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Working as a Building Inspector

Building inspectors are responsible for examining residential and commercial buildings. They also review plans to ensure they meet building codes, local ordinances, zoning regulations and approve buildings that are satisfactory and meet all the criteria. They also monitor construction sites periodically to ensure overall compliance.

As a building inspector, your tasks will include inspecting the structural quality of the building. This includes checking the soil and other conditions of the construction site the building will be standing on. Furthermore, checking fire safety and making sure the people working on or living in the building can escape quickly if needed. In addition, you will also inspect all electrical systems to prevent any short-circuiting or electrical fires.

Lastly, you will be required to issue violation notices if a building is in violation of any codes or regulations. Although applicants with a high school diploma may be hired, employers prefer individuals with a bachelor's degree or who have completed classes on building inspection, home inspections, or construction science.

The average hourly salary for the position is $23.70, which amounts to $49,293 annually. Furthermore, the career is projected to grow 7% and create more job opportunities across the United States.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a building inspector. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.7 an hour? That's $49,293 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 7,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Building Inspector Do

There are certain skills that many building inspectors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, craft experience and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a building inspector, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.4% of building inspectors included construction projects, while 8.8% of resumes included customer service, and 6.0% of resumes included general public. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the building inspector job title. But what industry to start with? Most building inspectors actually find jobs in the government and health care industries.

How To Become a Building Inspector

If you're interested in becoming a building inspector, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 32.8% of building inspectors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.6% of building inspectors have master's degrees. Even though some building inspectors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a building inspector. When we researched the most common majors for a building inspector, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on building inspector resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a building inspector. In fact, many building inspector jobs require experience in a role such as owner. Meanwhile, many building inspectors also have previous career experience in roles such as project manager or carpenter.

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Average Salary$49,293
Job Growth Rate7%

Building Inspector Career Paths

Top Careers Before Building Inspector

Owner
11.4 %

Top Careers After Building Inspector

Owner
10.6 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Building Inspector

Building Inspectors in America make an average salary of $49,293 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $78,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$49,293

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Santa Rosa, CA
Salary Range66k - 123k$90k$90,439
Mercer Island, WA
Salary Range61k - 107k$82k$81,635
Meridian, ID
Salary Range56k - 100k$75k$75,317
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary Range55k - 99k$75k$74,585
Omaha, NE
Salary Range52k - 91k$69k$69,343
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range50k - 93k$69k$68,941
$32k
$123k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Building Inspector I
Building Inspector I
City of Aurora
City of Aurora
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$56,53801/30/2021
$56,538
Building Inspector
Building Inspector
City of Greenville, Nc
City of Greenville, Nc
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$48,71401/29/2021
$48,714
Building Inspector
Building Inspector
City of Greenville Nc
City of Greenville Nc
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$100,17601/28/2021
$100,176
Building Inspector I/II
Building Inspector I/II
Shasta County
Shasta County
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$47,20801/27/2021
$47,208
Building Inspector I/II
Building Inspector I/II
City of Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
City of Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$104,35001/27/2021
$104,350
See More Recent Salaries

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Building Inspector Demographics

Gender

male

81.8 %

female

11.8 %

unknown

6.4 %

Ethnicity

White

74.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.2 %

Black or African American

7.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.3 %

French

13.3 %

Portuguese

6.7 %
See More Demographics

Building Inspector Education

Majors

Business
16.2 %

Property Management

13.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

32.8 %

Associate

21.3 %

High School Diploma

19.9 %

Top Colleges for Building Inspectors

1. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

3. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

4. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,887
Enrollment
23,202

5. Vermont Technical College

Randolph, VT • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,108
Enrollment
1,350

6. Dunwoody College of Technology

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$22,046
Enrollment
1,294

7. Wentworth Institute of Technology

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$33,950
Enrollment
4,254

8. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,570
Enrollment
3,721

9. Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,696
Enrollment
4,308
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Building Inspector

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.4% of building inspectors listed construction projects on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and craft experience are important as well.

  • Construction Projects, 12.4%
  • Customer Service, 8.8%
  • General Public, 6.0%
  • Construction Sites, 4.9%
  • Code Violations, 4.8%
  • Other Skills, 63.1%
  • See All Building Inspector Skills

Best States For a Building Inspector

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a building inspector. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Washington, and Utah. Building inspectors make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $91,154. Whereas in California and Washington, they would average $81,414 and $80,976, respectively. While building inspectors would only make an average of $74,870 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Idaho

Total Building Inspector Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$126,000
Location Quotient:
1.7
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. North Dakota

Total Building Inspector Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Building Inspector Jobs:
5
Highest 10% Earn:
$134,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Building Inspector Employers

1. Collier County
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$52,307
Building Inspectors Hired: 
9+
2. Bureau Veritas
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$49,881
Building Inspectors Hired: 
9+
3. Salt Lake County
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$42,509
Building Inspectors Hired: 
8+
4. Clark County
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$42,675
Building Inspectors Hired: 
7+
5. West Coast Limousine
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$41,189
Building Inspectors Hired: 
6+
6. Terminix
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$43,064
Building Inspectors Hired: 
6+
Updated October 2, 2020