How do I Become a Construction Inspector?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

There are several paths a person can take to become a construction inspector. Many people approach this career with a background in construction work while others may pursue higher education and then apply for work as construction inspectors. Educational requirements vary, depending on where someone wishes to work. There are also certification requirements that must be fulfilled before someone can work as a construction inspector.

Construction inspectors are concerned with safety standards, including proper safety equipment.
Construction inspectors are concerned with safety standards, including proper safety equipment.

Construction inspectors examine new construction and remodeling to confirm that it complies with building codes. They are concerned with adherence to safety standards. Structures such as homes, bridges, office buildings, and apartment complexes all require inspection by a construction inspector before they can be cleared for use. A person who wants to become a construction inspector needs excellent observational skills, as well as a knowledge of building techniques and familiarity with the building code.

A construction inspector must confirm that new construction complies with building codes.
A construction inspector must confirm that new construction complies with building codes.

One option is to receive a high school degree and then start working in construction. With enough years of experience in construction, it is possible to take the exam to become a construction inspector. Once certified, construction inspectors can work for government agencies or as freelancers. They are required to keep up their certifications and be familiar with the latest changes to the building code.

Other people may opt to receive a college degree to become a construction inspector. Some colleges and technical schools specifically offer programs in construction inspection. In other cases people can pursue degrees in fields like architecture, mathematics, or engineering. With a degree, a person who wants to become a construction inspector can be hired as an apprentice inspector to learn the ins and outs of the job, and can eventually apply for certification to work independently.

Whichever way someone receives education and training to become an instruction inspector, maintaining certification is important. Changes are constantly being made to the building codes. Construction inspectors must keep up with these changes, along with new trends in construction, so they can inspect sites accurately and fairly.

Compensation for construction inspectors is variable. The work requires traveling to construction sites and can sometimes include long hours, especially when a construction boom is occurring and there are a lot of sites to inspect. People who work for government agencies can access employee benefits such as health care and pension plans. Someone who wants to become a construction inspector may want to think about whether flexible work as a freelancer is preferable to more set hours with an agency.

A construction inspector may inspect and approve remodeling projects.
A construction inspector may inspect and approve remodeling projects.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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