Download PDF

Contents

1. Working as a Construction Inspector [NOC 2264]

Job Description

Construction inspectors inspect and examine buildings and construction sites to make sure that specifications, building codes and safety regulations are followed.

You may perform the following duties:

  • Inspect blueprints and plans for new buildings, renovations, and other construction projects to make sure they conform to construction standards
  • Visit construction sites at each stage of construction to ensure they conform to code
  • Make sure that safety systems, such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems, are in place
  • Inspect and test electrical or plumbing installations in buildings to ensure compliance with municipal, provincial and federal regulations
  • Inspect construction sites to ensure that safe working conditions are maintained
  • Inspect existing buildings to identify and report on structural defects, fire hazards and other threats to safety
  • Inspect new or resale homes on behalf of clients and assess and provide reports on the physical condition of property

Sources: WorkBC 2264, Career Cruising [Profile for Building Inspector]

Industry Overview

There are currently 2,200 people employed as construction inspectors in BC. Most new job opportunities will arise from the need to replace retiring workers.

The employment outlook for construction inspectors is driven by the construction industry. Anticipated growth in construction activities will support demand for construction inspection services by both governments and private buyers.

In addition, growing concerns about public safety and building quality due to “leaky condo” problems have increased the demand for inspection services. Building inspection services for prospective home buyers is a growing source of employment.

Job Outlook in BC (2019-2029)

forecasted average employment growth rate, job openings and composition of job openings


Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2019-2029:

Region Employment in 2019 Average Annual Employment
Growth
Expected
Number of
Job Openings
Vancouver Island 460 0.4% 200
Lower Mainland / Southwest 1,490 1.0% 740
Thompson-Okanagan 290 0.7% 160
Kootenay 80 -0.2% 30
Cariboo 110 0.2% 30
Northeast 90 2.6% 60
North Coast & Nechako 60 0.1% 20

You can learn more about working as a construction inspector in BC from:

  • Career Cruising  database [profiles for Building Inspector & Home Inspector]
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Types of Employers

Construction inspectors work for:

  • all levels of government
  • architectural and civil engineering consulting companies
  • construction companies
  • real estate companies
  • may be self employed

Salary

The median annual salary for construction inspectors in BC is $58,240. Your salary may depend on your education, specialty, and experience. Large companies tend to pay more than smaller ones.

In addition to your salary, full-time construction inspectors often receive benefits such as dental coverage, sick leave, and paid vacations.

Sources: WorkBC and Career Cruising

In BC regions you can expect to make:

          Location                                            Wage ($/hr)

Low Median High
British Columbia 19.00 30.00 45.00
Cariboo Region 19.00 30.00 45.00
Kootenay Region 19.00 30.00 45.00
Lower Mainland/Southwest 21.00 32.00 45.00
Thompson-Okanagan 19.00 30.00 45.00
Vancouver Island/Coast 20.00 29.00 37.00

Source: Job Bank Canada [Search 2264]

Working Hours

Construction inspectors generally work a regular 40-hour week.  However, you may be required to work overtime to complete projects and meet deadlines. Some inspectors are also required to work evenings and weekends.

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Good communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Able to work alone and as part of a team
  • Willingness to pursue continuing education

Education and Experience

To work as a construction inspector, you generally require:

  • post-secondary education in construction, civil engineering or architectural technology
  • entry-level training courses and programs in construction safety, fire protection and home and property inspection, which can range in length from one day to two years
  • licensing is required to work as a Home Inspector

Several years of experience as a qualified tradesperson in a construction trade such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical may also qualify you to become a construction inspector

Qualifications

This occupation is regulated in British Columbia

To work as a Home Inspector in British Columbia, you must be licensed by Consumer Protection BC. Licensing requires a combination of academic training, work experience, successful completion of a competency exam and other criteria.

Professional Certification as a Property Inspector is also available through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC). The following designations are available:

  • CHI or Certified House Inspector – this designation relates to the standard house inspection that might be carried out by a prospective home purchaser.
  • CPI or Certified Property Inspector – members with this designation may do house inspections, but are also certified to carry out various types of commercial property inspections.

For more information:

Building inspectors are required to complete the level 1 building inspector course, endorsed by the Building Officials’ Association of BC.

3. Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

Online Job Postings

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For construction inspectors, look for these related job titles (from NOC 2264):

  • building inspector
  • home inspector
  • housing construction inspector
  • plumbing inspector
  • highway construction inspector
  • pre-stressed concrete inspector
  • bridge inspector
  • safety officer – construction

Creating a List of Potential Employers

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “building inspection” and click SEARCH.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

4. Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:

5. Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for construction inspectors in BC and Canada provide information & assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession.

Example at the Central Library includes: