Powerful Geography
Construction and Building Inspector

Construction and Building Inspector

Construction and Building Inspectors


Main Topic: Places and Regions
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society 

Overview: In general, construction and building inspectors review plans, approve building plans, monitor construction sites, use survey instruments, inspect finished buildings, issue citations, keep logs, and write reports. Plan examiners are a type of construction and building inspectors who determine if plans for a building or structure comply with local codes. Plan examiners also determine the engineering and environmental demands of a building site. People with a background in geography would fit well into this field due to their understanding of field methods, like surveying, and the environment. Plan examiners need to complete a certification and continued training to remain up to date with local codes. They would also benefit with some experience in construction or engineering. This field is expected to continue growing in the next decade.

Zoning inspectors, also known as zoning officers, are responsible for interpreting and enforcing property zoning regulations and requirements on behalf of the municipal or regional planning, zoning, and land use departments. They must ensure that new development and on-going land occupancy conforms to any applicable regulations regarding land use and zoning, drainage and storm water management, special flood hazard areas and nuisance abatement. The educational requirements for becoming a zoning inspector may vary by municipality, although you are typically required to have at least an associate’s degree or a college diploma from a two-year college or technical school in building construction, urban planning, architecture or a related field. Some duties may include: Maintain accurate and complete zoning inspection reportsPrepare zoning inspection reportPrepare and process zoning violation lettersInvestigate and resolve citizen claims of possible zoning violationsReview legal descriptions, land title documents and plot appropriate information on mapsPerform photo research to gather information regarding correct legal description of propertyWrite and issue permits in accordance with the zoning ordinancesDetermine land use compliance and legal accessibility and maintain accurate land use maps. 

Geographers at work: Physical Geographers, Human Geographers 

Recommended College Courses: Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Management, Quantitative Methods, Human Geography, Regional Geography, Qualitative Methods 

Skills: Regional Planning, Environmental Management 

Occupation Group: Construction and Extraction

Learn more about Construction and Building Inspectors, including Plan Examiners and Zoning Inspectors from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-and-building-inspectors.htm#tab-2

Written by Christopher Hinojosa and Alisa Hartsell


Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.
Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.