To become a boiler inspector, or a mechanical inspector who reviews boiler installations to make sure they are safe, it may be necessary to complete some training and licensing requirements. These vary considerably by jurisdiction. On the less regulated end of the scale, boiler inspectors need practical experience with boilers and structural safety. In areas with more rigorous regulations, it may be necessary to become a boilermaker and pursue additional certification in safety inspection to be able to work.
Some boiler inspectors work for government agencies. Many regions require periodic boiler inspections in the interest of health and safety, and they may retain a staff of inspectors to perform this task. Other inspectors can work for insurance companies, home inspection firms, and their own businesses. In a small community, a boilermaker may both install and inspect boilers because she cannot make enough income from just one or the other. The requirements to become a boiler inspector for a government agency or insurance company may include a more advanced degree, as they tend to seek highly trained personnel for liability reasons.
The path to become a boiler inspector usually starts with boilermaker training. Technical schools and community colleges may have classes to prepare people for practice in this field. Students will learn about metallurgy, how boilers work, and the different types of boiler systems available. With this training, it is possible to apply to apprentice with a boilermaker to acquire practical skills. After a set number of hours, apprentices can sit for a licensing examination.
This may be sufficient to become a boiler inspector in some communities, especially if the boilermaker also has several years of work experience as an independent licensed professional. In other areas, he may need to obtain an additional certificate or license to perform inspections. Retesting typically occurs on a regular basis to make sure home inspectors are familiar with the latest regulations and can identify safety concerns competently and efficiently.
After a person has become a boiler inspector, it may be possible to join a professional organization of boilermakers or home inspectors. This can provide opportunities to network with other professionals, read trade publications, and keep up with conferences in the field. Membership in a professional organization may also be a valuable asset on an employment application, as it can indicate a commitment to continuing education and an interest in developing additional skills.
Consumers looking for a boiler inspector can contact the building department to find out what kind of regulations pertain to this profession. The department may also have a list of recommended inspectors. Consumers can ask to see an inspector's license and may want to get information about how long he has been in practice. Word of mouth recommendations or advice on who to avoid can also be valuable in the search for a qualified inspector.