How To Become A Building Inspector

Requirements for becoming a building inspector vary by state and local jurisdiction. Employers usually require at least a high school diploma for this position. In addition to this, candidates must have some work experience. Those with a bachelor's degree could enter this occupation without acquiring work experience. A degree in engineering or architecture is highly valued. Students may also enroll in an associate's degree or certificate program; where they could take the following courses:

  • Building Inspection
  • Construction Technology
  • Algebra
  • Home Inspection
  • Drafting
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Geometry

Most states require building inspectors to be licensed or certified. Licensing programs are offered at some states; others accept certification issued by agencies such as:

  • International Code Council
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • International Association of Electrical Inspectors

Obtaining a certification or license generally involves getting at least the minimum level of education and a specified number of years of work experience. Candidates meeting these criteria could take and pass a state-approved exam to obtain the license or certification.

Work Duties
Their main responsibility is to ensure that the buildings' general structural quality is safe and that it is built correctly from start to finish as defined by the building codes. To ensure this, they have to verify a building's structural, plumbing, wiring, heating, ventilation, and fire prevention systems. They are involved in inspecting and monitoring construction sites to ensure that they are in compliance with the relevant laws. They have the authority to issue violation notices if they observe any violations. Other responsibilities include verifying elevation, level, and alignment by using survey instruments, tape measures, metering devices, and test equipment. They are also responsible for reviewing and approving plans that are in accordance with the building codes, zoning regulations, and local ordinances; and ensuring that environmental regulations are not being violated at any stage of the construction process.

Employment Outlook
As cited by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of building inspectors is projected to grow at rate of 18%, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Industries offering engineering, architectural, and related services will experience highest growth in the employment of these professionals. With growing awareness of man-made and natural disasters and the environmental concerns fuelling the demand for green and sustainable designs, it may be expected that building inspectors will face good job prospects in the coming years.

What to Expect in Online Education
Widely renowned for offering convenient and flexible schedules, online degree programs offer an excellent educational experience. As long as you enroll in an accredited program, your degree will be recognized and valued by future employers. The programs offered for building inspectors require students to gain the right combination of technical skills and theoretical knowledge. Students are able to undertake hybrid degree programs in which they could complete the theoretical components online and acquire hands-on training and experience in classroom instruction and field inspections. These degree programs will equip them with advanced knowledge of building inspection.


Q:How long does it take to become a building inspector?

A:It can take you 2-3 years to become a building inspector. Usually, an associate degree is the minimum college education required for this field. Individuals must also acquire training regarding building structures, codes, inspection techniques, contracts and record keeping, and building laws. The licensing requirements for building inspector careers will vary from state to state.

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