Do you think you have what it takes to be an electrical inspector?
Electrical inspector is an in-demand skill in almost all businesses and real estate. It is where a person checks all equipment in a building to ensure it meets the national standards for safety. But an electrical inspector does more than just check. He must also be knowledgeable in all aspects of the electrical equipment as well as have a good grasp of basic electrical concepts, procedures and the rules of the state.
Are you concerned about people’s safety, fascinated by electrical work? Do you show attention to detail when it comes to anything ‘electric’ like a circuit, a wire or a voltage system? Do you think you have the physical stamina to learn different skills to join both the commercial and industrial world of electricity? If you said ‘Yes’ to all the questions above, then you have a good chance of being a great electrical inspector.
Job Overview and Description
An electrical inspector takes care of the installation and maintenance of different electrical systems.
They make sure that everything is functioning properly not only for the continued use of the equipment but also for the people’s safety. They inspect different types of equipment which are not limited to the lighting system, motors and other devices, security systems, computer systems and the likes. They also take a closer look at heating and cooling systems, appliances, manufacturing devices and basic wiring and circuitry. As you can see, just about any building needs an electrical inspector who will ensure that everything is working properly.
Being an electrical inspector begins with having the proper training. Fortunately, you do not need to know much about electrical work to do this. You can start by taking a course. The good thing here is that you do not need to spend years in an engineering school to enter this field. Some people will employ you even if you just have a 2-year associate degree in the electric field. While most employers prefer if you have a bachelor’s degree, you can still increase your likelihood of getting hired by joining an apprenticeship program with your associate degree.
An apprenticeship is required for certification. Apprenticeship programs are required because this is where you get to learn the skills. You get hands-on experience on handling different electronic equipments as well as learning the maintenance processes. You may also be given the skills that electricians or engineering technicians only know. You are also introduced to different tools reserved for electrical inspectors. If you plan to be a residential electrical inspector, then you will need to complete at least 2,000 hours of apprenticeship. Meanwhile, if you simply want to be registered, then you can just complete 4,000 hours. Being a master electrical inspector is different. You will need to complete 8,000 hours for that. Though these programs are not designed to turn you into a journeyman electrician or a master electrician, the skills are still as valuable to different electrical contractors and they are required for your certification.
The process will never be complete unless you have a license. Some states like West Virginia will not allow you to work if you are not certified. According to Chapter 29, Article 3C of the West Virginia Code, anyone performing electrical inspection and is paid to do so needs to be certified. I guess this is done with good reason. After all, the safety of the people is at risk here. This job may entail handling an electrical or electronic project that can endanger the life of the people that they are working for. And because of that, they need to be certified.
Fortunately, getting certified is easy. It all begins with filling a form in your local office. The International Association of Electrical Inspectors then administers an exam. There are two types: the residential electrical inspector’s certification and the master certification. The first exam consists of 90 questions while the second exam consists of 120 questions. All of them are open-book questions which will mostly test your knowledge in electrical inspection.
If you plan to take electrical inspection as a career, then you are in luck. There are lots of opportunities in this line of work. Aside from the fact that there are a lot of electrician or contractor companies that are looking for certified electrical inspectors, there are also some private companies seeking these services. For example, a certain company may seek the electrical inspection services not only for the installation of its electrical system but also for everyday maintenance and repair. You may also have to work closely with an engineer as a building is created and you may also manage a building’s energy consumption. Electrical inspectors are always in demand in just about any field. It can be in the communications or medical field. Any type of business needs an inspector to take care of its electrical equipment.
Aside from that, you can expect the job market to never run out. With the economic downturn, more and more people are concerned about unstable jobs. The electrical inspection field is not like that. In fact, the employment rate is expected to increase by 17% in a span of 10 years. This is clearly a growing field that will never run out of jobs for people who are trained to do them.
Now that you know that being an electrical inspector is an easy job to have, you may be concerned about the salary.
You do not need to worry. This is a job that pays a generous income. If you have gained certification and have up to 4 years of experience, you can expect to make up to $20 an hour by simply inspecting electrical or electronic equipments. This can also increase as you gain more experience. There are some inspectors making as much as $33 per hour with 9 years of experience.
If you are looking for a promising job with a good pay and stable market, then electrical inspection may be for you. It is easy to get into and the rewards are great. So if you are looking for a job which you can easily enter, being an electrical inspector just might be your calling.