The job of a site inspector is to monitor work carried out on a construction site to ensure safety is upheld and standard of work follows initial plans. They will need to carry out regular inspections, checking quality of work, searching out any defects, and then reporting their findings to site managers and clients. They may also be required to provide supervision for workers on sites, and will liaise with a range of professionals. Site inspectors are sometimes known as clerks of works.
Typical salary for a site inspector is £21,000 - £40,000, with those gaining enough experience able to earn in the region of £50,000. Salaries will vary according to the company and its location, as well as individual level of experience. Organisations in London typically offer higher wages, with a range of agencies around the country offering opportunities.
Working hours are usually nine to five, and you will be required to work during the evening and at weekend should a deadline be set. You may also spend time away from home at night. Most time would be spent on-site, in a variety of locations. There will be times when you work at heights, in tight spaces, and also underground when inspecting constructions such as tunnelling. Safety equipment will need to be worn on-site.
A foundation degree or degree in construction or engineering would be advantageous. You can then apply to become a trainee with an agency, whether it is through an advertised post or by sending out speculative applications. You could also work your way up from a position at technician or craft level, where you will gain good insight of the inner workings of the industry. You should see profiles related to these positions for additional information.
Work experience would be beneficial. Placements can be found through your local job centre or recruitment agency, or through programmes such as the Apprenticeships Scheme, applicants needing a minimal of four GCSEs graded A-C, or equivalent qualifications, to enter. A driving licence is necessary. Further information concerning qualifications is available on the ConstructionSkills website. Females wishing to enter the construction industry should see the Know Your Place website, a scheme to promote women in the industry.
There are positions available with a range of organisations, including local authorities and engineering companies. You would initially start out as a trainee, with training offered on the job. Gaining experience you can become a qualified site inspector and then possibly move up to senior positions such as management. There is also the chance to do freelance work.
NVQs would boost your career credentials, furthering your knowledge and understanding of the construction industry. There are courses available in site inspection, concerned with areas such as health and safety and managing the performance of teams. Most employers require their employees to have membership with the ICWGB (Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain), the official organisation for this method of work. They offer the CPR (Continuing Professional Development) programme, which will improve skills and knowledge.
It is also required you hold a CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) card, which you can obtain by having a health test and acquiring an NVQ or equivalent qualification. Those without qualifications already working in the industry may be able to get a card through the OSAT (On-Site Assessment and Training) or EWPA (Experienced Worker Practical Assessment) programmes.