Electrical inspection is an essential part of the construction field that makes sure all electrical systems and wiring in residential and commercial buildings meet the necessary safety standards. Electrical inspectors are trained professionals that perform a variety of tasks to ensure electrical systems are safe.
What does an electrical inspector do?
Electrical inspectors check the installation of electrical systems, wiring, and equipment to make sure they are functioning effectively and adhere to the necessary electrical standards and codes. They often visit construction sites to perform inspections on current and new electrical systems such as lighting, motors, wiring, sound and security systems, and generating equipment. They also check the installation of electrical wiring for appliances, heating and cooling systems, and other equipment. Electrical inspectors often use meters and other specialized equipment to perform their inspections.
What kind of training does an electrical inspector need?
Electrical inspectors need at least an associate degree, but most employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor degree in electronics or related field. Prospective electrical inspectors typically complete courses in electronics, building codes, electricity, electrical wiring, and architectural drawing. Many aspiring electrical inspectors complete internships to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide intensive on the job training to enable new electrical inspectors to learn the necessary expectations and procedures. New electrical inspectors often start out shadowing experienced workers and move on to independent tasks as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Some states require electrical inspectors to obtain licenses or certifications. The International Association of Electrical Inspectors offers certification programs. Electrical inspectors typically complete regular continuing education and additional training to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as an electrical inspector?
Employment of electrical inspectors is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 17% through 2018 (1). The growing population and increased concern for thorough inspection of electrical components will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for electrical inspectors with advanced training and extensive experience. Some job openings will result from the need to replace electrical inspectors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do electrical inspectors make?
As of 2011, electrical inspectors with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $14.24 and $29.97. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $20.13 and $33.72 (2).
A career as an electrical inspector is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in ensuring the public safety of a variety of electrical systems. Electrical inspectors must have a solid understanding of the concepts, procedures, and regulations of electrical inspection. Physical stamina, detail orientation, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are essential characteristics. Electrical inspectors must have good communication and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
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