Be a Field Inspector: Job Description and Requirements
Field inspectors personally verify information and create reports about residential and commercial properties for banks, mortgage lenders and insurance companies. They provide valuations, inspections and property preservation services. Field inspectors are typically trained by field services companies and must provide their own equipment.
Job Description for Field Inspectors
Field inspectors provide visual inspections and property preservation services for financial institutions. Their services are typically contracted through independent field services companies in instances when banks, mortgage lenders and insurance agencies need to verify information about homes, businesses or vehicles they have a financial stake in. For example, an insurance agency may contract a field inspector to examine a home for potential problems prior to issuing a home insurance policy to the owner. A mortgage lender or bank can use a field inspector to confirm a foreclosed property is no longer occupied, and task the inspector with minor maintenance duties to protect the property.
The duties of a field inspector vary by the type of inspection, but generally include driving to a location, performing a visual inspection, taking photos and writing a report. For lenders and banks, field inspectors perform appraisals with an exterior examination and photo documentation. Field inspectors commonly perform property preservation or winterization duties, including changing locks, boarding windows, draining water heaters and shutting off the water supply to a building or house. Insurance companies can employ field inspectors to verify the address of a business, perform inspections after a claim has been filed and even contact a debtor after normal channels of communication are unanswered.
Requirements to Become a Field Inspector
Field services companies generally do not have strict formal education requirements and often offer on-the-job training. Inspectors need to have basic proficiency with technology, good communication skills and be able to search public property records. They are commonly independent contractors who are required to provide their own vehicle, a computer and a camera. Inspectors who offer property preservation services need to be familiar with piping and appliances and be able to perform basic maintenance duties.
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide salary or employment growth predictions for field inspectors. However, it does have data for two related careers: occupational health and safety technicians and compliance officers. The BLS expected that occupational health and safety technicians could see employment growth of 11% from 2012 to 2022, which is about as fast as average. These workers had a median salary of $47,380 as of May 2013, while compliance officers earned a median of $64,340.
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