Online Building Inspector Schools: How to Choose

Read about important considerations when selecting an online building inspector school. Program options, career applicability, and common topics offered for the field of study are detailed below.

When previewing online building inspector programs, it is important to consider the program formats and curricula available, as well as your personal career plan. Any on-campus components can influence your decision in online programs, too.

How to Select an Online Building Inspector School

Students considering online building inspector schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Building inspectors check that buildings are constructed safely and according to appropriate local, state, and national building codes. 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. Students will want to compare their career plan with the program format and 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, while some are designed for people currently employed in the field who wish to formalize their their credentials in home inspection. Credits earned in the certificate program may also apply towards the associate's level degree. Common course topics include:

  • Building inspection
  • Fire protection

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 may also include general education coursework. Some courses common to this degree program include:

  • Plumbing inspection
  • Mechanics statistics
  • Fire prevention
  • Material strength detection

Schools with Online Programs in Building Inspection

St. Louis Community College provides hybrid certificate and associate's degree programs in building inspection and code enforcement. While the building inspection courses are generally to be taken on-campus, most or all general education requirements can be completed online. Additionally, evening classes are available to help students complete their degree at times convenient for them. Those who complete a certificate first can use credits earned to apply towards an associate's degree.

Penn Foster Career School's home inspection career diploma is a fully online program that can be completed in as little as three months. In addition to lecture courses, an optional guided tour through a home in order to put skills learned into practice with a professional is also available for those interested. This tour and the diploma program itself will also count towards the National Association of Home Inspectors CEU credits. While state licensure requirements vary quite wildly between different locations, this program will offer a solid foundation for earning a license and may meet those requirements depending on where you live.

Online building inspection programs can be found at many schools throughout the country. When selecting where you wish to attend, make sure to consider the available programs, their delivery format, any on-campus requirements from them, and your career goals.

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