incentives (Part-time hires, prorated based on FTE)

Permit Sonoma is currently offering a $15,000 signing bonus paid over three installments during the first two years of service. Other incentives which may be offered if applicable include:

  • Advanced paid vacation and/or sick leave (up to 24 hours per leave type)
  • Relocation reimbursement of up to $5,000

Living in Sonoma County

The County of Sonoma is the place to live, grow, and build your career legacy. When you join the County of Sonoma, you'll have the freedom to explore the beauty of our county - its picturesque coastline, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, award-winning wineries, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities. For additional information about the beauty of our community and the valuable services and support that the County provides our communities, please visit and

Extra-Help Employment

Extra-help employees relieve or augment permanent staff. Temporary, extra-help employees are not in the classified civil service and do not have property rights to permanently allocated positions. In addition, they do not receive most employee benefits such as long-term disability insurance coverage; accrual of vacation; participation in the County retirement program; or eligibility to take promotional examinations. Temporary, extra-help employees are limited in their employment to a maximum of one calendar year. These employees must be off of work for three months before they can be re-employed on an extra help basis. Extra-help employees who meet the eligibility requirements may qualify for a County contribution toward medical coverage.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Engineers and Scientists of California Memorandum of Understanding (ESC MOU) and our Employee Benefits directory. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment. The Civil Service title of this position is Environmental Health Specialist I.


Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Any combination of education, training, and experience that would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities stated herein. Normally, this would include graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in environmental health science, biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, or related subjects, as required by state law, and one year of trainee level experience in the field of environmental health and safety regulation and enforcement, OR graduation from an accredited California university program that meets the requirements of the California Health and Safety Code, Section 106635 (V).

License: Possession of a valid certificate of registration as an Environmental Health Specialist as required by the State of California's Health and Safety Code. Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required, depending upon assignment, to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working knowledge of: sanitation science, requirements and procedures and the methods and procedures used in inspecting, investigating and correcting unsanitary conditions; federal, state and local laws and regulations governing environmental health and safety; principles and practices of public health; environmental research and statistical methods; methods of gathering and analyzing data; basic building construction materials and principles relating to environmental health requirements; principles of general chemistry, physics, microbiology and biology.

Ability to: plan, organize and carry out research, analyze, and evaluate data and make recommendations based on findings; detect unsanitary conditions and public health hazards and secure correction through education, voluntary compliance, or legal enforcement; prepare comprehensive reports; communicate verbal and written ideas clearly and logically; establish and maintain effective relationships with staff, other governmental officials and the general public.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.