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How Do I Become an Electrical Inspector?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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An electrical inspector makes certain that a building’s electric wiring is in compliance with applicable safety regulations. In order to become an electrical inspector, you must have a thorough understanding of electricity and safety codes. This knowledge is usually acquired through a combination of formal education and on-the-job training. A professional license is typically required to become an electrical inspector, and you may also want to pursue professional certification to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date.

It is best to earn a college degree in electronics before you become an electrical inspector. Although some employers will accept an associate’s degree, most require completion of a bachelor’s degree prior to hiring. Typical college coursework includes subjects such as electronics, electrical theory, circuitry, and wiring. You will also learn electrical safety codes and how to read architectural blueprints.

Along with your formal education, a certain amount of practical work experience is also needed to become an electrical inspector. It might be possible to participate in some type of internship during college to gain hands-on training. Some employers may allow you to train as an apprentice if a college internship is not possible. An apprenticeship permits you to accompany an experienced electrical inspector for a period of time to improve your skills.

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Most local regions require a professional license to become an electrical inspector. Licensing requirements vary for each region and should be determined prior to college enrollment. You may want to consider becoming professionally certified after gaining sufficient education and work experience. In the United States, professional certification is offered by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. Work experience requirements vary according to your college degree and recertification courses must be taken periodically.

Improper electrical wiring can be dangerous and strict safety regulations must be observed during installation. An electrical inspector examines new wiring installations for compliance with local safety codes, which apply to both residential and commercial structures to protect occupants from shock and fire hazards. Newly constructed and remodeled structures must be inspected for compliance before the wiring is put to use.

You must have a great deal of knowledge about electrical wiring and local safety regulations to become an electrical inspector. In addition to electrical wiring, you must understand how motors, generators, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems operate. The ability to use sophisticated voltage meters and other testing equipment is also required. This knowledge can be gained from college-level training courses or many years of practical work experience.

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