Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.



Occ. Code 4412200


PUBLIC HEALTH SANITARIAN, GRADE 14                                      4412200

SENIOR SANITARIAN, GRADE 18                                                    4410300

PRINCIPAL SANITARIAN, GRADE 23                                               4410500

CHIEF SANITARIAN, GRADE 27                                                       4410700


New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard







          Positions in this title series enforce the provisions of Public Health Law (PHL); New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR); and other State and federal laws, rules, and regulations relating to community environmental health, sanitation, safety, and healthcare facilities. Incumbents conduct on-site inspections and surveys to evaluate environmental health conditions and/or regulatory and code compliance to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of individuals and the public; and to provide technical assistance to local health departments (LHU), healthcare facilities, and other organizations.


Sanitarians are primarily classified in regional and Central Office settings within the Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of Public Health (OPH), and Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management (OPCHSM).




          PUBLIC HEALTH SANITARIAN: entry level; under the supervision of a higher level Sanitarian, performs routine environmental inspection and survey functions.


          SENIOR SANITARIAN: full performance level; independently performs inspection and/or survey duties requiring in-depth knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations; and may supervise Public Health Sanitarians, Sanitarian Trainees, and other staff.


PRINCIPAL SANITARIAN: supervisory level; supervises Senior Sanitarians and other professional staff; and plans, directs, and reviews work.


CHIEF SANITARIAN: section head; classified in the Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection; directs community environmental health, sanitation, and safety programs; develops, implements, and evaluates programs policies, procedures, and priorities; and supervises Principal Sanitarians, and other professional and clerical staff.






Performs functions to support environmental health, sanitarian, and safety programs.


-        Under close supervision of a Senior Sanitarian, conducts on-site inspections of facilities and sites to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public, and compliance with regulations and standards; and records observations. Examples of facilities and sites include food service establishments, hotels, campgrounds, schools, parks, residences, hazardous waste sites, and beaches.


-        Evaluates observations and drafts finding reports to cite deficiencies, recommend correction action to program management, and inform facility operators of deficiencies and corrective action.


-        Conducts follow-up visits to ensure that deficiencies are resolved.


-        Reviews permit applications for compliance with environmental health requirements, and recommends issuance of permits.


-        Trains facility operators and LHU staff on environmental health, sanitation, and safety issues.


-        Presents findings at enforcement proceedings.


-        Conducts environmental sampling; collects food, water, and environmental samples for laboratory testing; and interprets laboratory reports.


-        Investigates and responds to complaints and public health emergencies at assigned facilities and sites, including illnesses, lead poisoning, asbestos, hazardous waste, drownings, fires, floods, power failures, and unsanitary conditions.  


-        Performs regulatory and surveillance functions as a member of a survey team.


-        Reviews facility information and survey history, and participates in pre-survey meetings; utilizes information from meetings to plan and implement on-site surveillance strategies.


-        Under close supervision, conducts environmental and safety surveys of healthcare facilities to ensure compliance with regulations, including Life Safety Code, environmental health standards, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements. Examples of facilities include hospitals; long term care, intermediate care, and assisted living facilities; ambulatory care centers; and clinics.


-        Evaluates observations and drafts reports of deficiencies; discusses issues with facilities; and conducts follow-up visits to ensure deficiencies are resolved.


-        Makes recommendations on enforcement actions against healthcare providers, and presents survey findings at enforcement proceedings.


-        Reviews Certificate of Need applications and facility documents for compliance with environmental health regulations and standards; recommends approval or disapproval to supervisor.

-        Trains healthcare facility staff on environmental health and safety regulations and requirements. 




Independently performs the full scope of inspection and survey functions noted for Public Health Sanitarian.


Reviews non-engineering components of facility and site plans, to determine their compliance with environmental regulations, standards, and patient safety and care standards, and to advise on required approvals; obtains assistance from DOH engineering, architectural, and management staff for approvals.


Reviews environmental health data submitted by LHUs to ensure that departments meet electronic reporting requirements, and confirms results with LHU environmental health directors.   


May supervise and train Public Health Sanitarians, and Sanitarian Trainees.




Performs the duties of a Senior Sanitarian.


Supervises a team of Senior Sanitarians, Public Health Sanitarians, and other professional staff in the performance of on-site inspections or surveys, and the provision of technical assistance to facility operators, LHUs, and other organizations.

Personally conducts site visits for issues that require special attention.


Follows up on uncorrected deficiencies reported by staff, and ensures deficiencies are resolved.


Presents inspection and survey findings at enforcement proceedings requiring an extensive knowledge of environmental regulations and standards.


Provides technical consultation and training to LHU staff and other organizations to ensure uniform application of regulations, provides feedback on submitted reports, and evaluates departments’ progress towards achieving performance goals and objectives.


Reviews and proposes revisions to local codes to ensure they are consistent with statewide directives and requirements.


Reviews and provides comment on proposed environmental health regulations, manuals, and policy and guidance documents.


Reviews and processes Certificates of Need applications submitted by subordinate staff.


May function as a regional coordinator for community environmental health, sanitation, and safety programs, by overseeing a program in an assigned geographic region, which includes evaluating program performance, reporting outcomes to management, and supervising Senior Sanitarians and other staff.




Develops, implements, and monitors statewide environmental health, sanitation, and safety programs; and develops program budgets for review by fiscal management staff.


Supervises a Central Office section of Principal Sanitarians and other professional and clerical staff.


Establishes and evaluates program priorities and goals; provides progress reports to Environmental Health Program Managers and management.


Develops statewide procedures for evaluating facility and site compliance with codes, rules, and regulations; develops guides, and policy and procedural documents; and communicates with regional staff to ensure uniform inspection and enforcement practices.


Proposes changes to PHL and State and local codes, rules, and regulations; implements approved changes statewide.


Assesses statewide training needs for LHUs and DOH staff, and develops and implements training materials. 


Represents DOH at meetings and conferences as a program expert; reports outcomes to management.






Open Competitive: bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences.




Promotion: one year as a Public Health Sanitarian.




Promotion: one year as a Senior Sanitarian.




Promotion: one year as a Principal Sanitarian.

Date: 8/2019



NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.