How to become a building inspector: Australian careers in construction

Building inspectors play a vital role in ensuring the safety of anyone who comes into contact or is involved in a construction site. A building inspector visits construction zones and will check certain elements to ensure that it is compliant with the Australian Building Code of Practice, ensuring that a worksite is safe as well as functional. As well as providing advice and direction, a building inspector also considers the environmental surrounds, taking this into their deliberations when conducting their analysis.

  • Task Career in focus: What a building inspector does

    A building inspector will visit a worksite at any given time and will check construction practises, to ensure all employees are following protocol as well as examining management practices and building equipment. A building inspector carries a huge amount of responsibility ensuring the safety of all those involved at the site, so their knowledge of best practice must be up-to-date and extensive. Usually a building inspector will visit a building site at the different stages of its construction, ensuring protocols are always adhered to, from initiation to completion. If a building inspector believes a site is non-compliant, they can serve building notices in which the site can be shut down immediately until the identified issue is fixed.

    Tasks:

    • Ensure safety regulations and protocols are adhered to
    • Conduct regular inspections on building sites
    • Review building plans and provide compliance advice
    • Write reports and issue permits
    • Work with construction management to ensure best practice
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to succeed as a building instructor

    As a building inspector, you will deal with all sorts of people, from high executives to tradesmen, so it is important you can easily communicate clearly to a wide range of people. You will need to have a comprehensive knowledge on various policies and procedures in the building industry so you can easily provide advice in a timely manner. You will need a good attention to detail and the ability to make confident decisions and judgement calls.

    Skills/attributes
    • Analytical and problem-solving mind
    • Excellent communication skills, including written and verbal
    • Able to quickly build working relationships
    • Good eye for detail
    • Strong leadership and judgement skills
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations within construction

    A building inspector can be part of many different phases of a construction, from planning, architecture, financial budgeting and forecasting or civil engineering. You should be able to easily adapt to each of this phases and therefore hold a large amount of knowledge, relevant to each building stage.

    Construction Estimator

    As a construction estimator, you will examine building plans and discuss with other construction personnel about the materials and other requirements of a job. This involves looking at such elements such as budget, environmental impacts and other materials that are deemed as essential.    

    Surveyor

    A building inspector is a great way to progress into a job such as a building surveyor, who measure and record data in order to advise planners, builders and developers. A surveyor ensures that a building can soundly be made from a plan, into a reality.

    Building Consultant

    Many building inspectors progress their career into a consulting role. An independent building consultant is hired to advise on the potential impacts of a building to its surrounding environment as well as financial budget requirements.

  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a building inspector

    If you think you’d enjoy being a building inspector, you must first ensure you are familiar with a construction site and its various components. It is also useful to have skills in mathematics and a visual-spatial awareness, so you can easily translate formulas on plans to an actual building and understand these requirements. In Australia, you will need to gain a Construction Induction card and a form of tertiary education.

    Starting Out

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

    Building Skills

    Start your career with some entry-level courses in construction.

    Developing Your Resume

    Grow your professional skills to reach your potential.

    Industry Recognition

    Membership in a construction industry association is a great way to build your skills and provide you with vital networks in the industry. You will also be required to hold a Construction Induction card to work on a site in Australia.

    Entering the workforce

    To get ahead of other job seekers, you will need to make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date and easy to read. You should also tailor your job application to the specific job description of the job you are interested in.

    Job Prospects in Construction: Working life as a building inspector

    As Australia are expected to continue to grow our infrastructure, job vacancies for building inspectors are above average, with opportunities rising in the previous 5 years in both urban and regional areas. 

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