A property inspector is responsible for examining the structural quality of any given property for general safety and occupancy. He usually inspects new homes, previously owned homes or townhomes and apartments. Property inspection may also include commercial buildings. It is the property inspector's duty to enforce standard property codes and ensure the property is within city, state or federal ordinances.
A property inspector must determine if property is up to government policy and procedure. She conducts interior and exterior inspections of said dwelling or building. She answers questions on calls related to construction requirements and restrictions for properties. The inspector retrieves permit information on individual properties through use of the computer. It also her duty to maintain property records through files and reports.
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers expect the property inspector to hold a high school diploma with post-secondary studies in engineering or architecture. The individual does not have to have a four-year college degree. However, employers like community college coursework completed in building inspection, home inspection and drafting and mathematics. Other related coursework that tends to be useful includes blueprint reading, algebra and geometry. Some states also require the property inspector to have a license or certificate to perform inspection duties. State-issued certifications vary by state.
Property inspectors generally work alone when conducting inspections. At times, the inspector must spend a significant amount of time at the home office looking over blueprints, writing reports or scheduling the actual inspection. On-site the inspector must endure work conditions that may be dirty, noisy or cluttered with work materials and tools. The inspector should also expect to wear a hardhat on-site for protection and to adhere to safety procedures. In general, the property inspector works regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours but inspectors who are self-employed have more irregular hours—at times working evenings or weekends.
In her profession the property inspector has the skill of organizing and determining code violations on specific properties. She is able to interpret building codes and federal, state and local laws on properties. The inspector can advise on construction methods to keep properties up to code. She must make accurate mathematical calculations, and understands oral and written directions and can communicate such directions clearly, both orally and in written word.
Salary and Occupational Outlook
As of May 2008, BLS states the average annual salary for a property inspector is $50,180 with salary ranges from $39,070 to $63,360. Occupational outlook for this industry is expected to grow 17 percent by the year 2018. The need to increase safety measures and adhere to government regulations on properties contribute to occupational growth.