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Home Inspector

Home inspectors visually examine buildings and write reports about the condition of major components. These might include exterior systems such as the overall structure, roof, and insulation, and interior systems such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating.

Also Known As

Home and Property Inspector, Inspector

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 2264: Construction Inspectors

2006 NOC-S

  • C164: Construction Inspectors

2011 NOC

  • 2264: Construction inspectors

2016 NOC

  • 2264: Construction inspectors

2021 NOC

  • 22233: Construction inspectors

2023 OaSIS

  • 22233.00: Construction inspectors
Duties
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Home inspectors visually inspect house and apartment systems and components. They look for damage, evidence of deterioration, amateur maintenance work, and improperly installed components. Potential buyers or sellers hire them to prepare detailed reports. Reports may be narrative or may include detailed checklists with photo images, and notes about problems and what could happen if repairs are not made. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, home inspectors cannot sell real estate or repair problems identified during inspections.

Inspectors may probe structural components that show signs of deterioration if they can do so without damaging finished surfaces. Otherwise, they note their observations in reports and may recommend further evaluation.

On building exteriors, home inspectors check items such as:

  • Foundations
  • Wall coverings, flashings, and trims
  • Doors and windows
  • Attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and railings
  • Eaves, soffits, and fascias that can be accessed from ground level
  • Vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls that might adversely affect the building
  • Walkways, patios, and driveways

On the roof, they check:

  • The roof covering
  • Drainage systems
  • Flashings
  • Roof penetrations such as skylights, vents, and chimneys

An inspection from the ground or roof-edge is acceptable if the roof is unsafe.

Inside, they check items such as:

  • Plumbing systems, including fixtures and faucets, drains, vents, and water heating equipment
  • Electrical systems, such as service equipment and main disconnects, panels, conductors, over-current protection devices, and fixtures such as switches and receptacles
  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Fireplaces
  • Walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, railings, and a sampling of cabinets
  • Attics, basements, and crawlspaces
  • Insulation and ventilation (when easily accessible)

Home inspectors do not normally check items such as chimney flues that are not readily accessible. They also do not check the operation of accessories such as air filters, water softeners, and lawn sprinklers. However, technology such as infrared cameras, flexible scope cameras, and drones are being used more and more to inspect concealed and hard-to-access components.

Inspectors who offer extra services, such as fireplace, septic tank, or well inspections, are performing the duties of a general contactor. They must therefore obtain the insurance needed to protect themselves, as these services are most often sub-contracted.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Self-employed home inspectors usually work from home. Hours are flexible but may be long when there is enough daylight to work evenings. Inspectors may work weekends to meet deadlines and accommodate clients’ schedules.

The warmer months are usually busiest for home inspectors. In the winter, hours of work may be reduced to part time or less.

The work can be physically demanding. Home inspectors often must squeeze into tight spaces, lift heavy items, and climb onto roofs. To avoid injury, they must follow safety precautions when inspecting electrical systems, roofs, and other components.

The work can also be emotionally demanding. Dealing with real estate agents who want to close sales quickly and clients who have unrealistic expectations can be stressful.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Construction Inspectors

2006 NOC: 2264

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in handling equipment and materials to inspect steel framework, concrete forms, reinforcing steel mesh and rods, concrete and pre-stressed concrete to ensure quality standards; and in inspecting construction sites to ensure safe working conditions are maintained

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing data from inspection of sites to verify that they conform to specifications and building codes, and from inspections and tests of electrical and plumbing installations to ensure that they comply with municipal, provincial and federal regulations

directive

Interest in speaking with purchasers to inspect, assess and provide reports on new and resale homes; and in inspecting existing buildings to identify and report on structural defects, fire hazards and other threats to safety

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Home inspectors need:

  • The ability to present bad news tactfully
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Observational skills
  • Self-promotional skills
  • The ability to climb ladders and stairs
  • Good eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell
  • The ability to understand complex technical documents such as manufacturers’ specifications
  • Integrity

They should enjoy:

  • Taking a methodical approach to their work
  • Analyzing their observations
  • Dealing with people

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Construction inspectors

2016 NOC: 2264

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 19 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 30, 2021 and May 21, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Type of Inspection: New and existing buildings
Tasks: Examine plans, drawings and site layouts
Tasks: Ensure compliance to drawings, specifications and building codes
Tasks: Inspect construction of building and engineering construction
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Health benefits: Dental plan
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most inspectors have a combination of education and training in one or more related fields. For example, they may have journeyperson certification as carpenters, electricians, or plumbers. Or they may have taken courses in civil engineering or architectural technology.

Home inspectors should have a working knowledge of safety code requirements but need not be experts in safety codes inspection. They may have extensive work experience in construction or maintenance. They require in-depth knowledge of:

  • New and old electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems
  • Roofing and structural systems
  • How different systems interact in a home
  • Hazardous materials used in home construction
  • Causes and effects of deterioration in building systems and recommended remedies
  • Safety standards

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

While being a member of an association is not required, it is considered an asset and valuable for staying updated with advances in the field.

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Home Inspector

Home inspectors visually examine buildings and write reports about the condition of their major components. These could include interior and exterior systems such as the roof, overall structure, insulation, plumbing, electrical, and heating.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Consumer Protection Act [pdf] and Home Inspection Business Regulation [pdf], home inspection businesses and individual home inspectors must be licensed by the Government of Alberta.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Home Inspector.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Most home inspectors are self-employed. People hire them to provide an unbiased opinion about the condition of a house or an apartment they are thinking of buying or selling.

To start their own business, home inspectors need a reliable vehicle, a computer, and certain tools. For example, they need a ladder, a moisture meter, and gas and carbon monoxide detectors. They also need financial resources to cover overhead costs.

Home inspectors must also have E&O insurance. E&O stands for errors and omissions. This protects them if they are sued to pay for or repair problems they did not detect during their inspection.

Some inspectors purchase franchises that provide support, training, and marketing services.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2264: Construction inspectors occupational group, 83.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2264: Construction inspectors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 121 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Incomes for self-employed home inspectors vary depending on the inspector’s qualifications and skills in business, marketing, and customer service. Income also varies by season, with spring through fall being the busiest.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Construction inspectors

2016 NOC: 2264
Average Wage
$39.95
Per Hour
Average Salary
$79,387.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.6
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2264 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.50 $48.90 $32.50 $32.00
Overall $26.44 $56.23 $39.95 $39.08
Top $28.85 $60.30 $44.45 $42.84

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
26%
26%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
15%
15%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Alberta Professional Home Inspectors Society (APHIS) website: aphis.ca

Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI national) website: www.cahpi.ca

Master Inspector Certification Board, Inc., Certified Master Inspector (CMI) website: certifiedmasterinspector.org

Safety Codes Council website: www.safetycodes.ab.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 22, 2023. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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