The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors was $500,180 in May 2008. The highest level of wage earning reported during this time was $78,070. Construction and building inspectors that were working for the federal government reported an average of $62,120 in wages. This is $3,600 less than people working the same type of position within a construction management company. Inspectors working for areas with their local government earned an average of $50,330 which was more than those working for their state government. Construction and Building Inspectors who also work as assessors make the highest amount of wages within this field.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors often times receive benefits such as health, insurance, paid vacation time and medical leave compensation. This is also dependent on the company or organization that they work for.
Job Description and Outlook
Construction and Building Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that building structures and their environment are safe. There are seven major categories that fall under this classification. These categories include Construction Inspectors, Building Inspectors, Electrical Inspectors, Home Inspectors, Mechanical Inspectors, Plumbing Inspectors and Public Works Inspectors.
The main focus of a construction and building inspector is to ensure that building structures and their environment are safe. Construction inspectors focus on areas such as inspection of building systems, examination of highways and their structures and repairing dams and water ways. They make sure that everything is in compliance with the national building and zoning regulations that are set in place by the International Code Council.
Building Inspectors focus on evaluating the building structure to ensure that it adheres to the national safety codes. They inspect all of the fire protection equipment and related systems throughout the building structure. They are also responsible for inspection foundations and soil conditions to ensure that they are suitable for building and constructing. Building inspectors focus mainly on concrete structures.
Electrical Inspectors are responsible for making sure that the electric systems and electrical units that are located throughout the building structure or operating correctly and safely. Electrical inspectors work mainly in building structures such as apartment complexes, commercial locations, houses, residential areas and public facilities. They are often hired to inspect a home’s wiring and electrical system prior to purchasing.
Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors use equipment such as laptop or computer terminals to record their inspection findings in the field. They must be able to use items such as checklists to monitor and track the data that they collect. It is necessary for them to be able to read the data and make recommendations. They must have the knowledge and training to use devices that are designed for surveying land and making measurements.
The overall growth within the field on Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors is expected to be around seventeen percent over the next ten years. The applicants who have the most training and higher levels of education in this area are expected to have the best chances for these positions.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
While a Construction and Building Inspector is not required to have a bachelor’s or advanced college level degree, they do need to have a license to practice their specialty and be certified in a specific area of specialty within their field. The construction and building inspector must also have an extensive knowledge about construction procedures, principles of their area of specialty and have a good understanding of the national standards for their area of study.
Many employers choose job applicants who have majored in engineering and architecture. The construction and building inspector may supplement their educational studies with specialized course studies in the areas of home inspection procedures, construction contracts, blueprint reading guidelines, technology principles, English and Geometry.
A Construction, Building and Electrical Inspector must possess a state issued driver’s license and an Inspector’s License. In order to receive their Inspector’s License, the Construction, Building and Electrical Specialist needs to have completed a high school level diploma or degree and must pass a national examination. These licenses can be obtained through the International Code Council, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials or the National Fire Protection Association.
In order to work as a Construction, Building and Electrical Inspector, the individual must also complete a certification program that is designed for their specific area of specialty. There are many different ways to achieve this certification. For example:
1. There are two certifications that are offered through the International Code Council which includes the Certified Building Official Certification which is designed to be completed by the construction and building inspector, to help them learn about various code compliance requirements; and the Residential Building Inspector Certification which is designed for the individual wants to pursue a career as a home inspector. Both of these certification courses require an examination to be completed.
2. The Association of Construction Inspectors offers three levels of certification for Construction and Building Inspectors. These certifications include:
A Certified Construction Inspector Certification Program that is designed to help students learn how to verify different construction percentages when dealing with completion schedules and various payment arrangements.
A certified Construction Project Manager which is designed to help a student learn how to successfully manage a construction project. The student receives extensive training in the topic areas of payment arrangements, evaluating construction plans, summarizing construction activities into a formal report for their clients use and monitoring their employees’ work schedules.
A Certified Construction Consultant program teaches the student how to study the construction market to make more successful recommendations on a professional level.
3. Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors can also receive a certification in their area of specialty through the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. This organization offers two certification programs which include:
The National Certification Program which is designed for Construction Code Inspectors and is set up to help the student learn about the procedures that are necessary for construction testing.
The IAEI Certified Electrical Inspector Program which is designed to help Electrical Inspectors learn about the National Electrical Code and help them master the different concepts of residential wiring.
Construction, Building and Electrical Inspectors have the opportunity to join a variety of professional associations that provide them with benefits such as certification programs, discounted insurance opportunities and discounted admissions for annual seminars.
- The Association of Construction Inspectors or ACI is responsible for establishing the standards and national regulations that are used within the residential and commercial construction industry.
- The International Association of Electrical Inspectors or IAEI is an advocacy group that is set up for electrical inspectors. This group helps to promote uniform electrical coding.
- The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials or IAMPO is one of the top ranking national code organizations.