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About the profession

Building inspectors are employed by city, county, and state building departments to ensure building codes and standards are applied to new residential and commercial construction.

All individuals working as building inspectors in the state must hold an Oregon Inspector Certification, as well as additional code certifications.

What do inspectors do?

Building inspectors/code experts play a significant role in ensuring new homes and commercial buildings are constructed to code. They spend time at new construction sites inspecting general construction and/or specialized structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems. They also inspect the reconstruction, alteration, and repair of buildings and other structures and the installation of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical devices and equipment.  

Inspectors typically check a project several times: for an initial check in the early construction phase, for follow up inspections as the project progresses, and for a comprehensive examination after its completion. At each inspection, they may provide written or oral feedback about their findings. They also spend time in an office using various computer systems to review building plans and permit requests, as well as compile data and prepare inspection reports. As a result, these buildings are better prepared to survive earthquakes, fires, and other natural disasters.

Inspector duties include:

  • Reviewing plans to ensure they meet the state building code.
  • Working with architects, engineers, and contractors.
  • Monitoring construction sites periodically to ensure overall compliance.
  • Using instruments, devices, and test equipment to perform inspections.
  • Inspecting structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and other systems to ensure that building is safe and has structural integrity.
  • Keeping daily logs, including photographs taken during inspections.
  • Providing written documentation of findings.

What is the career outlook?

  • Entry-level education required: High school diploma or equivalent. Those with an Assosciate's degree have a competitive advantage in the labor market.
  • Pay range (2023): $72,379 - $87,209 per year; $25.14 - $42.16 per hour
  • Number of jobs in Oregon (2022): 1,315
  • Employment change, 2032: 1,422
  • Average annual opening: 165
  • Job outlook, 2022-2032: +8.1%

Information source: Oregon Employment Department |

Building safety professionals may also find employment in the private sector for companies that contract with local government to perform inspections or provide code expertise to architects, developers, and contractors during the building design phase. 

How do I become an inspector?