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author Vance Rubio
date 03.28.2024

Skilled trades like contracting, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC offer a popular alternative to spending four years earning a degree and taking on student loan debt. With options to become licensed through paid experience or hands-on training programs (like apprenticeships), skilled trades offer opportunities to start working immediately and enjoy a profession that’s always in demand.

If you’re looking for a different type of job in the construction industry, you might be interested in becoming a building inspector. What does this type of job entail, and how can you become an inspector in Wisconsin? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

What Does a Building Inspector Do?

The Wisconsin Administrative Code for the Department of Safety and Professional Services (SPS 305.61) states that certified commercial building inspectors “may conduct inspections of public buildings and places of employment for the purpose of administering and enforcing” applicable commercial building codes. This generally includes assessing structures and grounds, including electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Inspectors are responsible for creating detailed reports documenting the dates of inspection and any findings. They must maintain records of inspections, provide copies to property owners or their agents, and be prepared to provide records to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services upon request.

Requirements to Become a Building Inspector

There are several requirements you must meet to become a commercial building inspector. First, you must prove that you are registered as an engineer or architect, or you must hold a suitable certification from the International Code Council (ICC). Such certifications include:

  • Commercial combination inspector
  • Building inspector
  • Combination plans examiner
  • Commercial building inspector and commercial mechanical inspector
  • Building plans examiner and mechanical plans examiner

Additionally, you must pass the state Building Official Exam, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. This exam consists of 80 questions covering topics like:

  • Wisconsin Administrative Code SPS 305
  • Wisconsin Administrative Code SPS 361-366 (360 excluded)
  • Accessibility Standard 2009 ANSI A117.1

It also covers certain sections of the 2015 International Model Code, including:

  • Building (IBC)
  • Mechanical (IMC)
  • Fuel Gas (IFGC)
  • Energy Conservation (IECC)
  • Existing Building (IEBC)

You will have 120 minutes to complete this open-book exam, and you must answer a minimum of 60 questions (75%) correctly to pass.

Exam Prep That Works for Working Professionals

It’s not unusual to experience anxiety when it comes to taking tests, especially when the outcome can impact your ability to work. That said, the right exam prep program will help you gain the knowledge and confidence you need to pass on the first try.

You’ll want to look for a program designed for working professionals, with courses created by industry experts and educators as well as 24/7 online access that allows for convenient, self-paced learning. With math prep, highlighting guides for open book texts, and quizzes and test simulation to practice before test day, you’ll have the best chances for success.

If you’re ready to become a commercial building inspector in Wisconsin, contact RocketCert today to get your exam prep underway.