How to Become an ICC Building Inspector ?

If you building a new structure, increasing the square footage of your building, or remodeling an existing building then it must comply with the minimum buildings and safety codes.

The building inspector ensures that these codes are followed; most inspectors work for local governments or private companies. Inspector starts their work when the project begins and conduct follow up inspection throughout the project.

How to become an certified building inspector

The building inspector needs to have good knowledge of the building structure and be familiar with every element of the building.

The training is done partially in the field and partially with education. If you planning to pursue a career as a building inspector, the following steps will guide you to get your dream job.

Construction inspection degree

To become a building inspector you do not need a degree. However, if you just started and you do not have any experience, most of the community colleges offer construction inspections degree which helps you to gain experience and to better understand the building codes and to read the blueprints.

Some online schools offers a cheaper and quicker courses, but only help with passing the ICC exams. Having a degree helps you when you apply for a job and give you advantage. It looks better on your resume.

Obtain An ICC Certifications

To attain the certification, you have to do self-study for the exams. All the nationally recognized certification can be scheduled through the international code certification (ICC).

For example to become a Residential building inspector, you have to pass the residential building inspector exam (B1) .

ICC is the organization that develops standards and also the codes for the building and the construction industries. It offers almost 37 different certifications for the codes of safety professionals.

There are no requirements for you to apply for an ICC exam. However, You must be 18 years or older to become an ICC building inspector. The ICC exams are open book test.

The exam is designed to help you to navigate the different code sections throughout the code books. Every test requires different code book, check the exam catalog. Exam bulletin will have the code book name, year, questions count, exam duration, price, and if you can take it online or at one of their exam centers.

Get field experience

It is one of the most important steps to becoming a building inspector. Some education in the related field such as contractor can be substituted here, but there is no substitute for performing an inspection yourself under a knowledgeable partner’s supervision.

Getting an internship with the local government or private companies helps to gain experience and your resume will look better when applying for job.

Building inspector positions

The building inspector can choose to be a single trade inspector.

For example a building inspector, an electrical inspector, plumbing inspector, etc. or to be a combination building inspector which will require to be certified as plumbing inspector, electrical inspector, mechanical inspector and building inspector to qualify for the combination building inspector position.

The table below explain the required ICC Certification required for a residential single trade and the combination residential inspector. Same rule applies for commercial inspectors.

PositionICC Certification required
Residential Building inspector B1
Residential Electrical inspectorE1
Residential Plumbing inspectorP1
Residential Mechanical inspectorM1
Residential Combination Building inspectorB1,E1,P1,M1
Building inspector positions

Building inspector positions levels

Assistant building inspector

An entry level inspector position and require High school diploma and ICC certification, One year of experience as a contractor or equivalent educations. Some positions will give a year from the hire date to get the required ICC certification.

Building inspector |

One year of experience working as an assistant inspector or/and a year of experience working as a trade contractor and ICC certification.

Building inspector ||

Two years of experience working as a building inspector and multiple ICC certifications, it depends on the position.

Senior building inspector

Five years of experience working as a building inspector- management skills – ICC certifications.

Building official

10 years of experience working as building inspector and senior inspector. The building official positions requires management skills, Building official ICC Certification, and Plans Examiner certification. Some local government requires a bachelor degree and CASP Certification.

Building inspectors salaries

The Salary of the construction and the building inspector starts between 40K to 60K depending upon the domain knowledge and Experience. The Salary of the Building Inspector Varies in every state:

Median Building Inspector Salaries

District of Columbia$77,850
Puerto Rico$29.060
West Virginia$41,330
North Carolina$53,780
South Carolina$46,170
North Dakota$66,360
South Dakota$48,120
New Hampshire$56,160
New Jersey$64,770
New Mexico$53,060
New York$62,160
Rhode Island$60,180


In a nutshell, The construction and the building inspector perform an important public service to ensure that building and safety of structures are safe to use. The building Inspector should act with a good manner and without malice.