Is becoming a building inspector right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do building inspectors do?
Career Satisfaction
Are building inspectors happy with their careers?
What are building inspectors like?

Still unsure if becoming a building inspector is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a building inspector or another similar career!

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How to become a Building Inspector

Becoming a building inspector typically involves a combination of education, experience, and certification. Here are the steps to pursue a career as a building inspector:

  • Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: A high school diploma or GED is typically the minimum educational requirement for entry into the field. Focus on courses in mathematics, science, construction, and drafting to build a strong foundation.
  • Gain Relevant Work Experience: Building inspection roles often require practical experience in construction, architecture, engineering, or a related field. Consider working in construction trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, or electrical work, to gain hands-on experience in building systems and construction practices.
  • Pursue Higher Education: While not always mandatory, obtaining a degree or formal education in a related field can enhance your qualifications. Consider pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree in areas like construction management, civil engineering, or architecture.
  • Complete Building Inspector Training Programs: Many vocational schools, community colleges, and professional organizations offer training programs specifically in building inspection. These programs provide comprehensive knowledge of building codes, regulations, inspection techniques, and relevant construction practices.
  • Gain Building Inspection Experience: Seek opportunities to gain practical experience in building inspection. This can include internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions with local building departments, construction firms, or architectural firms. Building inspection experience is crucial for developing the necessary skills and understanding of building codes.
  • Obtain Certification: Building inspectors often need to obtain certifications to demonstrate their competence and knowledge in the field. There are several recognized certifications available (see below).
  • Stay Updated with Building Codes: Building codes and regulations evolve over time. It is important to stay updated with the latest building codes, amendments, and industry standards. Attend seminars, workshops, and continuing education programs to stay current with changes in the field.
  • Apply for Building Inspector Positions: Once you have gained the necessary education, experience, and certifications, start applying for building inspector positions. Look for job openings with local government agencies, building departments, architectural firms, or construction companies. Networking within the industry can also help you discover job opportunities.

There are several certifications available for building inspectors. These certifications are typically offered by recognized organizations and demonstrate competence in specific areas of building inspection. Here are some of the common certifications for building inspectors:

  • American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI): ASHI offers the Certified Inspector (ACI) certification, which is geared towards home inspectors but can be applicable to building inspectors involved in residential inspections.
  • National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI): NAHI offers the Certified Real Estate Inspector (CRI) certification, which covers various aspects of residential inspections.

International Code Council (ICC) Certifications:

  • Residential Building Inspector (RBI): Focuses on residential building inspections, including one- and two-family dwellings.
  • Commercial Building Inspector (CBI): Covers inspections of commercial buildings and structures.
  • Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner (AACE): Specializes in assessing compliance with accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
  • Plumbing Inspector (PI): Focuses on inspecting plumbing systems, including pipes, fixtures, and drainage.
  • Electrical Inspector (EI): Covers inspections of electrical systems and installations within buildings.
  • Mechanical Inspector (MI): Specializes in inspecting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and mechanical equipment.

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI):

  • Certified Professional Inspector (CPI): Covers a wide range of inspection areas, including building systems, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and more.
  • Certified Residential Inspector (CRI): Focuses on residential property inspections, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums.