How to Become a Building Inspector

Building Inspectors are experienced professionals who confirm that the construction of homes, residences, living facilities or other structures have been built according to government code and regulations.

These professionals follow local or federal codes mandated by the government to ensure that the quality of a building is safe for residential or public use.

To ensure the quality of a construction, Building Inspectors will also use zoning regulations, contract specifications and national or local ordinances.

Individuals who want to become a Building Inspector will already have an interest in construction as well understand the importance of safety codes and have the capacity to identify construction areas not up to code.

Education Requirements to Become a Building Inspector

Individuals who want to become a Building Inspector need a minimum of a high school degree in order to enter this profession.

Many individuals learn this craft on the job and gain experience to work as a Building Inspector.

In addition, some states or local governments require individuals to acquire a license or certification in order to become a Building Inspector.

Many employers seek individuals that have a minimum of a high school degree in order to work in this profession.

These professionals have several years of experience under their belt within the same industry.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Building Inspector also have the option of attending an accredited bachelor’s program to enter this profession.

A recent trend of employers seeking individuals with a bachelor’s degree or a community college degree has recently begun.

Associate’s degrees can focus on building inspection technology while some bachelor’s programs that can be useful include Architecture or Engineering.

A typical program may include the following courses:

  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building inspection and building inspection technology
  • Construction technology
  • Home inspection
  • Drafting
  • Blueprint reading
  • Algebra
  • Geometry

Whatever the choice of study or experience level an individual chooses, seeking a licensure or certification in the field may also be required.

Certification or licensure will depend on the state an individual works in.

Individuals will need to contact their local state office to determine whether certification is needed and if so, how to secure certification or licensure.

Individuals taking a certification or licensure exam will need to assure they meet minimum qualifications.

Qualifications needed to take a licensing exam will include: a minimum amount of schooling, for example, a high school diploma; having a number of years of experience in the profession; and testing and passing a state level exam.

Building Inspector Job Description

Building Inspectors may work for a private or government agency; in addition, approximately 11 percent of construction and building inspectors are self-employed.

Many inspectors work a full time shift during the week and regular business hours.

There might be some extended hours during peak construction times to keep up with demand.

Individuals will earn extra income for working overtime hours.

A Building Inspector is primarily responsible for assuring the construction of a building was completed to meet local and national building codes.

Building Inspectors may observe and take notes of every nook and cranny of a building including: the plumbing, electrical circuits are working properly.

The foundation is up to code and built correctly; take photographs of any observations or areas that need repair.

Inspect sewer and water lines, check for any fire hazards and provide a written statement of their observations and feedback.

Building Inspector Salary and Career Path

According to figures from 2012, individuals who are in the Construction or Building Inspection profession can expect to earn an annual median wage of approximately $53,450.

The top 10 percent of workers in this field can earn up to $83,760 per year.

Exact wages will depend on whether an individual is self-employed or works for a private or government agency.

Job projections for construction and building inspectors are expected to grow by 12 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered average growth compared to other professions.

Exact growth will depend on the industry and location.

Some locations are impacted by limiting government budgets while some are impacted by growth.

Building Inspectors are individuals who have a great eye for determining any flaws or construction problems that a building may have.

Building Inspectors can rely on this profession being a long term career as their services are needed in assuring that high quality structures are the only types of buildings being created.

Find a Program