Construction or Building Inspector

Does this career fit your work personality?

Begin The Career Assessment Test
FIT Score
Discover your work personality strengths.
This is a Premium Feature X Find your
  • Best Fitting Careers
  • Work Personality Strengths
  • Work Style Preferences
  • and more
Job Outlook:
Education: High school diploma or equivalent
High: $104,110.00
Average: $70,130.00
Average: $33.72

What they do:

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.

On the job, you would:

  • 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.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Inspectors must be able to explain problems they discover and to write a report that clearly describes their findings.

Detail oriented. Inspectors thoroughly examine many different construction activities. They must pay close attention so as not to overlook any details.

Mechanical knowledge. Inspectors use a variety of testing equipment to check complex systems and must therefore understand how the systems operate.

Physical stamina. Inspectors are frequently on their feet and often climb and crawl through attics and other tight spaces. As a result, they should be physically fit.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

89% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
88% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
86% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
80% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
76% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
75% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
73% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
71% 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.
70% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
65% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
65% Leadership  -  Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


100% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
83% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
61% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

78% 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.
67% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

78% 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.
75% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
72% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
69% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
69% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
66% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Job Details

Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
Evaluate construction projects to determine compliance with external standards or regulations.
Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
Monitor construction operations.
Test air quality at work sites.
Inspect completed work to ensure proper installation.
Communicate with clients about products, procedures, and policies.
Authorize construction activities.
Inspect industrial or commercial equipment to ensure proper operation.
Estimate construction project costs.
Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
Inspect plumbing systems or fixtures.
Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
Record operational or environmental data.
Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
Evaluate construction projects to determine compliance with external standards or regulations.
Monitor construction operations.
Evaluate construction projects to determine compliance with external standards or regulations.
Verify alignment of structures or equipment.
Evaluate projects to determine compliance with technical specifications.
Measure work site dimensions.
Authorize construction activities.
Monitor construction operations.
Train construction or extraction personnel.
Direct construction or extraction personnel.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

95% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
94% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
90% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
87% In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment  -  How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?
87% Outdoors, Exposed to Weather  -  How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
85% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
84% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
82% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
81% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
79% Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets  -  How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
74% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
72% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
71% Deal With External Customers  -  How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
69% Physical Proximity  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
68% Letters and Memos  -  How often does the job require written letters and memos?
66% Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable  -  How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
66% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

77% Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials  -  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
77% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
75% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
75% 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.
70% 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.
68% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
68% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
66% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What Construction and Building Inspectors Do

Construction and building inspectors
Home inspectors inform potential homebuyers of a home’s deficiencies.

Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets local and national building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.


Construction and building inspectors typically do the following:

  • Review building plans and approve those that meet requirements
  • Monitor construction sites periodically to ensure overall compliance
  • Use equipment and testing devices, such as moisture meters to check for plumbing leaks or flooding damage and electrical testers to ensure that electrical components are functional
  • Inspect plumbing, electrical, and other systems to ensure that they meet code
  • Use survey equipment to verify alignment, level, and elevation of structures and ensure building meets specifications
  • Issue violation notices and stop-work orders if building is not compliant
  • Keep daily logs, which may include digital images from inspections
  • Document findings in writing

Construction and building inspectors ensure safety compliance of buildings, dams, bridges, and other structures; highways and streets; and sewer and water systems. They also inspect electrical; heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR); and plumbing systems. Inspectors typically check a project several times: for an initial check in the early construction phase, for followup inspections as the project progresses, and for a comprehensive examination after its completion. At each inspection, they may provide written or oral feedback about their findings.

The following are examples of types of construction and building inspectors:

Building inspectors check the structural quality, architectural requirements, and general safety of buildings. Some building inspectors focus on fire prevention and safety. Fire inspectors and investigators ensure that buildings meet fire codes.

Coating inspectors examine the exterior paint and coating on bridges, pipelines, and large holding tanks. In their checks throughout the painting process, inspectors ensure that protective layers are correctly applied.

Electrical inspectors examine a building’s installed electrical systems to ensure compliance and proper functioning. These systems may include new and existing sound and security systems, lighting, photovoltaic systems, generating equipment, and wiring for HVACR systems and appliances.

Elevator inspectors examine lifting and conveying devices, such as elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, lifts and hoists, inclined railways, ski lifts, and amusement rides. They inspect both the mechanical and electrical control systems.

Home inspectors typically examine houses, condominiums, townhomes, and other dwellings to report on their structure and overall condition. Home sellers or home buyers, or both, may seek inspectors’ objective assessment of a dwelling before placing it on the market or submitting an offer.

In addition to checking structural quality, home inspectors examine home systems and features, including the roof, foundation, interior and exterior walls, and plumbing, electrical, and HVACR systems. They may identify violations of building codes but do not have the authority to enforce compliance.

Mechanical inspectors examine HVACR systems and equipment to ensure that they are installed and function properly. They also may inspect commercial kitchen equipment, gas-fired appliances, and boilers. Mechanical inspectors’ work differs from that of quality control inspectors, who inspect goods at manufacturing plants.

Plans examiners determine whether the plans for a building or other structure comply with adopted building codes, regulations, and ordinances.

Plumbing inspectors examine the installation of systems that ensure the safety of drinking water and industrial piping and the sanitary disposal of waste.

Public works inspectors ensure that the construction of federal, state, and local government water and sewer systems; roads and bridges; and dams conforms to specifications. They may specialize in projects such as highways, structural steel, or dredging operations required for bridges, dams, or harbors.

Special inspectors ensure that critical construction work, such as high-strength concrete, steel fabrication, and welding, is installed and tested according to design specifications. Special inspectors represent the owner’s interests, not those of the general public. Insurance companies and financial institutions also may use their services.

Work Environment

Construction and building inspectors held about 142,400 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of construction and building inspectors were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals 34%
Engineering services 18
Construction 8
Self-employed workers 7
State government, excluding education and hospitals 4

Although construction and building inspectors spend most of their time examining worksites, they also spend time in an office reviewing blueprints, writing reports, and scheduling inspections.

Some inspectors climb ladders or crawl in tight spaces as part of their work.

Inspectors typically work alone. However, inspectors may work as part of a team on large, complex projects, particularly if they specialize in one area of construction.

Work Schedules

Most inspectors work full time during regular business hours. However, some work additional hours during periods of heavy construction. Also, if an accident occurs at a construction site, inspectors must respond immediately and may work additional hours to complete their report. Some inspectors—especially those who are self-employed—work evenings and weekends. This is particularly true of home inspectors, who typically inspect homes during the day and write reports in the evening.

Getting Started

Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

How to Become a Construction or Building Inspector

Construction and building inspectors
Inspectors often have a combination of certifications and previous experience in various construction and maintenance trades.

Construction and building inspectors usually need a high school diploma and work experience in a construction trade to enter the occupation. They typically learn on the job to attain competency. Many states and localities require some type of license or certification.


Most employers require inspectors to have at least a high school diploma, even for workers who have considerable experience.

Some employers may seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture or who have another postsecondary credential. Many community colleges offer a certificate or an associate’s degree program in building inspection technology and have courses in building inspection, home inspection, construction technology, and drafting. Courses in blueprint reading, vocational subjects, algebra, geometry, and writing are also useful. Courses in business management are helpful for those who plan to run their own inspection business.

Some jurisdictions require that construction and building inspectors take continuing education courses to maintain their credentials.


Training requirements vary by state, locality, and type of inspector. In general, construction and building inspectors receive much of their training on the job. Construction and building inspectors learn building codes and standards as a prerequisite to obtaining their license and through continuing education. Working with an experienced inspector, they learn about inspection techniques; codes, ordinances, and regulations; contract specifications; and recordkeeping and reporting duties. Training also may include supervised onsite inspections.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Employers may prefer to hire applicants who have both training and experience in a construction trade. For example, many inspectors have experience working as carpenters, electricians, or plumbers. Many home inspectors get experience in multiple specialties and enter the occupation with a combination of certifications and experience.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states and localities require construction and building inspectors to have a license or certification. Some states have individual licensing programs for construction and building inspectors. Others may require certification by associations such as the International Code Council, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

Similarly, most states require home inspectors to follow defined trade practices or to get a state-issued license or certification.

Home inspector license or certification requirements vary by state but may require that inspectors have experience with inspections, maintain liability insurance, and pass an exam.

Many states use the National Home Inspector Examination as part of the licensing process. Most inspectors must renew their license periodically and take continuing education courses.

Inspectors must have a valid driver’s license to travel to inspection sites.


Construction and building inspectors may advance to become a plans examiner or building official. Advancement opportunities may require additional education, along with experience as a construction or building inspector.

Job Outlook

Employment of construction and building inspectors is projected to decline 2 percent from 2022 to 2032.

Despite declining employment, about 15,700 openings for construction and building inspectors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


The increasing use of remote inspections will reduce the need for inspectors in state and local government. However, continued public interest in safety and the desire to improve the quality of construction are among the factors expected to create demand for inspectors.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about building codes, certification, and a career as a construction or building inspector, visit

International Code Council

National Fire Protection Association

For more information about coating inspector certification, visit

The Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP)

For more information about construction inspectors, visit

Association of Construction Inspectors

For more information about electrical inspectors, visit

International Association of Electrical Inspectors

For more information about elevator inspectors, visit

National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International

For more information about education and training for mechanical and plumbing inspectors, visit

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

For information about becoming a home inspector, visit

American Society of Home Inspectors

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of construction and building inspectors.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Appraisers and assessors of real estate Property Appraisers and Assessors

Property appraisers and assessors provide a value estimate on real estate and on tangible personal and business property.

Bachelor's degree $61,560
Architects Architects

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Bachelor's degree $82,840
Carpenters Carpenters

Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.

High school diploma or equivalent $51,390
Electricians Electricians

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $60,240
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair piping fixtures and systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $60,090
Electrical and electronic engineering technicians Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians help engineers design and develop equipment that is powered by electricity or electric current.

Associate's degree $66,390
Electrical and electronics engineers Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor's degree $104,610
Surveyors Surveyors

Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries.

Bachelor's degree $63,080
Construction managers Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Bachelor's degree $101,480
Occupational health and safety specialists Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians

Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians collect data on, analyze, and design improvements to work environments and procedures.

See How to Become One $75,240

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.