Health Protection Officer careers

Health Protection Officers help protect our whānau and communities against environmental hazards and diseases, to prevent people becoming sick.

They operate at the forefront of public health, working in partnership with doctors, nurses and other health and emergency services.

The role involves a mix of fieldwork, health and scientific analysis, and community and whānau engagement. 

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Typical day-to-day activities

A typical day for a Health Protection Officer could involve:

  • Supporting an early learning service to stop the spread of an infectious disease amongst their tamariki
  • Investigating reports of environmental-related illness and carrying out testing to understand the causes
  • Working on the ground during emergencies to assess health hazards
  • Providing advice to communities to help them stay safe
  • Responding to concerns raised by members of the public
  • Carrying out compliance checks



How to become a Health Protection Officer

A career as a Health Protection Officer tends to suit people who have a passion for science and health, but also like getting out in the community and dealing with people.

To enter this career you’ll need to have one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health) from Massey University
  • Bachelor of Science (Environmental Sciences) or (Food Safety) or (Health Protection) from Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
  • Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health from Massey University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health from Massey University.

After your degree you’ll start out as a Technical Officer, and then earn and learn on the job to become a designated Health Protection Officer.

Useful subjects to study at school or college include biology, chemistry, health education, maths and physics.

More information on career pathways is available from  .


What you get out of it

  • On the job training and opportunities to develop your technical skills
  • A career pathway for life
  • The chance to support and protect your community
For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116