Construction and Building Inspectors

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Regardless of whether it is commercial or residential buildings or your home, the maintenance of buildings is broadly covered under facilities management. All buildings in the United States are required to follow and maintain certain specifications, building codes and regulations. The nature of a job like construction and building inspectors may be general or confined to a specific area like plumbing or electrical systems. There are many types of inspectors like building inspectors, plan examiners, Public works inspectors, Plumbing inspectors, Mechanical inspectors, Home inspectors, Elevator inspectors, and Electrical inspectors who perform different types of job functions.

In the profession of facilities, a person with a high school diploma or equivalent besides considerable experience is preferred by most of the employers. More often, a person having studied engineering or architecture or having a degree in home inspection, building inspection, drafting, construction technology or mathematics from a community or junior college is preferred by employers. There are certain requirements laid down by State and local governments related to license or certification for being employed as a construction and building inspector. This requirement varies by state or local municipality.

The construction and building inspectors are required to have knowledge of the tools, materials and the methods used in construction and repair of buildings, houses or other structures like roads and highways. In this profession of facilities, he should be competent enough to assess the customer's needs and evaluate customer satisfaction besides meeting the quality standards of services. Knowledge of the practical application of various techniques, procedures, principles, and equipment that are used in designing and production of various goods and services, is a prerequisite for a successful career as a construction and building inspector. A construction/building inspector is essentially required to possess knowledge of tools, principles and techniques involved in making precision technical plans, models, drawings, and blueprints. Besides all of these, he must have good knowledge of English.

Required skills for construction and building inspectors include the capability to make judgments and decisions, keeping in view the cost and benefits, being an active and attentive listener and good speaker, perfection in quality control analysis and criticality in thinking. He should have the ability to be problem sensitive which means he should have the ability to identify and tell when something is wrong or likely to go wrong and be able to see details at close range, say within a few feet distance, as well as see details at a distance.

As per the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, in the profession of facilities, the median annual earning by way of wage and salary for construction and building inspectors in May 2006 was $46,570. The earnings of the lowest 10 percent was less than $29,210 and the highest 10 percent had earnings more than $72,590, whereas the middle 50 percent earned salary and wages between $36,610 and $58,780. The largest number of construction and building inspectors were employed in Architectural, engineering, and related services, local government, and state government, where the median annual earnings were $46,850, $46,040 and $43,680 respectively.

During the decade from 2006-2016, employment in construction and building inspection branch of facilities profession is estimated to grow by 18 percent which is faster than the average of all occupations. The demand for construction and building inspectors is likely to be stimulated on account of growing concern for improvement in the quality of construction and public safety.

Increased awareness towards natural and man-made disasters is also likely to cause enhancement in the requirement of qualified inspectors. Environment concern, which is leading to green and sustainable designs of buildings, will also drive further demand of construction and building inspectors.

As of 2006, there were 110,000 jobs of construction and building inspectors in the United States. In local governments there were 41 percent such jobs of inspectors which were mostly concentrated in cities and suburban areas that are undergoing rapid growth. Jurisdiction of local governments is wide; hence, a large number of plan examiners and inspection staff having specialization in inspection of electrical systems, elevator, structural steel; reinforced concrete, and boiler were employed in facilities profession.

The role of construction and building inspectors encompass all phases of construction, maintenance, and repair works. Therefore, there is very little possibility of these facilities professionals losing jobs even though the economic recession has slowed down the construction sector. Due to economic fluctuation in the real estate market, persons who are self employed in this field, like home inspectors, are likely to be affected. There is at least a possibility of being affected by those facilities professionals who have a thorough knowledge of reading and evaluating blueprints and plans. There is likely to be good prospects for those facilities inspectors who have prior experience in construction, a post secondary degree, and training in architectural or engineering. Replacement needs of facilities inspectors on account of transfer to other occupations or leaving the labor force will also cause some job openings at the initial stage of the facilities profession.
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