The Building Inspection Department shapes development from the preliminary concept to the grand opening celebration. In most cities, Building departments are very involved with other city departments that deal with the development process, especially with city planning, fire, and engineering/public works. Building officials and plans examiners often participate in preliminary meetings to help owners and designers refine their concept to meet codes and ordinances before platting and zoning are finalized. The process continues with the civil engineering side of the site development plans, including where private utilities governed under codes meet up with public infrastructure. Then the building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural plans are submitted to Building Inspections for review and approval. Once approved, inspectors visit the site at every step of construction. The Building Inspection Department grants the final approval for the project and issues a Certificate of Occupancy after all requirements are complete. Our job truly runs from the beginning to the end of construction development.
Facts about Building Code Careers
Most city and county governments offer insurance benefits to employees and their dependents. The majority of Texas cities participate in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS), a large, diversified, and historically stable pension system. Most municipalities match employees’ contributions, and many even double them. Check with potential employers regarding their specific benefit offerings.
In general, municipal governments tend to maintain greater employment stability by being slower to react to market fluctuations. An employee’s average tenure working for a municipal government employer is over twice that of the private sector (8.3 years working for a municipal employer versus 4.0 years in private sector construction).
Energy codes are constantly evolving. The need to conserve energy continues to increase. The energy code focuses primarily on energy expenditures for heating and cooling equipment, and the conservation of electrical energy for lighting and appliances.
Building code officials are often some of the first people on the scene following disasters. They serve an essential need in evaluating the safety of affected structures and evaluating damage for FEMA and local and state governments.
Inspection and testing from 3rd-party agencies may be required by Code where specialized expertise or equipment is needed to determine compliance. Such inspections include air leakage testing for ducts and buildings, structural concrete and steel, concrete sampling, foundations, and firestopping materials.