How To Become A Building Inspector in Canada – Ultimate Guide

by Usama Chaudry on February 28, 2022

The process of building inspection includes analyzing whether existing, new, or under-construction buildings are structurally sound and safe for their residents. Building inspectors, also known as construction inspectors, have a thorough understanding of municipal and provincial building rules, ordinances, and zoning guidelines, for which specialized education and training are required.

Learning more about becoming a building inspector can help you better decide whether or not this career is a perfect fit for you.

This blog will look at how to become a building inspector, their roles and responsibilities, average earnings, and some frequently asked questions related to this profession.

How to Become a Building Inspector in Canada

You can follow these in-depth steps to learn how to become a building inspector:

  1. Get Appropriate Training

Earning a high school diploma is the first step toward becoming a building inspector, and having a bachelor’s degree may give you an edge over other candidates. To build a strong resume, you can also obtain professional certifications. Look for programmes at a university, college, or online course that are relevant.  You can also enroll in development materials, cement standards, heating and cooling frameworks, and plumbing and electrical assessment courses.

You can consider pursuing the following educational fields as well to become a building inspector:

  • construction technology
  • mechanical inspection
  • structural and construction inspection
  • building inspection technology
  • building safety and code administration
  • building code enforcement
  • inspection and testing for welding
  • concrete construction inspection
  • masonry construction inspection
  • steel construction inspection
  1. Obtain Experience in Building Inspections

After completing your training as a designer, draftsperson, maintenance worker, or electrician, working in the construction industry can help you earn experience, find jobs, and become a professional building inspector. Get yourself enrolled in a mentoring programme with a team of seasoned building inspectors. Observe your mentors during their inspection tour to see how they lead primary assessments.

Moreover, you can learn about research methodologies and improve the skills required to analyze building codes and statutes through these mentorship programmes. You can also learn to write comprehensive reports and communicate with customers. This approach allows you to build a substantial network of contacts in the construction and real estate industries with practical knowledge and training. This could assist you in forging ahead in your career by providing you with information on job accessibility and availability and helpful work tips. 

  1. Develop Relevant Skills

During your school and work experience, you can practise and enhance the following essential skills to become a building inspector:

Attention to detail: 

Construction inspection requires close attention to detail to conduct thorough investigations. This ability enables the building inspectors to notice and record any flaws needed to be rectified.

Communication: 

Experts in this profession write accurate reports that include instructions for building improvements. They also dumb down detailed information through clear communication.

Physical fitness: 

Building inspectors must be physically fit to be productive while doing investigations as they have to spend a lot of time on their feet, walking in and out of buildings, including stair climbing.

Computer proficiency: 

Professional building inspectors utilize meters and various other testing equipment to keep track of the building status. Knowledge and experience with computers and other technology can help you accomplish your job more efficiently when using these tools.

Organization: 

Building inspectors must possess organization and time management skills to manage the workload, as they have to look at various projects in a short amount of time. 

  1. Acquire a Professional Certification

Depending on the city and province you live in, it may be necessary to obtain an expert accreditation to become a building inspector. Certified building inspectors are more likely to be hired by businesses since they demonstrate that they stay up with current industry information, prerequisites, and advancements. Earning professional certificates can also help you advance in your career by allowing you to hold higher-ranking positions or boost your earning potential. You can earn various certifications in multiple building inspection specialities, such as electrical work, plumbing, environmental effects, and security compliance.

Here are some examples of different building inspector certifications that you should consider acquiring:

Certified Electrical Inspector (CEI) Certification: 

The International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) administers the CEI certification appropriate for authorized and experienced electricians who desire to become reviewers or inspectors. Electrical training, apprenticeship, and job experience are required to earn this certificate.

Certified Professional Inspector: 

Each province has specific requirements for becoming a certified professional inspector. In some provinces, obtaining this certification necessitates passing a test. 

Business Building Inspector B2 Certification:

This certification is administered by the International Code Council, which assesses candidates’ knowledge of the International Building Code and other fundamental development areas. Applicants must complete a preparation and code manual survey course and pass an assessment test to receive this certificate. 

Key Roles in the Job of a Building Inspector

The primary responsibility of a construction inspector is to conduct on-site structural evaluations of existing and new buildings to ensure that they fulfill the crucial requirements. A building inspector’s other responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring development activity and assessing project progress at each building phase 
  • Troubleshooting potential difficulties or compliance issues based on local, provincial, and federal regulations.
  • Giving proposals and endorsements for repairs and changes to a structure.
  • Inspecting and testing electrical and plumbing fixtures to meet provincial and government criteria.
  • Checking components at construction sites such as drainage, height, and building area.
  • Reviewing new structure plans and drawings and modifying proposed designs to ensure consistency and conformance to construction standards.
  • Providing occupancy certifications after they are pleased with the quality of the repairs or development.
  • Examining large structures and supporting steel bars to ensure that they meet the appropriate standards.
  • Guiding experts about building requirements so that they can make the necessary improvements.
  • Issuing appropriate individuals building licenses after approval.
  • Assisting with design certification and ensuring that other professionals follow plans.

Average Salary of a Building Inspector in Canada

Canada’s average building inspector salary is CAD 76,160 per year or CAD 39.06 per hour. Entry-level building inspection positions start at CAD 66,452, while the most professional building inspectors earn up to CAD 86,373 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do building inspectors make good money?

Yes, the building inspector jobs are lucrative. On average, building inspectors make around CAD 76,160 per year in Canada, equal to CAD 39.06 per hour. Entry-level construction inspection positions start from CAD 66,452, while the one with higher experience makes up to CAD 86,373 annually.

2. How much does a building inspection cost?

Building inspections typically cost: 

  • $200 -$250 for a small apartment (up to 100 square meters).
  • $250-$400 for an average-sized home with three bedrooms in a regional area.
  • $400-$500 for a larger house with four bedrooms in a regional area.
  • $800-1000 for an average-sized home in a metropolitan area.

3. Is a building inspector a surveyor?

No, they both have different responsibilities. A building surveyor’s primary responsibility is to advise clients on building design, construction, maintenance, and repair. On the other hand, a building inspector ensures quality control on the job site at various phases and provides property owners with peace of mind.

Conclusion: 

Building or construction inspectors are professionals who have immense knowledge about building codes and ordinances. They are responsible for inspecting current and old buildings to determine whether the structures are secured for their residents. 

We hope you find this article helpful in knowing how to become a building inspector. For any further queries, do let us know in the comment section.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.

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