Building Inspector

Examine buildings to make sure they're up to code.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Building Inspectors do?

Buildings. We see them every day, from the house or apartment we live in to the grocery store, post office, library, courthouse, or mall. Have we ever stopped to think about how safe they are?

Thanks to the Building Inspectors, we don’t have to lose sleep over it. That’s because we know that they’ve already been through the building, inspecting each system, crevice, and doorway to ensure that it is safe and structurally sound.

The process for a Building Inspector actually starts long before construction even begins. Each time a Builder or Contractor begins a residential home, commercial building, new construction, or remodeling project, he or she first brings the design plans to you, the Building Inspector. You apply your vast knowledge of city, state, county, and federal building codes as you analyze the plan. This helps the entire project flow, often diverting problems before they arise.

Once the construction begins, you leave your office and breathe in the new wood smell of the construction/renovation/remodeling site. You crawl through tight spaces, measure doorjambs, evaluate the floor plan, check electrical and plumbing systems, and appraise insulation, framing, and external components.

Each step of the way, you make sure the work is up to code. Are there enough smoke detectors? Are the window openings the right size and height from the ground?

Because there are so many small features to consider, you have a lot of responsibility. But you keep up to date with changes in the industry and legislation, so your knowledge and experience guide you through each project.

Should I be a Building Inspector?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Fire and Building Code Inspector

    How to become a Building Inspector

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Building Inspector-related education!
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