Building Inspector: Summary of Building Inspection Career Education

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a building inspector. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as the details about schooling, job duties and certification options to find out if this is the career for you.

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Estimating a building's safety and verifying proper construction is the responsibility of a building inspector. If a fault is found, the building instructor will flag it for repair until it meets the regulations and standards. Relevant degree programs are offered at some colleges in addition to courses in architecture, construction, and engineering.

Essential Information

Building inspectors can work for municipalities, state governments, federal agencies and private firms, and may work independently as consultants. They ensure that structures, commercial buildings, and homes are built, repaired or renovated in accordance with contractor standards and government regulations.

Required Education High school diploma and considerable on-the-job training are the minimum; some individuals seek an undergraduate degree in building and construction technology or construction management
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% for construction and building inspectors
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $57,340 for construction and building inspectors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Education Requirements

Both companies and governments may require prospective building inspectors to hold at least a high school diploma, regardless of previous work experience. An associate's or bachelor's degree in a subject like building and construction technology or construction management may be required for further career advancement.

Employers may prefer a candidate that holds a bachelor's degree in a field such as construction management to one with a lesser degree. This degree program typically requires that students take courses in subjects such as statistics, economics, engineering and soil science, in addition to learning how to operate construction-related computer software.

Certification Requirements

The requirements for certification may vary by state and the area in which an inspector lives. State governments issuing certification may use independent certification programs or state-designed examinations. Independent organizations could include the National Certification Program for Construction Code Inspectors (NCPCCI) or the International Code Council (ICC). Applicants for certification must typically meet a minimum amount of education and/or work experience relevant to the field of building inspection. The years that a candidate is required to have worked may vary by state and by employer.

If you seek a job as a building inspector, an associate or bachelor's degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering is recommended, and may likely enable more employment along with experience. A certification or license is normally required for most building inspectors.

Career Information

Building inspectors may need to demonstrate a mastery of engineering, construction and regulatory concepts, as well as the ability to find solutions to complex problems. Inspectors may also be required to possess an acute ability to take in and process information in order to recognize violations and hazards. Communication may also be essential in discussing, reporting and evaluating inspection results. Inspectors work in a variety of specialty areas, including plumbing, electrical systems, homes, public works and mechanical systems. A building inspector is a professional that are typically concerned with structural issues, including the concrete or steel foundation of a building.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), building and construction inspectors were expected to see an 8% growth of employment from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for these professionals was $57,340.

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