Construction Inspector Job Description
Construction inspectors inspect construction sites and materials to ensure the work meets quality standards, building codes, and blueprints. Building and construction companies hire construction inspectors for full-time hours to work independently within the framework of a team, reporting primarily to the construction site foreman. Construction inspectors travel to construction sites to perform their duties and may travel to sites that require overnight stays or even longer periods of time away from home. Construction inspectors work flexible shifts that may include nights and weekends, as well as some overtime hours, and work outdoors in all weather conditions.
Construction Inspector Duties and Responsibilities
Daily duties performed by construction inspectors vary, depending on the types of construction projects they are inspecting and the construction sites themselves. However, the core job tasks performed by construction inspectors are universally the same at all sites:
Perform Quality Assurance Testing
Construction inspectors test construction materials, such as concrete, rock, and asphalt, for quality at various construction sites.
Construction inspectors perform daily inspections of construction sites and work completed to ensure that projects are moving forward on schedule.
Write Daily Field Reports
Construction inspectors write daily reports summarizing construction activity and other important information for the day.
Review Cost Estimates
Construction inspectors analyze and review cost estimates for proposed projects, making recommendations regarding schedule and materials lists when needed.
Monitor Safety Violations
Construction inspectors monitor construction work for safety violations, reporting any violations to the site foreman.
Construction inspectors measure dimensions and elevations against blueprints and schematics to ensure projects are following specifications.
Follow Safety Protocols
Construction inspectors follow all safety protocols while on construction sites by wearing proper protective clothing.
Construction Inspector Skills and Qualifications
Construction inspectors use communication skills and analytical abilities to effectively inspect construction sites and projects, making recommendations where necessary to keep projects moving forward safely and as planned. Employers look for construction inspectors who possess the various skills needed to carry out these regular job tasks:
- Communication skills – construction inspectors work independently but also function as part of a team, requiring strong verbal communication skills; they also need good written communication skills to create daily site reports
- Physical ability – construction inspectors regularly lift heavy materials and equipment, squat, bend, and stand for hours at a time
- Computer skills – construction inspectors use computers to write regular reports using software programs
- Critical thinking – construction inspectors analyze estimates and assess construction sites
- Mathematics – construction inspectors use mathematical skills to verify measurements and study blueprints
Tools of the Trade
Construction inspectors regularly work with the following tools:
- Meters (voltage meters, moisture meters)
- Measuring tools (tape measures, gauges)
Construction Inspector Education and Training
Employers search for construction inspectors who have previous construction work experience, usually three or more years, to fill this role. Some employers additionally require construction inspectors to have a high school diploma or GED. A majority of employers require construction inspectors to be at least eighteen years of age. Because of the travel required for the job, construction inspectors must also have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
Little training is provided to construction inspectors, who are required to have previous experience in construction and already have the skills needed to perform their regular job tasks. Many construction inspectors go through a brief orientation period to familiarize themselves with construction workers and ongoing projects, usually lasting no more than one or two weeks.
Construction Inspector Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), construction and building inspectors earned $59,090 median annual income or $28.41 hourly in 2017. There were more than 100,000 jobs for construction and building inspectors in 2016, a number the BLS expects to rise by 10 percent through 2026. This job growth rate is faster than the national average.
Most construction inspectors receive complete benefits packages from employers that include health insurance with dental and vision coverage. Life insurance, short-term disability, and retirement benefits are typically included with benefits packages. After maintaining employment with the same employer for three months to one year, construction inspectors receive vacation leave and paid sick days as well.
Use these books and websites to find jobs, get career tips, and explore training and education programs for construction inspectors:
American Construction Inspectors Association – This website, designed for construction inspectors, offers job listings, training webinars, seminar and other event dates, and helpful career information.
Inspectors, Construction RED-HOT Career Guide; 2550 REAL Interview Questions – With more than 2,000 questions, this book provides answers to the interview questions employers are most likely to pose to construction inspectors. The text is organized by topic and offers tips for self-assessment and testing.
Construction Management Association of America – Look for education and training programs, learn more about certifications, find upcoming conferences, and explore resources for construction inspectors on this website.
Reinforced Concrete Masonry Construction Inspector’s Handbook, 8th Edition – This handbook provides techniques and strategies for inspecting reinforced concrete masonry on construction sites, a skill all construction inspectors need.
Associated Builders and Contractors – Get up-to-date news and media reports, learn more about safety, explore upcoming industry events, and browse education and training resources at this website for all builders and contractors.
Construction Inspection Manual – Look through inspection checklists, standard inspection procedures, and work techniques for construction inspectors with this in-depth manual.
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