Electrical Inspector: Job Description & Requirements
You've got a background as an electrician or a willingness to consider getting a 2-year associate degree in building construction technology or even a 4-year bachelor's degree in a field such as electronics. If you're also independent and interested in protecting the public safety, you might want to look at a career as an electrical inspector.
Career Definition: Electrical Inspector
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
Required Education for a Career in Electrical Inspection
About 42% of construction and building inspectors had at least some college education, according to the O*NET OnLine in 2010; 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).
Skills Required for a Career as an Electrical Inspector
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: Electrical Inspection
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of construction and building inspectors, including electrical inspectors, is projected to grow 18% from 2010-2020, which is a bit faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2012, the mean hourly wage for construction and building inspectors was $26.55, per BLS data.
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