Mechanical inspectors are responsible for ensuring the proper installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as other residential or commercial equipment and appliances. Coursework is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions and help them meet education requirements for licensure as building or mechanical inspectors. A high school diploma or its equivalent usually meets admissions requirements. These programs are available at the associate's and bachelor's levels. Some may require completion of an internship, cooperative experience or a special project.
Certificate in Building Inspection Technology
Building inspection technology certificate programs typically include around 30 credit hours of coursework. These programs provide students with an overview of the international building code, as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing regulations, through a combination of courses and hands-on work experiences or field trips to construction sites. Programs can include electives that allow students to focus on an area of interest. Common core courses include:
- Non-structural plan review
- Mechanical inspection
- Construction materials
- Electrical inspection
- Code administration
Associate of Applied Science in Building Inspection Technology
Associate degree programs in building inspection technology can usually be completed in two years. They include the same introductory courses on international building codes and blueprint reading as certificate programs. Curricula also typically includes general education courses and additional elective requirements that allow students to get further instruction in building technology or a related field of study. After core coursework consisting of electrical, mechanical and plumbing is complete students may study the following topics:
- Structural systems
- Materials strength
- ADA compliance
- Principles of supervision
- Business management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of building inspection technology programs can find entry-level employment as building inspectors, a field which includes mechanical inspectors. Potential employers include:
- Architectural firms
- Government agencies
- Real estate developers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction and building inspectors could see an 8% employment growth between 2014 and 2024. Job prospects for specialized inspectors, such as mechanical inspectors, should be best with agencies responsible for overseeing large jurisdictions. As of 2015, construction and building inspectors earned a median salary of $57,340.
Continuing Education and Licensing Information
Graduates of building inspection technology associate degree programs can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management to advance their careers. A four-year degree in construction technology might also be of interest to students who want to broaden their career opportunities.
Many states require building inspectors, including mechanical inspectors, to become licensed or registered. This process varies by state but could require applicants to earn passing scores on a state-issued exam, meet work experience requirements or maintain licensure as a contractor or journeyman. Other states require applicants to earn passing scores on industry certification exams, such as those issued by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. To sit for these exams, applicants generally need inspections experience.
Programs in mechanical inspection prepare students for licensure as building and mechanical inspectors. Following their certification, enrollees can expect to find work with real estate developers, architectural firms and contractors.