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Building Codes Academy

The Oregon Inspector Training Program has developed a Building Codes Academy for people interested in the construction industry. The academy aims to increase the number of certified building inspectors who are qualified to work in Oregon.

The state is working to address the current and future employment needs of more than 100 municipalities that provide inspection services for residential and commercial construction projects in Oregon. Trainees who successfully complete the academy will earn a Residential Inspector Certification. The certification will allow them to perform plan reviews and inspections of residential structures. The certification is required for entry-level jobs with municipalities in the state.

Building inspectors duties

Building inspectors are generally employed by city, county, and state jurisdictions to ensure building codes and standards are applied to new residential and commercial construction. Code inspectors protect the public's health and safety in relation to construction. The U.S. has a shortage of code inspectors due to an aging workforce and increased construction activity.

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.

Projected job growth and salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that there were 101,200 jobs in the code inspection industry in the U.S. in 2014. That is expected to grow 8 percent through 2024, adding about 8,100 jobs. In 2015, the average pay for a certified building inspector in the U.S. was $57,340 per year ($27.57 per hour). In Oregon, inspectors earn an entry-level wage from $19.20 to $31.19 per hour ($39,936 to $64,875 a year) depending on if they work in a rural or urban setting. (The range of entry-level wages in Oregon based on data available to the public on surveyed jurisdictions’ websites.)

Academy structure, courses, and outcomes

Trainees will learn to perform inspections and plan reviews of buildings constructed according to the Oregon Residential Specialty Code. Other information about the academy includes:

  • The training academy begins in the fall and operates for approximately nine months.
  • The division expects to admit several trainees.
  • Trainees will be employed by the Building Codes Division and may be eligible for state employee benefits while completing the academy.
  • Standard State of Oregon employee rules of conduct apply to all trainees.
  • Each trainee will paid an hourly training wage based on a standard 40-hour work week, Monday through Friday.
  • Trainees must attend academy courses and other activities at the Building Codes Division classroom in Salem. Class attendance is mandatory.
  • The academy will address all parts of construction inspection through classroom study and on-the-job training. Trainees will learn from certified state inspectors.
  • Courses will include lecture, discussion, out-of-class assignments, assigned research, a progress review, and final review (exams). The division will provide training materials to trainees at no cost.

Trainees will learn to:

  • Identify and address desirable professional and ethical rules of conduct for inspectors.
  • Identify construction components that meet and do not meet the requirements of the state’s residential, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing specialty codes.
  • Correctly evaluate residential construction project design and documents.
  • Operate the state's electronic permitting system, including processing permits and inspections.

Application process

The 2019 application process has not begun. Please check back after July 1, 2019 for updates on how to apply for the 2019-2020 Oregon Building Codes Academy program. 

Applicants should plan to:

  • Demonstrate an interest in building construction or code compliance.
  • Highlight unique qualifications such as completion of high school coursework in math, science, and engineering or in the building trades; or exposure to the building trades through employment or volunteer experience with businesses or organizations.
  • Address their ability to write and communicate effectively; pay close attention to detail; and collaborate successfully with others.

The division will evaluate all submitted applications and select candidates for interview. Candidates will receive notification of their acceptance into the academy in late summer. Courses will begin in the fall.

To learn more, contact:
Oregon Inspector Training Program
1535 Edgewater Street NW, Salem, OR 97304
Phone: 503-373-7974

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