Construction and building inspectors check buildings highways streets sewer and water systems dams and bridges to determine that the way they were built altered or repaired complies with building codes (both local and national) zoning regulations and contract specifications. Sometimes inspectors visit a site several times before they can finalize the status of a construction project. In addition to checking construction inspectors may check plumbing electrical or mechanical features such as elevators within the buildings.
Inspectors of today use laptop computers to retrieve permit guidelines keep a log of their work including photographs and file reports. To aspire to this career individuals must have a high school education. However a degree from a community college with courses in building and home inspection construction technology engineering and mathematics is desirable and more inspectors are earning four-year college degrees.
In some states inspectors need a license or certification which requires passing an exam showing a certain level of experience and verifying liability insurance. According to Bls.gov many inspectors work for government agencies often for local governments in municipal or county building departments but there are job opportunities in the engineering architecture and construction fields.
A considerable number are self-employed often conducting home inspections for real estate buyers. The median annual pay for construction and building inspectors is approximately $50000. Those employed by the government usually qualify for benefits such as health insurance retirement plans and vacation pay.
Self-employed home inspectors have been the most negatively impacted by the recent downturn in the economy and they are responsible for their own health and retirement benefits. Membership in a nationally recognized inspection association opens up job opportunities in this field.