Construction & Building Inspectors
Make sure your constructive career ideas are inspected!
Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets local and national building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications. People want to live and work in safe places, and construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets codified requirements. Construction and building inspectors examine buildings, highways and streets, sewer and water systems, dams, bridges, and other structures. They also inspect electrical; heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR); and plumbing systems. Although no two inspections are alike, inspectors perform an initial check during the first phase of construction and follow-up inspections throughout the construction project. When the project is finished, they perform a final, comprehensive inspection and provide written and oral feedback related to their findings.
Construction and building inspectors typically do the following:
- Review plans to ensure they meet building codes, local ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications
- Approve building plans that are satisfactory
- Monitor construction sites periodically to ensure overall compliance
- Use survey instruments, metering devices, and test equipment to perform inspections
- Inspect plumbing, electrical, and other systems to ensure that they meet code
- Verify alignment, level, and elevation of structures to ensure building meets specifications
- Issue violation notices and stop-work orders until building is compliant
- Keep daily logs, including photographs taken during inspections
- Provide written documentation of findings
Nearly 3000 Construction and Building inspector jobs are expected in the Gulf Coast Region by the year 2026.
Making an average of $29.89 an hour in 2016, Construction and Building inspectors are well-paid positions without postsecondary degrees, that the Gulf Coast Region will need almost 350 more of per year.
How do you become a Construction and Building Inspector?
How to Become a Construction or Building Inspector
Inspectors often have a combination of certifications and previous experience in various construction and maintenance trades.
Most employers require construction and building inspectors to have at least a high school diploma and work experience in construction trades. Inspectors also typically learn on the job. Many states and local jurisdictions require some type of license or certification.
Most employers require inspectors to have at least a high school diploma, even for workers who have considerable related work experience. Some employers may seek candidates who have studied engineering or architecture or who have a certificate or an associate's degree that includes courses in building inspection, home inspection, construction technology, and drafting. Many community colleges offer programs in building inspection technology. Courses in blueprint reading, vocational subjects, algebra, geometry, and writing are also useful. Courses in business management are helpful for those who plan to run their own inspection business.
Training requirements vary by state, locality, and type of inspector. In general, construction and building inspectors receive much of their training on the job, although they must learn building codes and standards on their own. Working with an experienced inspector, they learn about inspection techniques; codes, ordinances, and regulations; contract specifications; and recordkeeping and reporting duties. Training also may include supervised onsite inspections.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Because inspectors must possess the right mix of technical knowledge, work experience, and education, employers prefer applicants who have both training and experience in a construction trade. For example, many inspectors have experience working as carpenters, electricians, or plumbers. Many home inspectors obtain experience in multiple specialties so that they enter the occupation with a combination of certifications and previous experience in various construction trades.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states and local jurisdictions require construction and building inspectors to have a license or certification. Some states have individual licensing programs for construction and building inspectors. Others may require certification by associations such as the International Code Council, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, and the National Fire Protection Association. Similarly, most states require home inspectors to follow defined trade practices or obtain a state-issued license or certification. Currently, more than a half of states have policies regulating the conduct of home inspectors. Home inspector license or certification requirements vary by state but may require that inspectors do the following:
- Achieve a specified level of education
- Possess experience with inspections
- Maintain liability insurance
- Pass an exam
Exams are often based on the American Society of Home Inspectors certification exams. Most inspectors must renew their license periodically and take continuing education courses.
Inspectors must have a valid driver's license to travel to inspection sites.
What does being an HVAC Mechanic cover?
Communication skills. Inspectors must explain problems they find in order to help people understand what is needed to fix the problems. In addition, they need to provide a written report of their findings.
Craft experience. Inspectors perform checks and inspections throughout the construction project. Experience in a related construction occupation provides inspectors with the necessary background to become certified.
Detail oriented. Inspectors thoroughly examine many different construction activities. Therefore, they must pay close attention to detail so as to not overlook any items that need to be checked.
Mechanical knowledge. Inspectors use a variety of testing equipment as they check complex systems. In order to perform tests properly, they also must have detailed knowledge of how the systems operate.
Physical stamina. Inspectors are constantly on their feet and often climb and crawl through attics and other tight spaces. As a result, they should be somewhat physically fit.
Gulf Coast Region Construction and Building Inspector Programs
Community Colleges Offering Training Depending on Demand
- Brazosport College
- College of the Mainland
- Houston Community College System
- Lee College
- Lone Star College
- San Jacinto College
- Wharton County Junior College
If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.|