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Career profile Building Inspector

Also known as Building Inspection Engineer, Building Inspector, Building Official, Code Enforcement Officer, Combination Building Inspector, Construction Inspector, Elevator Inspector, Home Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Public Works Inspector

Building Inspector

Also known as Building Inspection Engineer, Building Inspector, Building Official

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$37,850 - $101,170 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Monitor installation of plumbing, wiring, equipment, or appliances to ensure that installation is performed properly and is in compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Approve building plans that meet required specifications.
  • Inspect and monitor construction sites to ensure adherence to safety standards, building codes, or specifications.
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What does a Building Inspector do?

Building Inspectors inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations.

In addition, Building Inspectors inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

What kind of tasks does a Building Inspector perform regularly?

Building Inspectors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor installation of plumbing, wiring, equipment, or appliances to ensure that installation is performed properly and is in compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Approve building plans that meet required specifications.
  • Inspect and monitor construction sites to ensure adherence to safety standards, building codes, or specifications.
  • Inspect bridges, dams, highways, buildings, wiring, plumbing, electrical circuits, sewers, heating systems, or foundations during and after construction for structural quality, general safety, or conformance to specifications and codes.
  • Review and interpret plans, blueprints, site layouts, specifications, or construction methods to ensure compliance to legal requirements and safety regulations.
  • Maintain daily logs and supplement inspection records with photographs.
  • Conduct inspections, using survey instruments, metering devices, tape measures, or test equipment.
  • Measure dimensions and verify level, alignment, or elevation of structures or fixtures to ensure compliance to building plans and codes.
  • Train, direct, or supervise other construction inspectors.
  • Confer with owners, violators, or authorities to explain regulations or recommend remedial actions.

The above responsibilities are specific to Building Inspectors. More generally, Building Inspectors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

What is a Building Inspector salary?

The median salary for a Building Inspector is $62,860, and the average salary is $66,470. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Building Inspector salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Building Inspectors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Building Inspectors earn less than $37,850 per year, 25% earn less than $48,860, 75% earn less than $80,970, and 90% earn less than $101,170.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Building Inspectors is expected to change by -2.9%, and there should be roughly 14,300 open positions for Building Inspectors every year.

Median annual salary
$62,860
Typical salary range
$37,850 - $101,170
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.9%

What personality traits are common among Building Inspectors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Building Inspector are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Building Inspectors typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Building Inspectors typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Building Inspectors typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Building Inspector tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Building Inspectors strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Building Inspectors strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Building Inspectors moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Building Inspectors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Building Inspectors, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Building Inspectors need?

Building Inspectors often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Building Inspectors usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Building Inspectors

  • 1.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 26.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 29.3% completed some college coursework
  • 13.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 22.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 6.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Building Inspectors

Building Inspectors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Building Inspectors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Important Abilities needed by Building Inspectors

Building Inspectors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Building Inspectors need abilities such as problem sensitivity, inductive reasoning, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Building Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Building Inspectors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Building Inspectors frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Building Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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