The specific names of building inspector certificate or associate programs may vary by school, but the curricula and outcomes of each program are similar. Programs may focus on preparing students to inspect commercial buildings or residential buildings. Students learn construction technology and the various building codes for plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems, and they often receive hands-on inspection training.
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. These programs are typically available at community colleges and trade schools. State certification is sometimes optional, but may help candidates stand out with employers.
Most building inspector certificate programs include classroom instruction in various aspects of construction and building inspection. Some programs include course requirements in communication and business. Course topics may include:
- Construction plans and specifications
- Structural concrete
- Wooden frame construction inspection
- Materials and methods
In some cases, the Associate's Degree in Building Inspection is required to become a commercial plans examiner, in addition to ICC (International Code Council) and State Certification, and takes the place of any absence of construction experience. Some courses in the Associate's in Building Inspection are as follows:
- Advanced building inspection
- Electrical inspection
- Plumbing Inspection
- ADA Building Requirements
- Mechanical Code
- Energy Regulations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment for construction and building inspectors was expected to increase 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Increasing worry for public safety and construction specifications may affect the demand for qualified building inspectors. The BLS reported that those who have work experience in the construction field as well as training or certification as an inspector may have the best odds in landing a building inspector job. In May 2015, the BLS reported the annual median salary for building inspectors as $57,340.
Aspiring building inspectors can seek out certificate or associate programs in the field that delve into aspects building codes, construction planning, and other elements of structural inspection. The outlook for this profession is expected to be fairly healthy over the next decade.