Online Building Inspector Schools: How to Choose

Building inspectors check that buildings are constructed safely and according to appropriate local, state and national building codes. Online education programs for building inspectors are available at the certificate and associate degree levels.

How to Choose an Online School for Building Inspectors

A variety of online building inspection programs are available through various schools around the country; the most common programs are a home inspector certificate and building inspection technology associate degree.

List of Considerations

  • Curriculum and career plan
  • Program format
  • On-campus components

Curriculum and Career Plan

Students may want to consider their desired career when selecting an online building inspector education program. The curriculum of a home inspector certificate program is typically centered on the inspection needs of residential buildings, while building inspection technology programs include instruction on a wider variety of inspection jobs, such as commercial or industrial buildings.

Program Format

Not all online building inspection programs have the same format. Some programs are very flexible, with a single due date at the end of the class by which all material must be submitted. Others have no due date at all and allow students to work at their own pace. Still other program formats have a traditional class schedule, with strict assignment due dates and online attendance requirements for lectures or class discussions; oftentimes, these programs can be completed more quickly than a flexible program.

On-campus Components

Some online associate degree programs in building inspection require field trips or on-campus attendance for hands-on training or testing.

Online Program Options for Building Inspectors

Online Home Inspector Certificate

A home inspector certificate program is often intended as an entry-level or preparatory program for those who wish to begin a career as building inspectors for residential settings. Students in this fully online program often complete and submit assignments over the Internet and communicate with their professor via e-mail and online chat rooms. Common course topics include:

  • Soils and foundations
  • Building codes
  • Inspection planning
  • Building code administration

Online Associate of Applied Science in Building Inspection Technology

Associate's degree programs in building inspection technology are often offered as hybrid programs that include some courses offered online form and others that require students to attend campus or complete field work experience. This program includes extra coursework that prepare students to work with commercial and industrial buildings, as well as residential homes. Some courses common to this degree program include:

  • Plumbing codes
  • Electrical codes
  • Energy conservation
  • Fire suppression
  • Plumbing and field inspection

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