Brief description of the position:
Construction and building inspectors are responsible for ensuring that new construction and changes or repairs to existing buildings comply with building codes, zoning regulations, and contract specifications. They review and approve building plans that meet these requirements, and they also use survey instruments, metering devices, and other equipment to inspect construction sites and ensure they comply with regulations. Construction and building inspectors are also responsible for monitoring the installation of electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems, and they verify level, elevation, and alignment of structures and fixtures. If a project fails to meet requirements, they can issue violation notices and stop-work orders until the building is compliant. Inspectors make an initial check of the project during the early phases of construction and do follow-up inspections throughout the duration of the project. They perform a final inspection when construction is complete. Two common inspectors are building inspectors and public works inspectors. Building inspectors focus on the structural quality and safety of buildings, and public works inspectors ensure that government bridges, streets, highways, dams and, water and sewer systems comply with contract specifications.
Construction and building inspectors had a median annual wage of $52,360 in May 2010.
Secondary and Postsecondary Education
Employers of construction and building inspectors look for those who have studied engineering or architecture. They also look for candidates with a certificate or associate’s degree, and who have completed courses in building inspection, home inspection, construction technology, and drafting. Students interested in a career as a construction or building inspector should also take classes in algebra, geometry, blueprint reading, shop, and English. Many states and jurisdictions also require construction and building inspectors to acquire some type of license or certification.