Site Inspector: Job Duties, Requirements and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a site inspector. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification or licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Site inspectors enforce construction standards and code regulations while verifying structural integrity in new construction and renovation projects. Individuals who have completed an architecture or engineering degree program may be preferred by some employers, but high school graduates with construction experience often enter this field as well. A professional certification or government license can be required for employment.

Required Education High school diploma, some postsecondary education may be required
Other Requirements Professional certification or government license
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 12%
Median Salary (2013)* $54,450

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Duties of Site Inspectors

Site inspectors examine new construction and renovation projects to verify structural integrity and compliance with specifications, codes and regulations. They can also be called construction or building inspectors. General duties include reviewing blueprints, surveying the soil at construction sites, monitoring construction progress, examining electrical and mechanical systems, ensuring fire safety systems are in place, utilizing survey instruments to verify completed work, taking photographs and maintaining a log. Inspectors working for local governments prepare and issue construction permits, violation notices and other correspondence.

Requirements to Become a Site Inspector

Work is available for individuals who have attained a high school diploma or passed the GED test and have construction experience; however, according to O*NET, most site inspectors have some postsecondary education (online.onetcenter.org). Employers prefer those who have completed a bachelor's degree program in architecture or engineering. Relevant coursework includes drafting, mathematics and construction technology. Knowledge of International Code Council (ICC) standards and local ordinances and regulations is essential.

Many states and local municipalities require site inspectors to have a license or certification from a professional association, such as ICC, the National Fire Protection Association or the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. Generally, certification and licensure requires a mix of education and verifiable work experience, plus passing an examination. Often, a higher level of education will decrease the minimum work experience needed.

Outlook and Salary Info for Site Inspectors

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment of construction and building inspectors to increase 12% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, the BLS reported that site inspectors held approximately 87,620 jobs. The median salary was $54,450. Local governments employed about 47% of site inspectors, while about 26% worked for architectural, engineering and similar types of companies.

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