These programs combine coursework in electrical codes and safety procedures with hands-on training working in the field. Each of these educational avenues should prepare graduates to earn electrical inspector certification. The International Association of Electrical Inspectors and the International Code Council both also offer certification programs.
All electrical technology programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent, and a strong affinity for math is considered helpful. Programs at the bachelor's level usually require ACT or SAT scores.
Individuals interested in becoming electrical inspectors can enroll in an apprenticeship program to gain knowledge of electrical codes and regulations. Additionally, apprentices gather work experience, which is often a prerequisite for electrical inspector certification. Electrician apprenticeships are often offered through trade schools in collaboration with industry organizations, and students are trained by professional electricians.
Apprentices learn through lectures and lab work. Topics of study include:
- Mathematics for electrical workers
- Safety procedures
- Electrical code regulations
- Understanding building plans
Associate's Degree in Electrical Technology
Future electrical inspectors may find an associate's degree in electrical technology helpful. Students learn principles of electricity and learn how to apply them in practical settings. They also develop analytical and problem-solving skills.
Besides learning about electrical diagnosis, maintenance and repair issues, students participate in general education studies. Electrical classes often include:
- Electrical currents
- Troubleshooting and systems analysis
- Analog systems
- Digital electronic devices
- Circuits and diagram deciphering
Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering
The 4-year electrical engineering program is math- and science-intensive. Besides gaining a foundation in electrical design and repair, students learn techniques for computer applications and programming. The introduction of group projects build teamwork skills. Undergraduate students also develop critical-thinking and communication abilities.
Students are typically required to complete capstone projects. Core classes often include:
- Electromechanical devices
- Electrical systems and signals
Popular Career Options
In addition to working as electrical inspectors, graduates of associate's degree programs may be able to find work as:
- Maintenance technicians
- Field and residential electricians
- Technical writers
- Electronics repair technicians
- Construction electricians
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in electrical engineering have the education needed to become certified electrical inspectors. Additionally, they can often find work as:
- Electrical technicians
- System designers
- Electrical engineering technologists
- Field sales representatives
- Electrical maintenance managers
Professional Certification Program Information and Continuing Education
In addition to education, some states may require inspectors to have licensure or certification in order to practice. Not all states have the same mandates, but to be certified, electrical inspector applicants must usually:
- Have completed apprenticeships, associate's or bachelor's degrees in electrical technology
- Have liability insurance
- Have electrical or electrical inspector work experience (hours will vary by certification level)
- Pass an electrical inspector exam
Certification programs are offered by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and by the International Code Council. Electrical inspector certifications are available for both residential and general inspections.
Employment Prospects and Salary Information
From 2014 to 2024, construction and building inspectors, including electrical inspectors, were expected to experience an 8% rise in employment, noted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In general, construction and building inspectors earned a median wage of $57,340 annually in 2015, according to the BLS. In the same year, electricians, many of whom are also electrical inspectors, earned a median wage of $51,880 annually, as reported by the BLS.
Electrical technology training at the apprenticeship and degree level provides students with the knowledge they need to pass professional certification exams and become certified electricians. Graduates who pass these exams can become electrical inspectors, electricians, and repair technicians.