City of Olympia

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Building Inspector II

at City of Olympia

Pay: $32.81 to $39.86/hour
$32.81 - $39.86
Posted: 11/19/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 2577389

Job Description

Overall Job Objective


Under general direction of the Building Official or designated Program Functional Lead, the Inspector performs general inspections and enforcement activities pertaining to the construction, alteration and repair of commercial and residential structures to insure that building, plumbing, mechanical, energy conservation and all other applicable codes and standards are met.  Additionally, the Inspector will be required to identify, investigate and develop a corrective course of action for violations of the building, housing city municipal code violations and other related statutes as required within the context of the City of Olympia standards, codes, policies, and procedures.  This is an AFSCME represented position.

Ideal Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of construction codes, ordinance, laws and regulations at the City and State level pertaining to building and municipal code compliance.
  • Be comfortable working in different facets of building inspection as they apply.
  • Possess the ability to observe, document and follow-up on inspections and potential code violations.
  • Be the key to success when investigating and enforcing violations.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of conducting business.
  • Be comfortable working with various software systems such as Microsoft Office Suite as well as photography and inspection testing equipment and other office equipment.
  • Be able to prioritize and manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously, often under tight deadlines.
  • Possess the ability to successfully develop and nurture strong relationships with a diverse group of customers including homeowners, contractors, neighborhood associations, downtown groups, business owners, tenants and internal customers of varying number of departments within the City of Olympia operational structure.
  • Be detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Exercise good judgment and maintain confidentially.
  • Take initiative; identify priorities, working independently with little supervision.
  • Be organized, flexible and a reliable self-starter.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to succeed and help others succeed.
  • Deliver exceptional customer service.
To Apply
  • Submit a resume and cover letter by attaching them to your electronic application.
  • The cover letter must be no more than two pages long and include specific example of how you meet the Ideal Candidate Profile (above).
  • Candidates will be evaluated in an on-going basis as applications are received, until the position is filled.
  • Only electronic applications are accepted.
Contact Information
If you have questions about the position and/or requirements, contact Larry Merrell, Building Official, at 360.753.8347 or via email at

Examples of Duties / Knowledge & Skills

The essential functions of this position include but are not limited to:

  1. Responsible for conducting a variety of advanced level inspections to ensure compliance with all applicable codes, rules, regulations, and special requirements.
  2. Schedule inspections to maximize number of inspections, inspection time, and meet developer timeframe when possible or as assigned.
  3. Document any corrective actions and re-inspections required and meet or talk to developer about corrections.
  4. Note, record and report code violations to other staff with review responsibilities.
  5. Verify that as-built or open for inspection construction conforms to the approved plans and codes.
  6. Assist developers, contractors, and individuals to comply with codes and provide alternative actions which are acceptable based on specific site and job issues.
  7. Maintain documents and records necessary for the position and the department.
  8. Plans, organizes and performs building inspection program duties, including reviewing of documents; interfaces with and coordinates assigned functions with other City services and departments.
  9. Reviews approved plans and specifications for commercial, industrial and residential construction with plans examination staff to ensure compliance with applicable laws, ordinances and codes. (including, but not limited to, building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire and energy codes) and municipal codes to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public; keeps informed of changes and new legislation pertaining to building codes and related regulations; issues standard construction and occupancy permits and approves final inspection certifications.
  10. Receives and reviews field inspection reports form special inspection agencies and other registered professionals pursuant to the approved plans and documents.
  11. Makes field determinations of scope and method of work to be performed based on approved plans; authorizes field changes to plans when required.
  12. Motivates, trains and evaluates subordinate personnel as directed.
  13. Coordinates project work with contractors, members of the public and other City departments; identifies alternative construction methods and materials; assures job site safety requirements are met, enforces regulations for construction or repairs.
  14. Responds to questions and concerns from the public, property owners, architects, engineers and contractors regarding interpretation of and compliance of code requirements; provides information as is appropriate and resolves complaints; establishes and maintains a customer service orientation with the division.
  15. Establishes positive working relationships with representatives of community organizations, state/local agencies, city management, staff and the public. 
  16. Punctual, regular and reliable attendance is essential for successful job performance.

Minimum qualifications & Requirements

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  1. Knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to building construction and zoning.
  2. Knowledge of standard office practices, methods and equipment, including a computer and applicable software; methods and techniques for record keeping and report preparation and writing; proper English, spelling and grammar and basic mathematical skills.
  3. Knowledge of occupational hazards and standard safety procedures.
  4. Organize, prioritize and follow-up on work assignments; work independently and as part of a team.
  5.  Make sound decisions within established guidelines; and follow written and oral directions; observe safety principles and work in a safe manner; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships. 
  6. Knowledge of the following: building codes and regulations applicable to commercial and residential inspection work; methods and regulations pertinent to mechanical inspection; materials, methods, and regulations pertinent to plumbing inspection; zoning regulations; site drainage and grading; sign code; and the fire code as it applies to building construction.
  7. Knowledge of building design and construction technology.
  8. Ability to apply knowledge to specific projects under inspection jurisdiction.
  9. Knowledge of code compliance methods and inspection techniques.
  10. Knowledge of the development community and contractor practices.
  11. Skill and experience in gaining compliance with applicable codes and/or ordinances.
  12. Ability to communicate technical information and requirements in a clear and accurate fashion both verbally and in writing.
  13. Ability to enforce codes evenly and fairly without prejudice, preferential treatment, or malice.
  14. Ability to work in adverse weather conditions and on hazardous construction sites.
  15. Ability to make field decisions based on adopted codes, ordinances, policies, and standards.
  16. Ability to request assistance from other department staff about alternate approval options and department operations needed for job performance.
  17. Ability to develop rapport with a variety of people and elicit cooperation.
  18. Ability to be assertive as the situation demands.
  19. Ability to work with angry people, defuse potentially hostile situations, and resolve disputes in the interest of code compliance in a respectful manner.
  20. Ability to handle significant job stress.
  21. Ability to perform a variety of construction calculations.
  22. Ability to meet deadlines and organize daily work effectively and in cooperation with other staff.
  23. Ability to read plans and specifications to evaluate actual construction consistency and compliance with approved plans and code provisions.
  24. Ability to write clear and legible narrative reports and correction notices.
  25. Ability to learn and/or teach specialty inspection skills and code requirements to other inspectors.
  26. Ability to cross-train and work in another specialty area such as plumbing, mechanical, zoning, and site grading/drainage inspections.
  27. Ability to adapt to emerging techniques, construction technologies, electronic technologies, and codes; and keep proficient in currently adopted codes.
  28. Skill to operate an office computer and a variety of word processing and software applications; and safely and effectively operate a variety of tools and equipment used in building inspection.
  1. Possess the equivalent of three-years journey level construction experience; training in building inspection technology or closely related field.
  2. Experience as a Building Inspector I and/or II.
  3. A high school diploma or equivalent.
Special Requirements
  1. Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid State of Washington driver's license.
  2. A combination residential and commercial certification is preferred.
  3. Minimum qualifications include possession of International Code Council (ICC) Residential Building, Plumbing and Mechanical certifications and ICC Certification as a Commercial building inspector with at least one additional ICC certification in Mechanical or Plumbing; or other equivalent education and training that may be determined to be qualifying.
  4. The incumbent needs a third commercial inspection certification within the Mechanical or Plumbing categories within two years of hire.
  5. All certifications must be issued by a recognized Building Code Organization.
  6. Certifications from an accredited educational certification program or organization may also be considered as partially qualifying as determined by the City of Olympia.

Supplemental information


  1. Building Inspectors have daily contact with occupants, owners, contractors, engineers, architects and land developers for the purpose of completing inspections, providing information and negotiating code compliance.
  2. The Inspectors have daily contact with other Division staff for the purpose of work coordination and information-sharing.
  3. Building Inspectors also have contact with other City Departments for the purpose of work coordination and to ensure accurate and consistent enforcement.
  4. Contacts with developers may be confrontational in nature, requiring the employee to resolve both technical and interpersonal problems while ensuring code compliance.
  5. Skill in gaining compliance with regulations while maintaining cooperative work relationships is essential.
  1. May assist the Inspection Supervisor in coordinating and assigning building inspection workloads and training subordinate staff.
  1. Building Inspectors are accountable for the health, safety and welfare of the general public through the effective execution of protective inspections.
Working Conditions:
  1. Working conditions will vary depending upon the work assignment. 
  2. The employee will perform work in hazardous areas, climbing in, on, under and around heavy equipment and potentially dangerous tools.
  3. Typical assignments are performed outside, requiring work in inclement weather at dirty, wet, noisy or cramped work sites.
  4. Responding to complaints may involve the hazards of dog bites and physical violence by irate members of the public.
  5. Some work is performed in an office setting.
The City of Olympia is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse workforce. Women, minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.