Building Inspection Degree Program Options

Learn about associate's degree programs in building inspection. Find out about the employment outlook and salary information in the building inspection field.

Essential Information

Building inspectors ensure that buildings are structurally sound, comply with applicable codes and are safe for occupancy. The most commonly available building inspection degree program is at the associate's degree level. Associate's degrees in building inspection provide career-oriented, technical education in the field, in addition to general education courses. Some building inspection programs include internships or work experiences, in which students gain hands-on training with a local city or regional building department. These programs prepare students for work with municipal governments, architectural firms, private companies and real estate purchasers.

Educational Prerequisites

Most building inspection associate degree programs require applicants to possess high school diplomas or the equivalent. Additionally, prior experience in relevant subject areas, including construction and mechanical operations, is helpful, though not generally required. Submission of ACTs and SATs are rarely required, but some programs require applicants to submit scores from other standardized tests such as the COMPASS exam.

Program Coursework

Courses taken in building inspection associate degree programs are highly consistent from program to program and include training in construction and engineering. Courses may include the following:

  • Introduction to building inspection techniques
  • Building codes
  • Mechanical codes
  • Plumbing codes
  • Electrical codes
  • Fundamentals of heating, ventilation & air conditioning
  • Construction blueprint reading

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment among construction and building inspectors is anticipated to grow 18% between 2010 and 2020; as of 2012, building and construction inspectors held 89,280 jobs. Issues affecting the expected growth include an increased concern regarding natural and man-made disasters, new technology in the building inspection field and the movement towards sustainable and green design. Home inspectors who hold certification or have plenty of experience should be in demand. The median annual salary for construction and building inspectors was $53,450 as of May 2012, per BLS data.

Continuing Education Information

Though it is not required that building inspectors be certified, many employers prefer applicants with certification. The International Code Council and similar organizations certify building inspectors in multiple areas, such as residential buildings and code compliance. To become certified, it is necessary to pass examinations and possess significant work experience; specific education, such as a degree, is not required for certification.

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