Building Inspector Job Description

Salary: $40,600 – $66,100 Number of Jobs: 106,370
Hourly Rate: $19.55 – $31.76 Employment Outlook: Normal
Green Job: Yes Education: Work experience in a related occupation

What do Building Inspectors do?

Building inspectors inspect buildings and other structures to determine their structural soundness and their compliance with specifications and building codes.

Some inspectors specialize in inspecting a particular type of system within a building. For example, elevator inspectors inspect elevators, escalators, and other related equipment. Electrical inspectors make sure that electrical systems are safe and functioning correctly. Plumbing inspectors examine drainage systems and water supply lines.

The majority of building inspectors work for local government agencies. These inspectors are normally employed to oversee the construction of new buildings, and ensure that they are built to code. Before construction begins, they examine the blueprints and proposed use of the building to make sure that it meets local zoning requirements. If it does, a building permit is issued. After each phase of the construction project is completed, the inspectors visit the site to inspect the work that has been done.

There are plenty of employment opportunities outside of the government sector as well. Many building inspectors work for architectural firms, and it’s also common for people in this occupation to be self employed.

Many building inspectors are hired by individuals to inspect homes or other properties that they want to buy. The inspectors tells them if the property is structurally sound, and if there are any potential problems with the property that may require repairs in the future.

Building inspectors typically split their time between their office and the sites they’re inspecting. In the office, they write reports, schedule inspections, and perform many different administrative tasks.

Inspectors who inspect homes or other small buildings normally work alone, making this a lonely occupation at times. Those who inspect larger buildings may work as part of a team, where each inspector specializes in a different part of the construction process.

Most building inspectors work full time, and are often able to keep regular business hours. However, working overtime may be required during times when construction is particularly heavy or in the months when many people are buying and selling homes. Working on evenings and weekends may be needed to keep up with the demand for their services.

How to Become a Building Inspector

Most employers prefer to hire building inspectors who have a high school diploma. In some cases, they may require that candidates have an associate’s degree in building inspection technology. These programs include classes in drafting, home inspection, and building inspection.

All building inspectors need to have extensive experience working in the construction industry. Without being familiar with how homes and buildings should be assembled, they wouldn’t be able to identify problems with the homes they are inspecting.

Many building inspectors have experience working as a carpenter, plumber, electrician, roofer, or another construction trade.

Once hired, building inspectors are trained on the job. During the training period, they work under the supervision of an experienced building inspector who teaches them about building codes and regulations, as well as inspection techniques and reporting duties.

In some states, building inspectors are required to be licensed or certified. The requirements vary from state to state, but most include having a high school diploma, a minimum amount of experience, and completing an exam that’s approved by the state.

To learn more about the examinations, visit the National Association of Home Inspectors and American Society of Home Inspectors websites.

All building inspectors must have a valid driver’s license, so they travel from work site to work site.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 106,370 building inspectors in the United States, with 3,970 new building inspector job openings created each year.

Building Inspector jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Building Inspector Salaries

Overall Salaries

Building Inspector salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most building inspectors make between $40,600 – $66,100 per year, or $19.55 – $31.76 per hour.

Updated: 05/04/2017

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