Electrical Inspector: Job Description & Requirements
If you've got a background as an electrician or the willingness to pursue the training, and you're also independent and interested in protecting the public safety, you might want to look at a career as an electrical inspector. Read further to learn the details of this profession.
Electrical inspectors are types of construction and building inspectors. Using meters and other devices, they examine wiring, lighting, motors, generators and sometimes heating and air-conditioning systems and other appliances to make sure they're safe and compliant with government standards designed to protect the public. Working by hand or on computers, they keep records and write reports; those who work for government agencies may act on their findings by notifying contractors of violations and, when necessary, stopping the construction of non-compliant installations.
How to Become an Electrical Inspector
About 42% of construction and building inspectors had at least some college education, according to O*NET OnLine in 2012; 25% had bachelor's degrees. While there is no standard path into the field, an electrical inspector needs to have a thorough knowledge of electricity, electronics and codes, an electrician background, or a 2-year or 4-year college degree, often incorporating courses in electrical wiring, carpentry and architectural drawing. Some states require licenses or certificates, such as those offered by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI).
Electrical inspectors are fit and coordinated enough to spend much of their time in hardhat areas. They enjoy working alone and have good reading, writing and time-management skills.
Economic and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of construction and building inspectors, including electrical inspectors, is projected to grow 12% from 2012-2022, which is about the average for all occupations. As of May 2012, the mean hourly wage for construction and building inspectors was $26.55, per BLS data.
Alternate Career Options
With a bachelor's degree from a program for licensed surveying, or in a related field like forestry or civil engineering, surveyors can secure employment. These professionals find the boundaries of properties by making exact measurements; they also find and make available data used in construction projects and mapmaking. From 2012-2022, the BLS expected average employment growth of 10% for these professionals and reported an annual median wage of $56,230 in 2012.
Much faster than average growth of 26% from 2012-2022 was forecast for cost estimating positions by the BLS. In 2012, cost estimators who estimate the resources necessary to construct buildings and manufacture products earned an annual median salary of $58,860, per the BLS. To secure employment, estimators normally have bachelor's degrees in fields related to the building industry, along with a strong background in math.
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