Inspector of Works

Inspectors of works ensure that the structural, mechanical and electro-technical aspects of building constructions are carried out in accordance with plans, specifications and to the required standards.

Inspectors of works may specialise in:

  • enforcing the laws and regulations relating to design, construction and building procedures
  • representing building societies and other financial institutions to ensure that buildings are erected in accordance with their requirements and the mortgage agreement
  • ensuring compliance with specifications for construction, assembly and installation of components and products in the construction
    and in manufacturing industries

Inspectors of works carry out inspections, prepare reports and make recommendations, prepare cost estimates for specific jobs, and do valuations of specific properties.

They also draw up specifications and lists of materials for new works, as well as for building repairs, refurbishment and extensions. They may prepare cost estimates for specific jobs. In some instances, they are required to recommend progress payments to contractors and/or sub-contractors. They inspect jobs on completion and test the completed buildings or installations for compliance with the relevant specifications.

Inspectors of works are not only in charge of artisans, but also of contract workers, since private contractors do most of their work on a contract basis. Inspectors also work closely with architects and engineers.

Inspectors of works carry out their work in offices as well as outdoors on site, during construction and on completion of structures. They drive from place to place, usually in a car supplied by their employers. Since they are often outdoors or in partially completed buildings, working conditions may be unpleasant in bad weather.

Personal Requirements

  • observant
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • objective and persuasive
  • independent and self-reliant
  • very responsible and have sound judgement
  • able to criticise constructively
  • speak more than one language fluently
  • aptitude for figures

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Diploma: N.Dip: in a relevant building, mechanical, electro-technical or engineering field - most universities of technology

At a FET College, can study for a National Technical Diploma or N3 Certificate in one of the following fields:

Building Specifications
Mechanical Specifications
Electro-Technical Specifications

The requirements for appointment as an inspector of works are: a 3-year appropriate National Diploma or National Technical Diploma or equivalent qualification; or an appropriate N3 or equivalent qualification; or registration as an engineering technician.

Learner inspectors need to complete theoretical courses at universities of technology or FET?Colleges. They work under the supervision of senior inspectors of work to receive in-service training when they are not attending theoretical courses.


  • government departments - Water Affairs, Public Works, Land Affairs
  • provincial administrations
  • municipalities
  • engineering and assembly companies
  • financial institutions
  • quality control agencies
  • testing laboratories
  • Telkom

Further Information

Department of Public Works
The Chief Director
CGO Building
Cnr Bosman and Madiba
Pretoria Central
Private Bag X65
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 406-1000

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to inspectors of works to get more information about this career
  • try to find vacation work in the building trade

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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