What does a building inspector do?
Building inspectors inspect buildings, streets and highways, bridges, water and sewer systems, dams, and other structures. They make sure that the construction, modification, and repairs act in accordance with building codes and ordinances, contract specifications, and zoning regulations. They inspect the quality and general safety of structures. Building inspectors examine structures through many different phases of construction and follow up with more inspections throughout the construction process.
Building inspectors are also responsible for fire safety. They examine fire alarms, sprinklers, fire exits, and smoke control systems of structures. They also assess the type of construction, risks posed by adjacent buildings, adequacy of equipment for fire protection, and the contents of the structure.
What kind of training does a building inspector need?
Building inspectors must have a thorough knowledge of building and construction practices and materials. Most employers require applicants to have at least the equivalency of a high school diploma. More and more employers are seeking applicants who have studied architecture or engineering or who have completed at least a 2 year degree from a community college with supporting courses in mathematics, building inspection, construction technology, home inspection, and drafting. The amount of building inspectors with a college degree is constantly increasing. Most building inspectors receive on the job training.
Many states and local jurisdictions require building inspectors to have some type of license or certification. Requirements differ by state but the typical requirements are previous related experience, a high school diploma, and passing an examination approved by the state.
What are the prospects for a career as a building inspector?
Employment of building inspectors is project to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 18% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Growth will be driven by increased concern for public safety and improving construction quality.
Job prospects are expected to be good, especially for building inspectors who have extensive building and construction experience partnered with some college education and additional training. Some job opportunities will arise from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.
How much do building inspectors make?
As of July 2009, the middle 50% of building inspectors earned annual salaries between $41,923 and $57,573. The highest 10% earned annual salaries exceeding $66,540 (2).
A career as a building inspector is an excellent choice for people who are interested in construction and ensuring all the building regulations are met. Building inspectors must be in good physical health to walk and climb on building and construction sites. They must have broad knowledge of building techniques and specialties.