Building control officers make sure regulations are followed when buildings are being constructed.

What does a building control officer do?

You’ll work on the planning and construction phases of building projects to make sure they meet building standards. Projects can range from a small housing extension to a large city centre redevelopment. You’re likely to:

  • work closely with architects, designers, builders and engineers
  • make sure building designs and plans meet regulations
  • suggest ways to make the building project more cost-effective carry out regular site inspections at each stage of the building process
  • write inspection reports and keep records
  • issue completion certificates

You may also be responsible for surveying buildings that have been made unsafe by events like fire or bad weather. You’ll give advice on the work needed to make the buildings safe, or approve their demolition if beyond repair. Other responsibilities include authorising entertainment licenses and checking safety at public venues, like sports grounds, open-air events, cinemas and theatres. 

What do I need to do to become a building control officer?

Most new building control surveyors have an HNC, HND, degree, or an equivalent qualification. Employers may also prefer you to be an accredited member of a professional body such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building Engineers (CABE) or The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Relevant degree subjects include:

  • building studies
  • civil engineering
  • structural engineering
  • building control
  • building surveying

To do a degree you usually need five GCSEs (A*-C) including science subjects, English and maths, plus at least two A levels. Check with course providers for exact entry details because alternative qualifications may also be accepted. 

Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Academic route

  • HNC, HND, degree or equivalent qualification in building studies, civil engineering, structural engineering, building control or building surveying

Related subjects

  • Design technology

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You usually split your time between the office and site visits. You can be on site in all weather conditions and some jobs may involve working at heights on scaffolding or ladders. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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