Construction and Building Inspectors
47-4011.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Building Inspection Engineer, Building Inspector, Building Official, Code Enforcement Officer, Combination Building Inspector, Construction Inspector, Elevator Inspector, Home Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Public Works Inspector

Also see: Energy Auditors

Occupation-Specific Information

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.
  • Issue permits for construction, relocation, demolition, or occupancy.
  • Conduct environmental hazard inspections to identify or quantify problems, such as asbestos, poor air quality, water contamination, or other environmental hazards.
  • Evaluate premises for cleanliness, such as proper garbage disposal or lack of vermin infestation.
  • Monitor construction activities to ensure that environmental regulations are not violated.
  • Evaluate project details to ensure adherence to environmental regulations.
  • Estimate cost of completed work or of needed renovations or upgrades.
  • Examine lifting or conveying devices, such as elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, hoists, inclined railways, ski lifts, or amusement rides to ensure safety and proper functioning.
  • Sample and test air to identify gasses, such as bromine, ozone, or sulfur dioxide, or particulates, such as mold, dust, or allergens.
  • Inspect facilities or installations to determine their environmental impact.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks Hot technology ; Quicken
  • Calendar and scheduling software
  • Compliance software — Automated permit system software; NorthWest Builders Network Plan Analyst; OptaSoft Commercial Building Inspector
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Arc Second PocketCAD; Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology
  • Data base reporting software — Mobile building inspection software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software Hot technology ; Real estate and tax software
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Exchange Hot technology ; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — Municipal geographic management software; SAP business and customer relations management software
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcView
  • Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Map creation software — Trimble Digital Fieldbook
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Procurement software — Vision Software
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Systems
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Inspection Depot Home Guide System; Microsoft Word Hot technology ; New construction inspection form software; Residential home inspection form software
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 52% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 26% responded “Very important results.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 81% responded “40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 65% responded “About half the time.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations 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 these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

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.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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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.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 35%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 22%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 17%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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).
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: RCI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.
  • Conventional — 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.
  • Investigative — 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.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$29.63 hourly, $61,640 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
129,300 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Decline (-1% or lower)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
14,300
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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