Hospitals, classrooms and other buildings are being constructed each year. A lot of people often stay and frequent these places for long periods of time every day. As such, it’s important that these structures need to be able to withstand the elements and the wear and tear of daily use. To ensure that these buildings are safe to stay in, there must be people who will check that these comply with building codes, zoning regulations and other laws. If you feel that you can handle this responsibility, then you might want to pursue a career as a building inspector.
In this profession, you will have the opportunity to evaluate building plans and approve those that meet the set standards. While construction is going on, you will periodically monitor the site to see that it complies with established rules. After construction is finished, you will use various instruments and metering and test devices to determine if buildings pass structural integrity standards and are safe for use. You will be providing a written report of your findings after performing the final inspections.
In this profession, you will need to possess special knowledge about the testing equipment you will use to perform your job. You will also need to pay attention to people and need to be physically fit to do inspections.
Why Become A Building Inspector
If you want a profession that allows you to play a huge role in ensuring that the buildings people stay in are safe and secure, a career as a building inspector provides you with this kind of fulfillment. Other reasons to become a building inspector include decent wages and more job opportunities as concern for public safety increases.
Building Inspector Work Environment
Majority of construction and building inspectors work with the government. Some are connected with architectural, engineering and related services firms while others are self-employed. They usually work regular hours both in their offices and in construction sites and buildings. They normally conduct inspections alone and crawl in cramped spaces to complete their inspections. However, they may perform the inspection of a large project with other inspectors. When the workload is heavy—such as in times when construction is in full swing—overtime may be required.
Building Inspector Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction and building inspectors received a median annual wage of $53,450 in May 2012. Those in the lowest 10 percent received no more than $32,050 while those in the upper 10 percent earned more than $83,760. This is higher than the $39,620 median annual wage of other construction and related workers.
Building Inspector Career Outlook
The projected employment rate for construction and building inspectors from 2012 to 2022 is 12 percent which is about as fast as the average for all job types, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government is forecasted to be the biggest employer of building inspector. Architectural and engineering firms are also expected to hire them. Those inspectors who are certified to do various kinds of inspections and have experience and training related to construction, engineering and similar fields have higher chances of employment.
Building Inspector Degree
Although the minimum educational requirement for employers to hire building inspectors is a high school diploma, those who graduated with an architecture and engineering degree or possess an associate degree in building inspection or building inspection technology and related fields also have an edge. Inspectors typically learn building codes by themselves although inspection techniques, contract specifications, recordkeeping and conducting actual onsite inspections are learned while working with a seasoned inspector. In order to practice the profession, a certification or license is needed. This will only be issued after the building inspector passes the minimum educational requirements, field experience and exam.