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Florida Building Inspector Certification with Program Overviews

Florida has more than a dozen colleges that offer building inspection-related programs. Learn about the certificate and degree programs, tuition info and program options of the nine largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Students looking to enter the field of building inspection can earn the credentials for certification through college programs related to building construction management. Programs geared towards this field will usually include courses in masonry, carpentry, building codes and architectural design. A certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree can be earned; some programs offer areas of concentration, such as building construction. Practical work is a key aspect of these programs and can prepare graduates for licensing examinations.

Erwin Technical College

The 12-month building construction technology certificate program at this school in Tampa covers topics such as blueprint reading, plumbing, electrical work, masonry and air conditioning maintenance. The daytime program also touches on employability skills, entrepreneurship, computer literacy and leadership.

Hillsborough Community College

Tampa's Hillsborough Community College provides Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees for students looking to gain credentials in the field of building inspection. The 73-credit AA in Construction Management program leads students through a sequence of English, physics and advanced math courses. The 66-credit AS in Architectural Design & Construction Technology program focuses on various aspects of architecture and construction, from drawing and surveying to material testing and blueprint reading.

Immokalee Technical College

Based in Immokalee, this technical school has a certificate program in construction technology. Spanning 1,050 hours across 2.5 semesters, the program consists of three courses: building construction technician one and two, and building construction helper. With a mix of in-shop and on-site projects, students gain proficiency in furniture making, tile setting, tool handling and various other skills that can open doors in the building construction industry.

Miami Dade College

The School of Architecture and Interior Design at this Miami college offers an AS in Building Construction Technology. Comprised of 64 units, the program includes classes in architecture drawing, digital drafting, construction surveying, environmental technology and a two-part course titled Building Construction Plans Interpretation. Dade also offers a 66-unit AS in Architectural Design & Construction Technology program that includes classes in building code regulations and architectural materials.

Pinellas Technical Education Center-St Petersburg

Pinellas Technical Education Center (PTEC) in St. Petersburg, offers a certificate program in building construction technologies. The program consists of one course that covers the basics of construction and a two-part course in technician's work - all for a combined total of 1,050 clock hours. PTEC has an articulation agreement with schools offering building construction associate's programs around the state.

Seminole State College of Florida

Situated in Sanford, the Seminole State College of Florida offers a range of building-related degrees in its construction, engineering & design division. The AA in Construction Engineering program places a greater emphasis on calculus and geometry, while the BS in Architectural Engineering Technology program includes classes such as electricity, building specifications, building structures, legal boundaries and construction surveying, all of which are useful topics to prospective building inspectors.

State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota

An associate's degree program in construction management technology is available at this school in Bradenton. At the program's core are 27 units covering topics like building codes, project management, industrial safety and topographic drafting. In order to complete the program, students must also take 22 units of related electives and 18 units of general education courses, including topics like written communication and accounting.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida in Pensacola has a BS in Engineering Technology with a specialization in building construction. Comprised of 120 semester hours, the program includes courses in building codes, structures, construction estimating and project management. Five of the program's core building construction courses can also be taken as a minor with other degrees.

Valencia College

Orlando's Valencia College offers a 64-unit Associate in Science in Building Construction Technology program. The curriculum begins with topics like engineering/architectural drawing and advances to subject like contracts, codes and construction planning. Students looking for faster credentials can opt instead for the Building Construction Specialist Certificate.

Career Requirements

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Building Code Administrators and Inspections Board issues certification for building inspectors. Florida grants three building inspector licenses: standard, limited and provisional. Applicants should be at least 18 years old, have at least five years of experience in the areas of plumbing, mechanical, electrical building or 1- 2-family dwellings.

Candidates who are applying for a standard license via examination must have completed an approved cross-training program and pass the Florida principles and practices examination. Every two years, inspectors must complete 14 hours of continuing education. Below is a list and comparison table of the 10 largest Florida schools that offer programs related to building inspection.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Building Inspector Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Erwin Technical College Two-year, public; large city Certificate in Building Construction Technology $4,558.26 (total program cost, 2016)**
Hillsborough Community College Two-year, public; large city AA in Building Construction,
AS in Architectural Design & Construction Technology
$2,506 (in-state)*
$9,111 (out-of-state)*
Immokalee Technical College Two-year, public; distant town Certificate in Building Construction Technology $3,066 in-state
$12,295.50 out-of-state**
Miami Dade College Four-year, public; large city AS in Building Construction Technology,
AS in Architectural Design & Construction Technology
$2,834 (in-state)
$9,661 (out-of-state)*
Pinellas Technical Education Center-St Petersburg Two-year, public; midsize city Certificate in Building Construction Technologies $3,720 (in-state)*
Seminole State College of Florida Four-year, public; small city College Credit Certificate in Building Construction Technology,
AA in Construction Engineering,
BS in Engineering Technology
$3,131 (in-state)*
$11,456 (out-of-state)*
State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Four-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Construction Management Technology $3,074 (in-state)*
$11,606 (out-of-state)*
The University of West Florida Four-year, public; small city Building Construction Minor,
BS in Engineering Technology - Building Construction Specialization
$6,360 (in-state)*
$19,241 (out-of-state)*
Valencia College Four-year, public; midsize city Certificate in Building Construction Specialist,
Associate in Science in Building Construction Technology
$2,474 (in-state)*
$9,383 (out-of-state)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Schools' websites

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