Courses for building inspectors may be part of an academic program leading to a building or home inspection certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Building Technology or Home Inspection. Other courses may lead to certification or prepare students for licensure, either of which are required for inspectors in many states and jurisdictions. Online building inspector courses can also enhance the skills of those who work in related areas, such as architects, engineers, planners, building officials and appraisers.
Online Building Inspector Courses
Some of the most commonly offered online courses for building inspectors are detailed in the course descriptions below.
- Building Inspection Overview Course: This course typically provides an overview of the inspection of electrical, plumbing, insulation and ventilation, heating, cooling and hot water supply systems in residential and commercial buildings. Students discuss standards and the identification of defects in interior and external elements like windows, doors, steps, roofs, chimneys and fireplaces, walls, ceilings and floors.
- Field Inspection Course: Field inspection methods for evaluating structural components and mechanical systems for adherence to building code requirements are the focus of this course. This includes familiarity with a detailed list of requirements, exceptions to these requirements and how to specifically verify adherence in the field. Field inspection categories covered include structural and roofing faults, disability access, pest control measures, repairs and maintenance, building plans and conformance to granted building permits.
- State and National Building Codes Course: Building codes at both the state and national levels are generally the focus of this course. Topics include occupancy and use classifications, height and area limitations, egress and accessibility, construction types and fire protection systems. Students gain a solid understanding of codes and their administration, along with the legislation behind them.
- Electrical Inspection Course: This course typically discusses the general concerns and guidelines of electrical inspection. Students discuss basic electricity and the inspection of specific elements, like the electrical service entrance, main panel, branch circuit wiring, fixtures, switches and outlets. The National Electric Code is discussed in detail as students learn how it serves to ensure the functionality and safety of a building's electrical system.
- Building Accessibility Course: The American Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) is usually the focus of this course. ADAAG construction and alteration design requirements for facilities in order to prevent discrimination based on disability and accommodate people of varying degrees of ableness are covered in detail. Topics for discussion include accessible routes, general building elements, space allowances and reachable ranges, ramps, lifts, restroom requirements, signage and handrails.
- Structural Provisions Course: This course introduces International Building Code (IBC) structural provisions. This aids in being able to apply necessary codes in the career field. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify structural design resources, apply key code provisions and understand IBC structural provisions.