How to Become a Bridge InspectorPosted by monsterguide
How to Become a Bridge Inspector
Bridge Inspectors are construction professionals who are well versed in a number of building disciplines. Among the talents of a bridge inspector are such skills as bridge design, general construction, and maintenance. Here are some tips on how to train for a position as a Bridge Inspector.
Bridge Inspectors are generally required to have formal education in fields related to the construction of bridges. Formal education is usually based on a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in architecture with an emphasis on bridge design. It’s wise to investigate several colleges’ course structures and find a program that offers comprehensive information on bridge structure, construction, and structural behavior. Along with colleges, local vocational schools may also offer appropriate coursework that can lead to a degree. A fundamental degree is necessary before the next essential step in becoming a Bridge Inspector.
Along with formal education, local and state certification is essential. In the United States, there are federally established guidelines that most states and local governments incorporate into their testing for certification credentials. Some areas require additional class time prior to taking the certification exam, while others simply require an application and a commitment to show up the day of the exam. It’s best to know and understand what is required by the local jurisdiction, and to prepare accordingly. Keep in mind that being a registered Bridge Inspector is a prerequisite to finding a position in most cases.
Most bridge construction professionals begin their careers as part of a crew. Over time, he or she moves up through the ranks of the construction crew, gaining valuable knowledge and insight along the way. With the right mix of knowledge and expertise, it is possible to eventually make the leap from building bridges to inspecting them. Practical experience helps the Inspector know how to construct a solid bridge that meets code requirements and the environmental or construction factors that may render a bridge unsafe for public use.
Many local jurisdictions prefer a new inspector to have some years of experience in bridge inspection before certification. This can be obtained by apprenticing for experienced Inspectors for a time. Once there is both knowledge and experience accrued, a skilled Bridge Inspector can secure employment in a variety of different settings, both in government agencies and private business.