Construction, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • High school diploma or GED
    • NYS Home Inspector License, NYS Boiler Inspector Certification, or local government licenses/certifications (if applicable)
    • Valid New York State driver’s license
    • Knowledge of building codes


    • Interpreting blueprints, schematics, and mechanical diagrams
    • Mechanical aptitude
    • Detail-oriented
    • Physical abilities (walking, climbing, crouching) 
    • Write reports
    • Oral communication


    Inspectors provide a comprehensive analysis of residential homes’ or commercial buildings’ conditions to ensure they meet industry or state required standards. Some inspectors focus on a particular part of the construction process or a specific building system, such as HVAC/R equipment or systems. Other inspectors, such as home inspectors, examine entire buildings. Mechanical codes that provide rules for designing, installing, and/or maintaining HVAC/R and other mechanical systems as well as energy efficiency testing procedures and ratings are occasionally updated. Inspectors need knowledge of current standards and emerging technologies, including air or ground source heat pumps, variable refrigerant flow systems, or similar electricity-based HVAC/R systems.

    Inspectors review and interpret blueprints, mechanical drawings, and specification documents to ensure they comply with safety requirements. They also inspect construction installations to check that plans are adhered to and building codes are met. Inspectors must have strong mechanical skills to understand how system components work, which is necessary when they test equipment and building systems to verify that they function properly and safely. Inspectors need to pay close attention to detail to avoid overlooking any systems or places that need to be examined. 

    Inspectors need to be physically able to walk throughout jobsites, climb ladders, and crouch or crawl to access low or cramped spaces. Some areas that need to be inspected may be outdoors.

    Effective written and verbal communication skills are important for inspectors to be able to clearly express their findings through reports or logs and to orally explain regulations and any violations that are identified to managers and clients, helping to maintain strong working relationships. Inspectors should be comfortable with basic computer use, including word processing and spreadsheet software.

    Inspectors visit construction sites and completed buildings to perform inspections and also spend time at an office to review blueprints and documents and write post-inspection reports. Most inspectors are employed full-time and work during standard business hours.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 10,000 construction and building inspectors in New York State. The Department projects this occupation will only grow by 160 jobs between 2020 and 2030, so employment prospects are fairly limited.

    Entering the Field

    Inspectors whose duties include examining HVAC/R systems typically need to have a high school diploma or GED and at least 5 years of work experience in HVAC/R or a related construction trade (e.g., plumbing, electrical). They usually receive on-the-job training within their first year of employment as an inspector to enhance their skills. Completing a trade certificate or obtaining a degree in building inspection or a related area like construction technology can be advantageous. 

    Certain inspectors must be licensed or certified by New York State. Home inspectors are licensed by the New York State Department of State and individuals who want to work as a certified boiler inspector must obtain certification from the New York State Department of Labor. Check with local government agencies to see if they have additional requirements to be eligible to work as an inspector. 

    Some employers may require inspectors to have a valid New York State driver’s license to travel to inspection sites.


    In New York State, the median wage for construction and building inspectors is approximately $78,200. Entry-level workers earn about $50,900 and experienced workers earn about $94,000.

    Annual Wage (Q1 2023 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region

    New York State$50,900 $78,200 $94,000
    Capital Region$48,400 $64,200 $83,000
    Central New York$46,200 $63,300 $85,000
    Finger Lakes$41,600 $63,800 $80,800
    Hudson Valley$51,400 $76,700 $95,400
    Long Island$53,300 $80,700 $95,600
    Mohawk Valley$42,200 $58,500 $71,200
    New York City$59,100 $83,300 $103,300
    North Country$46,000 $60,600 $72,400
    Southern Tier$45,400 $60,500 $75,300
    Western New York$49,200 $69,000 $88,700

    Source:  New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 47-4011 (Construction and Building Inspectors)


    Most people who work as construction and building inspectors are employed by local governments or professional services companies, including those that specifically provide building and home inspection services. Construction contractors may also hire inspectors.

    Job openings across New York State in 2022 for inspectors whose duties include examining HVAC/R systems were advertised online with job titles that included inspector, construction inspector, and housing inspector. Use those job titles and keywords such as “HVAC,” “heating,” or “cooling” when searching job advertisements online to help identify opportunities for employment. 

    Labor Unions

    Inspectors employed by government agencies may be represented by public sector unions. For example, inspectors who work for New York City’s Department of Buildings or Department of Housing Preservation and Development are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 211, which has an affiliation with the public employee union District Council 37. Check with local public unions in the community to see if they represent inspectors, or see if local private sector employers that hire inspectors of HVAC/R equipment and systems have a union affiliation that includes these jobs.

    Education and Training Programs

    Schools in New York do not offer accredited programs specifically focused on building, home, or construction inspection. Some, shown in the table below, offer certificates or degrees in construction technology or a similar field of study that provide training relevant to becoming an inspector. The New York State Department of State’s website maintains a list of schools that provide courses that prepare workers to become home inspectors and offer continuing education credits needed for license renewal. Inspectors who want to learn a specific new technology – whether that be variable refrigerant flow systems, heat pumps, building automation systems, or other environmentally friendly appliances and mechanicals – can enroll in training courses specific to those technologies that are offered by manufacturers or distributors.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Columbia-Greene Community CollegeConstruction TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)YesYesNoNoNo
    Central New York
    Onondaga Community CollegeSchool of Technology, Engineering & ComputingNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY MorrisvilleDesign & EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    Finger Lakes
    Monroe Community CollegeEngineering TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley
    Dutchess Community CollegeConstruction Technology ManagementNoYesNoNoNo
    Long Island
    Nassau Community CollegeConstruction ManagementYesNoNoNoNo
    North Country
    SUNY at CantonCanino School of Engineering TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Southern Tier
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesNoNoNo
    Tompkins Cortland Community CollegeConstruction & Environmental TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Western New York
    Erie Community CollegeManufacturing, Construction, and Trades ProgramsYesYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlfredConstruction Engineering TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo

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