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Duties of a Civil Inspector

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Civil inspectors have several important duties in the construction industry. Their main duty is to provide quality assurance on any state or private construction project. They carry out this by physical inspection. Other duties include examining proposed plans and reviewing social and economic effects of a construction project. A civil inspector may either work for a private firm or the state.

Inspect Construction Sites

A civil inspector visits a construction site on multiple occasions. Some are announced, while others are a surprise. The aim of these visits is to ensure that the work is carried out in accordance with local and federal building codes. According to the Phoenix government website, when a civil inspector finds a violation, he issues a notice of the violation and conducts follow-up inspections to ensure that corrections are made. No other building work may be carried out until such corrections are made.

Review Construction Plans

A civil inspector works with the construction company to review their plans and make sure that the plans comply with building regulations. If deficiencies are discovered, the inspector makes suggestions to help the builders determine how to meet the code requirements. Construction companies also contact the civil inspector with their code compliance questions. The inspector provides the appropriate information or guides the inquirer to the correct government department.

Respond to Complaints

If a citizen complains about a building site or proposed plans, it is the duty of the civil inspector to investigate the complaint. This may be as simple as reassuring the citizen that building codes are being followed and helping the person understand what the project entails. If a code violation is reported, a civil inspector investigates appropriately. Informers sometimes come from within the company doing the work, and a civil inspector must use good judgment not to reveal that person's identity.

Coordinate Projects

When several city construction or maintenance projects are in operation at once, it's the duty of a civil inspector to coordinate them. This includes reviewing all plans and time frames and ensuring that the work is carried out in logical order. Higher-level civil inspectors are responsible for managing monthly estimates of work and negotiating payment schedules with contractors. Examples of city projects are water and sewer line work and lighting and storm drain maintenance.


Alan Faeorin-Cruich has been writing and editing professionally since 2001. He has worked for publications such as "FLAGS Press" and "3DK." He specializes in legal and business topics. Faeorin-Cruich has a bachelor's degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

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