Building inspector job description

Are you someone who is interested in the construction of the buildings, not necessarily the design, but how they are put together? Yet, you’re really not interested in spending grueling hours on a construction site? On the other hand, being at an office job isn’t too appealing either…you should consider a career as a building inspector.
According to the US Department of Labor’s US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of demand for building inspectors is about 12% from 2012 – 20221. As real estate is a huge factor of growth in the economy, commercial and industrial buildings will be developed to support the economy. As a result, in certain metropolitan cities of the United States where there is a concentration of industrial and commercial development, the demand for building inspectors will be higher.
While a formal college degree is not required for a building inspector, they need to have an understanding of the construction principles and the commercial building codes in order to sign off on the inspection. Because there is huge liability involved in a faulty buildings, depending in which state inspectors work, they may be required to be licensed. As a result of the technical knowledge required, most building inspectors tend to have a construction background and had previous experience with the trade.
A building inspector’s job is definitely not one tied to a desk at an office. He/she has to be physically on site in order to evaluate the condition of the buildings. As a result, most of their day is spent in the field going from one site to another. However, if the inspector is an independent, he/she may spend more time in the office cold calling and networking to generate more business.
The skills and qualities required of a building inspector are as follow:
• Knowledge of the building code: They need to validate that all aspects meet the building code requirements before the building can be signed off for occupancy. As a result, inspectors need to know the building code inside and out.
• Physically healthy: A building inspector’s job can be physically demanding. In addition to evaluating the building’s interior, they also have to examine the exterior conditions, go into confined spaces or with heights.
• Safety conscious: Working on construction sites where there is a lot of equipment and activity can pose potential danger. Inspectors need to ensure the safety steps are in place prior to examining the building so that they will do no harm to themselves, to others or to the environment.
• Detail oriented: There is a great deal of liability involved with faulty buildings and as a result building inspectors need to check off all the details so that there are no potential risks when the tenants and owners move into the building following the inspection.
• Communication-savvy: For insurance and liability purposes, all details of the inspection need to be carefully documented in order to serve as records if anything is in question. As a result, inspectors need to know how to write accurately and with sufficient detail so that he will be able to recall the inspection when someone calls down the road.
For more information on the training required and the career path of a building inspector, please contact your highschool counselor.
Reference:
1. Construction and building inspectors. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. US Department of Labor. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-and-building-inspectors.htm

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