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Career and Education Opportunities for Building Inspectors in Chicago, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for building inspectors in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 2,680 working building inspectors in Illinois; this should grow by 15% to 3,090 working building inspectors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for building inspectors are expected to grow by about 16.8%. Building inspectors generally inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations.

The income of a building inspector is about $28 per hour or $58,790 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 hourly or $50,180 yearly on average. Earnings for building inspectors are better than earnings in the general category of General Construction in Illinois and better than general General Construction category earnings nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including five within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a building inspector. Building inspectors usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a building inspector if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Building Inspector

Building Inspector video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, building inspectors inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. They also inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

Building inspectors inspect and interpret plans, blueprints and construction methods to insure compliance to legal requirements and safety regulations. They also inspect bridges and foundations during and after construction for structural quality, general safety and conformance to given requirements and codes. Equally important, building inspectors have to measure dimensions and verify level, alignment, and elevation of structures and fixtures to insure compliance to building plans and codes. They are often called upon to inspect and monitor construction sites to insure adherence to safety standards and specifications. They are expected to use survey instruments and test equipment, such as concrete strength measurers, to perform inspections. Finally, building inspectors train, direct and supervise other construction inspectors.

Every day, building inspectors are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for building inspectors to monitor placement of plumbing and appliances to insure that installation is performed properly and is in adherence to applicable regulations. They are often called upon to maintain daily logs and supplement inspection records with photographs. They also issue violation notices and stop-work orders, conferring with owners and authorities to explain regulations and recommend rectifications. They are sometimes expected to approve and sign plans that meet required specifications. Somewhat less frequently, building inspectors are also expected to monitor placement of plumbing and appliances to insure that installation is performed properly and is in adherence to applicable regulations.

Building inspectors sometimes are asked to evaluate premises for cleanliness, including proper garbage disposal and lack of vermin infestation. They also have to be able to compute estimates of work completed or of needed renovations or upgrades, and approve payment for contractors And finally, they sometimes have to inspect and monitor construction sites to insure adherence to safety standards and specifications.

Like many other jobs, building inspectors must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Construction Supervisor. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
  • Construction Worker. Perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, clean up rubble and debris, and remove asbestos, lead, and other hazardous waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Building Inspector Training

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector which graduated three students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector which graduated eleven and seven students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60621-2709. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,873 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College has a less than one year program in Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector which graduated four students in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has an associate's degree program in Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector which graduated two students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a master's degree program in Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties.

CERTIFICATIONS

Commissioning Agent: Commissioning Agents perform functional performance tests and acceptance of HVAC systems in the building commissioning process.

For more information, see the Associated Air Balance Council website.

Building Plans Inspector: Becoming ICC certified in one or more professional categories represents a significant accomplishment that offers national recognition of your achievement; increased earning and career advancement potential; and proof of your knowledge, technical expertise and commitment to protect public health safety and welfare.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Journeyman Mechanical: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Master Electrician: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Maintenance Electrician: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Residential Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Certified Housing Code Official: Exams Required: Property Maintenance & Housing Inspector, Examination, Technology Examination, Legal and Management Examination.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Residential Electrician: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Electrical & Instrumentation Pipeline Technician: Topics covered on exam include: Pipeline E & I Safety, Electrical Theory & General Knowledge, Inspect Test and Calibrate Pressure Switches and Transmitters, Test Overfill Protective Devices, Inspect and Calibrate Overfill Protective Devices, Verify or Set Protection Parameters for Programmable Controllers and/or other Instrumentation Control Loops, Actuator/Operator Adjustment, CPM Leak Detection, Maintain Fixed Gas Detection Equipment.

For more information, see the National Center for Construction Education and Research website.

Bridge Safety Inspection: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in the inspection of existing bridges in order to determine their physical condition, maintenance needs, and potential hazards.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Construction Code Inspectors : This is a 2 hour, open book 50 question multiple choice exam.

For more information, see the Prometric website.

Accredited Marine Surveyor : Our Accredited Marine Surveyor® (AMS®) members must have a minimum of 5 years experience and must pass a written examination by our testing committee in order to earn his or her AMS® credential.

For more information, see the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.