Construction and Building Inspectors

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Also known as:
Architectural Inspector, Bridge Inspector, Building Code Inspector, Building Inspector, Construction Inspector, Electrical Inspector, Elevator Inspector, Highway Inspector, Home Inspector, Plumbing Inspector

ABOUT CONSTRUCTION OR BUILDING INSPECTOR CAREERS
Video transcript

When buildings, roads, bridges or utility systems are built or repaired, the work must comply with various building and safety codes. Construction and building inspectors makes sure that these codes are followed.

Most inspectors work for federal, state and local governments. Inspectors start their work when a project begins and conduct follow-up inspections throughout the project to monitor compliance to codes.

Inspectors may use computers, cameras, test equipment and surveying tools. They log their work and file reports. If a job site cannot correct a code violation in a reasonable period of time, a government inspector can issue a stop order and close down a job site until the violation is corrected.

Inspectors often work in teams on large projects where specialized knowledge is needed. Electrical systems, plumbing, elevators and mechanical systems are examined by inspectors with experience in those areas.

Inspectors are usually older, veteran workers with many years on the job as a manager, supervisor, or craft worker. Individuals should also have a thorough knowledge of construction materials and practices. Good physical conditioning is needed to walk and climb around job sites. Government inspectors must pass a civil service exam.

Construction and building inspectors perform an important public service, making sure that buildings, roads and other structures are safe to use.

SNAPSHOT
Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Train, direct, or supervise other construction inspectors.

Approve building plans that meet required specifications.

Review and interpret plans, blueprints, site layouts, specifications, or construction methods to ensure compliance to legal requirements and safety regulations.

Inspect and monitor construction sites to ensure adherence to safety standards, building codes, or specifications.

Monitor installation of plumbing, wiring, equipment, or appliances to ensure that installation is performed properly and is in compliance with applicable regulations.

Confer with owners, violators, or authorities to explain regulations or recommend remedial actions.

Maintain daily logs and supplement inspection records with photographs.

Conduct inspections, using survey instruments, metering devices, tape measures, or test equipment.

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.

Measure dimensions and verify level, alignment, or elevation of structures or fixtures to ensure compliance to building plans and codes.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material 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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
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 Persons Outside 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.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
TOP SKILLS
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.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.