To work as an asbestos inspector, individuals must complete a separate, federally-approved training program that includes classes in detecting, removal and disposal of asbestos. A 2-year degree program provides an overview of various types of construction inspections, from plumbing to electricity, culminating in a final exam.
Associate Degree in Asbestos Inspection
Offered through vocational schools and community colleges, associate degree programs usually require proficiency in high school math or English. Prior classes or activities centered on health, technology or computers also may be beneficial. In addition to general education classes in science, math, writing and communications, students earning an associate degree in building inspection technology may take coursework that covers:
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing codes
- Fire prevention and suppression
- Blueprint and plan review
- Principles and techniques of field inspection
- Analytical equipment and safety technology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that construction and building inspectors would see average employment growth at approximately 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of 2015, the BLS reported their mean annual wages were $60,030, with the highest mean salaries for lessors of real estate ($78,700), according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification
Under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986, professionals who assess or remove asbestos must be specially trained through a program approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov). Offered through local health departments, occupational colleges or credentialed private companies, training entails classwork and completion of an exam. Inspectors are obligated to complete continuing education annually for recertification. Professional certifications offered through independent credentialing agencies, such as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (www.bcsp.org), can also help building inspectors advance their careers.
An associate's degree in building inspection technology teaches students how to inspect various building systems, including electricity and plumbing. Individuals who want to learn to detect and safely remove asbestos from building structures must receive special training through an EPA-approved program.