How Essential Skills Profiles can help you!
The essential skills profiles can:
- Help determine, based on skill sets, which career may best suit a particular individual.
- Assist job seekers to write a résumé or prepare for a job interview.
- Help employers to create a job posting.
Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Construction inspectors inspect the construction and maintenance of new and existing buildings, bridges, highways and industrial construction to ensure that specifications and building codes are observed and monitor work site safety. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, construction companies, architectural and civil engineering consulting firms or they may be self-employed.
- Read comments and instructions on inspection reports, invoices and architectural drawings. For example, they may read comments on inspection reports that provide reasons why stop work orders were issued. (1)
- Read bulletins, newsletters, marketing brochures and trade magazines for information about construction industry practices and new materials. For example, a home inspector may read about safety hazards associated with moulds and asbestos in bulletins issued by the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. (2)
- Read memos and e-mail from supervisors, co-workers, home inspection customers and property owners. For example, an electrical safety codes officer may read a memo concerning changes to administrative procedures. (2)
- Read letters and short reports. For example, they may read letters which discuss deficiencies uncovered by other construction inspectors, and letters from property owners and lawyers concerning orders of non-compliance. They may read reports from engineers and architects outlining their decisions and specifying procedures they have used to approve modifications to construction designs and materials. (3)
- Read safety and instruction manuals, user guides and best practice handbooks. For example, they read the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporations' Best Practice Guides to review construction procedures. They may read reports from the Canadian Construction Material Centre to learn about products' hazards, approved application techniques and usage limitations. (3)
- Read lengthy reports issued by manufacturers, municipal government departments and, building and safety construction associations. For example, they may read reports that outline the need for uniform quality management plans and planned changes to highway development control regulations. (3)
- Read regulations governing the construction of roadways, bridges and buildings and the installation of drainage, plumbing, building and electrical systems. For example, bridge construction inspectors read regulations issued by provincial transportation and infrastructure ministries to learn about approved construction procedures. Building inspectors read regulations issued by the Canadian Standards Association to determine compliance requirements. (4)
- Recognize symbols located on labels, material packaging, drawings and signage. For example, they learn about hazards such as gas lines and high voltage wires by observing hazard symbols posted at construction sites. (1)
- Scan labels on product packaging, equipment, scale drawings and file folders to locate service details, operating specifications and project code numbers. (1)
- Scan lists of approved materials, licence and permit fees and inspection criteria. For example, they read lists of products and materials approved by the Canadian Construction Materials Centre. (2)
- Obtain numerical data from product approval reports, conversion tables, sizing and volume tables, weight load charts, climatic data charts, span tables and design value tables. They navigate tables to find specifications, dimensions and other data. (3)
- Complete entry forms such as inspection reports, building permit applications, permit cards, notices, orders to comply, stop work orders and building codes schedules. They enter data such as permit numbers, addresses, site locations, construction items, contact information and code reference numbers. (3)
- Study process schematics of electrical, sprinkler, heating and ventilation systems to understand how these systems operate. For example, building inspectors review schematics to determine the flows of water and chemicals through fire suppression systems. (3)
- Scan complex architectural and structural drawings to locate the dimensions of parts and locations of fixtures, supports and openings. For example, they use construction drawings to locate the correct placement of ducts, beams, columns, joists, sprinklers and drainage systems. They may take data from a variety of drawing views when carrying out complex inspections of mechanical systems. (4)
- Write notes to co-workers, daybook entries and comments on drawings and other documents. For example, safety inspectors note the locations of safety hazards at construction sites in their logbooks. (1)
- Write descriptions, observations, instructions and other text passages when completing entry forms. For example, home inspectors record deficiencies in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in inspection reports. (1)
- Write memos and short notes to exchange operational data with co-workers, contractors, property owners, supervisors, architects, manufacturers and trade suppliers. For example, they write memos to request information from contractors and to itemize permit conditions. (2)
- Write letters to developers, property owners and contractors to explain warnings, permit decisions, conditions of acceptance, infractions and deficiencies. They write concisely, accurately and factually as their reports may be used in subsequent legal proceedings. (3)
- May write promotional materials to market their services. For example, home inspectors may promote their services by outlining their skills and trade qualifications in brochures. (3)
- May write detailed descriptions of work to be performed in 'requests for proposals'. For example, bridge construction inspectors employed with civil engineering firms may describe sequences of inspection procedures as part of proposal submissions. (3)
- May write lengthy inspection and investigation reports which provide detailed explanations and recommendations. For example, an electrical construction inspector may write a multi-page report to describe the events and causal factors of a fire, outcomes and recommendations to prevent similar fires in the future. (4)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
- May calculate expense claim amounts for travel and supplies. For example, they calculate reimbursements for using personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
- May calculate costs of permits and inspections. For example, self-employed home inspectors calculate invoice amounts. They charge flat fees, bill at hourly rates and set fees according to the sizes and dollar values of the structures they are inspecting. They may calculate and add applicable taxes. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
- May set timelines and monitor deadlines of permits, inspections, compliance orders and completions. For example, building inspectors set deadlines for property owners to remove flammable materials. (1)
- May set and monitor budgets for inspections and related expenses. For example self-employed home inspectors establish marketing budgets. Building inspectors employed with regulatory bodies monitor budgets to ensure the availability of funds for items such as training, tools, work clothing and personal protective equipment. (2)
Data Analysis Math
- Take a variety of measurements using specialized measuring tools. For example, home inspectors measure carbon monoxide emissions from furnaces using gas analysers. Electrical inspectors measure the electrical energy using multimeters. (2)
- Calculate loads, capacities and other characteristics of new construction. For example, building inspectors may calculate snow load capacities by factoring the total weights of live and dead load materials. Building inspectors calculate the volume of circular bridge supports to determine material requirements. Electrical safety codes officers calculate the expected use of electricity in apartment buildings.
- Compare dimensions, angles, airflows, moisture levels, temperatures, voltages and other measurements to specifications. For example, building inspectors compare the dimensions of support beams to specifications outlined on structural drawings to ensure load capacity requirements are met. (1)
- May estimate times to complete inspections and construction tasks. They consider the requirements of the tasks, the numbers and experience levels of workers, times taken to complete similar tasks in the past and anticipated weather conditions. For example, a bridge inspector may decide not to allow a contractor to pour a concrete road deck if they don't think the task will get done before an upcoming storm. (1)
- Estimate slopes, heights, depths, lengths, thicknesses, weight loads and spans. For example, they may estimate stair rises using proxy measures such as their hands and their own heights to estimate doorway sizes. (2)
- Exchange general information about permit requirements, code interpretations, approved materials, schedules and fees with property owners, realtors, contractors and suppliers. For example, building inspectors answer questions about permit requirements. Home Inspectors speak with realtors in order to schedule home inspections. (2)
- Discuss inspection outcomes with customers, property owners and contractors. For example, home inspectors provide customers with detailed descriptions of deficiencies uncovered during inspections. Plumbing inspectors explain to property owners and contractors why installations do not meet code and how the deficiencies can be addressed. They resolve disagreements by explaining the purposes of inspections, their responsibilities as inspectors and the specific reasons why required standards, regulations and safety codes were not met. (3)
- May make presentations about inspection processes, construction standards, safety code requirements and the role of construction inspectors at large gatherings of home builders and trade contractors. They may promote the home inspection industry and their inspection businesses. (3)
- Experience travel delays caused by road construction, poor weather conditions and traffic congestion. They inform home inspection customers and property owners of the delays and rearrange schedules. (1)
- Discover that buildings, structures and installations are not ready for inspections. They charge allowable fees and reschedule their inspections. (1)
- May encounter home inspection customers and property owners with whom it is difficult to communicate because of language barriers. They may use translators to communicate instructions, regulations and inspection outcomes. (2)
- May lack sufficient information to issue building permits, approve plans and sanction the use of new products. They request that property owners and contractors supply the necessary data before issuing permits, approving plans and allowing the use of new products. They inform co-workers and colleagues of the new products and their approved applications. (2)
- Classify construction projects by type. For example, building inspectors decide how to classify new buildings by considering factors such as size and type of occupancy (2)
- choose inspection methods and frequencies. For example, an electrical construction inspector may decide to check all electrical installations after numerous deficiencies are uncovered during an inspection of a sample of them. A home inspector may decide not to inspect the condition of shingles and eaves troughs due to slippery conditions on a roof. (2)
- May decide to reject building materials, permit applications, drawings, installations and construction plans that do not comply with regulations, bylaws and permit requirements. They consider the severity of deficiencies, regulatory guidelines and risks to safety, property and the environment. For example, electrical construction inspectors will reject commercial development plans that do not provide necessary protection against faults. (3)
- May choose to issue immediate disconnection requests and stop work orders due to refusals by property owners to address breached specifications, regulations and bylaws. They consider the numbers of warnings issued previously and severity of deficiencies and infractions. For example, a roadway construction inspector may decide to issue an immediate stop work order after a contractor fails to replace a defective drainage system. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Own Job Planning and Organizing
- Judge the safety of workplaces and the severity of workplace hazards. For example, a construction safety inspector considers workers' exposure to safety hazards such as slippery surfaces, protruding nails, falling objects, high tension wires and proximity to cranes and other heavy equipment. (2)
- Judge the quality of building plans, scale drawings and site layouts. They consider the legibility of drawings and the consistency of data provided. (2)
- Evaluate the safety of roadways, bridges, warehouses and other structures. They consider the adequacy of firestop measures such as fire walls, and sprinkler systems, and the locations, slopes and widths of ramps and exits. (3)
- Evaluate the quality and adequacy of buildings and building systems. They consider the robustness and adequacy of building materials, the appropriateness of construction techniques and the quality of workmanship. They also consider the severity of structural deficiencies such as cracked foundation walls and the risks posed to people, property and the environment by the use of outdated heating, plumbing and electrical systems. (3)
Construction inspectors' job planning and organizing activities vary by specialty. Self-employed residential home inspectors schedule their daily activities around appointments. Construction inspectors employed by regulatory bodies, construction companies and architectural and civil engineering consulting firms plan their schedules to accomplish work assigned by their supervisors.
Planning and Organizing for Others
Construction inspectors may organize the activities of junior inspectors.
Significant Use of Memory
- Memorize safety codes, specifications and building regulations for commercial and residential applications. They remember the content of regulations and the section numbers used to refer to particular regulations.
- Find information about buildings and building systems. For example, they locate dimensions and product specifications in manuals, product packaging, scale drawings, site plans, span and design value tables, approved material lists, contracts and from websites operated by manufacturers and regulatory bodies. They discuss building materials and methods with architects, engineers, contractors and tradespeople. (3)
- Use word processing. For example, they use basic text editing and formatting features of word processing programs such as Word to write inspection reports and letters of notification. (2)
- Use graphics software. For example, they may use basic editing and formatting features of presentations software to create slides and slide shows. They may also use software to edit and print digital pictures taken of building installations. (2)
- Use databases. For example, they may use their organizations' contact management databases to schedule appointments, input inspection data and print reports. They may also use basic database search and retrieve functions to locate building plans and the dates, locations and results of previously completed inspections. (2)
- May use spreadsheets. For example, they may create spreadsheets to display and track expenses, hours worked and times spent completing inspections. (2)
- Use communications software. For example, they use e-mail and personal communication devices to communicate with co-workers, construction superintendents, customers and property owners and to send and receive attachments such as inspection reports. (2)
- Use the Internet. For example, they may launch browsers such as Internet Explorer to access web sites. They search for information about building products and materials using general search functions and visit bookmarked sites to locate and retrieve inspection procedures, building regulations, health and safety studies, fact sheets, bulletins, newsletters and on-line calculators. (2)
- Use other computer and software applications. For example, construction inspectors may use basic features of mapping software such as MapQuest to locate inspection sites and determine travel routes. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Construction inspectors may co-ordinate their activities with site superintendents, property owners, home inspection customers, realtors, co-workers and colleagues. For example, building inspectors co-ordinate with construction superintendents and property owners and builders to gain access to construction sites. Home inspectors coordinate appointment times with customers and realtors to gain access to properties requiring inspections. (4)
Continuous learning is very important to construction inspectors as they are required to keep up-to-date with new building materials and amendments to safety and building codes and other relevant legislation. Learning takes place in a variety of ways. They attend off-site workshops, conferences, seminars and workshops offered by safety councils, building associations and post-secondary institutions and private trainers.
They read construction industry newsletters, magazines, textbooks, manuals, research reports and bulletins published by organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association and provincial safety codes councils. Most learning occurs on the job, through independent research and discussions with supervisors and experienced co-workers. Constructor inspectors may be required to take certification and recertification courses as conditions of employment. (2)