What does a building inspector do?

A building inspector generates an assessment of the building by examining first-hand the condition of the structure, noting any defects or possible issues. The duties of a building inspector demand a high level of familiarity with the safety and structural requirements that a building must meet for it to be deemed fit for use. They strongly influence the planning and construction stages of a project. A registered building inspector is capable of assessing a development’s compliance with building codes, authorising a house’s status of liveability, carrying out building inspections and serving building notices. The details with which these factors must be assessed require a building inspector to operate on-site.

Tasks:

  • Ensure codes of compliance and legislation are met by developers
  • Provide advice and assistance to builders, owners and developers
  • Assess whether building plans conform to building regulations
  • Issue building permits and compliance certificates
  • Inspect safety conditions, energy efficiency and accessibility of buildings

What skills do I need to be a building inspector?

Building inspectors must first and foremost be familiar with the various procedures before, during and after a construction project. As building inspectors are responsible for assessing the safety of a building, attention to detail and a first-hand involvement in the planning and development of buildings is needed. Face-to-face consulting and onsite inspections are essential to the job of a building inspector. An analytical mind is also helpful as one can assist in the forecasting of time, cost and resources needed for a project to be complete.
Skills/attributes
  • A highly technical mind with a knack for problem solving
  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Organisational and forecasting abilities
  • Great attention to detail

Specialisations

As building inspectors can be involved with all parts of the construction process, including architectural planning, construction, finance, plumbing and surveying, there are many potential avenues of specialisation. A capable building inspector demonstrates their ability to oversee and tweak all facets of a project’s development and thus, possesses the knowledge and wherewithal to navigate other avenues in the growing building industry.

Construction Estimator

An extremely useful role in the construction process is that of a construction estimator. Having gained an in-depth knowledge into the structure of edificial development would help you to become an educated estimator. This job involves estimating building materials needed, energy efficiency, financial capability and environmental conditions.

Surveyor

Experience as a building inspector is an enormous advantage when progressing to the level of building surveyors. Surveyors take precise measurements, collect survey data and provide expert advice to planners, builders and developers while ensuring consistency between the building work and the plans.

Building Consultant

Building inspectors can further establish themselves as independent consultants. Individuals that can demonstrate their familiarity with the construction process and efficient methods of achieving liveable sustainability within budget may choose to work on a range of projects on a contract basis as a consultant.

Study pathways for building inspectors

To become a building inspector, one must demonstrate experience in or knowledge of the construction industry. Proficiency in mathematics or engineering can be helpful in this career. To become an accredited building inspector in Australia, you will need vocational training and a Construction Induction Card.

Getting Started

Find courses that will get you started in the competitive and busy world of construction.

Skill Building

Learn the skills you’ll need for a successful career in construction with targeted courses.

Professional Development

Work towards your professional goals; equip yourself with courses that will help you get ahead.

Industry Recognition

A Construction Induction Card is required to work on any building site in Australia. Membership of a professional building inspector association may help you find employment.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your construction industry career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Job vacancies in this line of work are expected to be above average. Employment has risen in the past 5 years in the building industry. As this is a large and varied industry, work opportunities should be present in both rural and urban areas.