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How to become a building inspector in Australia: careers in construction

Building inspectors are responsible for ensuring the safety of people working and living in buildings. They assess constructions to ensure they adhere to Australia’s Building Code of Practice and determine whether or not a building is fit for use. They also determine what is needed to increase the safety, accessibility and functionality of a building. Building inspectors consider environmental factors, current structural conditions and standards of building practices and provide authority in signing off on private and municipal buildings in all stages of construction.
Pathways

Being a building inspector: daily duties

Building inspectors assess buildings by examining the condition of the structure and make a note of any defects or possible issues. They need to have a high level of familiarity with the structural and safety requirements buildings must have to be deemed fit for use. Building inspectors influence the planning and construction stages of projects and assess compliance with building codes. They can authorise a house’s liveability status, carry out building inspections and serve building notices.

Tasks:

  • Ensure codes of compliance and legislation are met
  • Provide advice to builders, owners and developers
  • Assess building plans
  • Issue building permits
  • Inspect safety conditions
Skills

Being a building inspector: skills for success

Building inspectors need to well-versed in the procedures and laws that apply before, during and after a construction project. They need to have a good attention to detail and strong planning and development skills. Excellent communication skills are needed as they often have to carry out face-to-face consulting and on-site inspections. Strong analysis skills are useful as the role involves forecasting of time, costs and resources needed to complete construction projects.
Skills/attributes
  • Technical minded
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Management and leadership
  • Strong attention to detail
Specs

Specialised roles within construction

Building inspectors are involved in all parts of the construction process from architectural planning through to construction, finance, plumbing and surveying. This means that there are many potential avenues for them to pursue specialisations in to advance their careers.
  • Construction estimator
    Construction estimators have an in-depth knowledge of the structure of edificial developments. They estimate the building materials needed, energy efficiency, financial capability and environmental conditions that will affect construction projects.
  • Surveyor
    Surveyors take precise measurements, collect survey data and give expert advice to builders, developers and planners while also ensuring that building work and plans are consistent.
  • Building consultant
    Building consultants have a demonstrated familiarity with the construction process and efficient methods of achieving sustainable living within budgets. They work on a range of projects on a contract basis.
Pathways

Educational pathways for building inspectors

Building inspectors need a demonstrated knowledge of the Australian construction industry as well as proficiency in mathematics or engineering. Vocational training is needed as well as holding a Construction Induction Card.
  • Start your career
    Get started in the competitive and busy world of construction with one of these courses.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Targeted courses will give you the skills you’ll need for a career in construction.
  • Build your resume
    Get ahead and work towards your professional development goals with these courses.
  • Industry requirements
    To work on any building site in Australia, you will need to hold a Construction Induction Card. You may have better success finding employment with membership of a professional building inspector association.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your construction career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Employment for building inspectors has risen in the last five years, and job vacancies in this field are expected to remain above average.

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