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Job Description of a Code Enforcement Officer

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a code enforcement officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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While many employers require code enforcement officers to have previous working experience or a degree in building inspection, construction technology, or architecture, some positions may only require candidates to have a high school diploma. Certification in this field is required in some states, and recommended in others. Staying up-to-date on both state and federal regulations concerning permits, zoning, and land issues is essential for this career.

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Essential Information

Code enforcement officials help protect the safety and health of citizens by ensuring that the buildings and land in a municipality are in accordance with housing and zoning ordinances. They can also investigate the abandonment of vehicles, as these also fall under the category of maintaining the quality of the municipality. Although technically speaking, code enforcement officers may find employment with no more than a high school diploma, the majority of such professionals hold a degree in a related field. Certification is mandatory in some states and voluntary in others; such credentials may be earned by passing an examination.

Required Education High school diploma or GED; many enforcement officers hold degrees in architecture, construction technology or building inspection
Other Requirements Certification required in some states; achieved by passing a state or association examination
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for construction and building inspectors*
Median Salary (2015) $57,340 for construction and building inspectors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties

In addition to inspection and investigation of properties and buildings, code enforcement officers determine the nature of environmental or health hazards, nuisance violations and unsafe building conditions. When this has been determined, code enforcement officers issue permits or citations in accordance with the regulations of the municipality. In addition, code enforcement officers must understand and comply with state and federal regulations on land usage, zoning, business permits and building access.

Requirements

According to the BLS, building and construction inspectors, including code enforcement officers, are required to have a high school diploma; however, many employers also require a degree or experience in related fields, such as architecture, construction technology or building inspection (www.bls.gov). Although not all municipalities require it, many code enforcement officers pursue certification within their state. In order to obtain certification, officers must pass a state or association examination. Some states also require training credits in addition to the examination. Finally, code enforcement officers are responsible for recertifying to maintain their status as certified code enforcement officers.

Salary and Career Information

The salary of code enforcement officers often varies by municipality; however, the BLS reported that a median annual salary for construction and building inspectors was $57,340 in May 2015. In the same year, the BLS listed the median hourly wage for the same occupation at $27.57. The agency also reported that jobs for construction and building inspectors were expected to increase 8% from 2014-2024.

A code enforcement officer investigates property to ensure compliance with municipal ordinances. A high school diploma or bachelor's degree and certification may be required, and additional training credits may also be mandatory. Job opportunities in this field are expected to increase at an average rate through the 2014-2024 decade.

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