Utilities inspector

Utilities inspector article illustration

Description

Utilities inspectors examine products, systems and machiney such as sewer, water, gas or electric turbines ensuring they are built and functioning according to regulations. They write inspection reports and provide recommendations to improve the systems and repair the broken components.

Utilities inspectors typically do the following duties:

  • Conduct inspections of utility systems, including power lines, pipelines, meters, substations, and communication networks
  • Verify the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of utility equipment and facilities
  • Identify and report any safety hazards, violations, or non-compliance issues
  • Perform tests and measurements to assess the quality and efficiency of utility services
  • Investigate customer complaints and service disruptions to determine the root cause and propose solutions
  • Monitor utility system performance and analyze data to identify trends and potential issues
  • Collaborate with utility service providers, contractors, and regulatory agencies to address compliance and safety concerns
  • Provide guidance and support to utility personnel regarding safety procedures, regulations, and best practices
  • Prepare detailed inspection reports, including findings, recommendations, and corrective actions
  • Stay updated on industry standards, regulations, and technological advancements in utility systems

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to utilities inspector:

sewerage inspector
sewer inspector
utilities inspector
utilities supervisor
utility inspector
turbine inspector
streetworks inspector
equipment inspector
pipeline inspector
utilities manager

Working conditions

Utilities inspectors typically work both indoors and outdoors, depending on the nature of the inspection. They may be exposed to various weather conditions and work in different locations, including utility facilities, construction sites, and customer premises. The job may require climbing ladders, entering confined spaces, and working at heights. Safety protocols and personal protective equipment should be followed when dealing with hazardous substances, electrical equipment, or working near utility infrastructure. Inspectors may need to travel to different sites within their assigned area.

Minimum qualifications

The educational requirements for utilities inspectors vary depending on the specific utility and regulatory standards. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required, although some positions may prefer candidates with an associate degree or vocational training in a related field. Relevant certifications or licenses may be necessary, such as electrical or plumbing certifications. Knowledge of utility systems, safety regulations, and inspection techniques is important. Strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills are essential for this role. Prior experience in utility operations, maintenance, or inspection is advantageous.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Utilities inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Utilities inspector career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to utilities inspector.

motor vehicle engine inspector
rolling stock engine inspector
aircraft engine inspector
avionics inspector
vessel engine inspector

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of utilities inspector. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of utilities inspector with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

construction general contractor
process engineer
environmental expert
installation engineer
maintenance and repair engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of utilities inspector.

  • Quality assurance procedures: The procedures to inspect a product or system to ensure that it is according to specifications and requirements.
  • Surveying: The technique of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them.
  • Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
  • Construction product regulation: Regulations on construction products quality standards applied throughout the European Union.
  • Electrical power safety regulations: The compliance with safety measures which need to be taken during the installation, operation, and maintenance of constructions and equipment which function in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical power, such as the appropriate safety gear, equipment handling procedures, and preventive actions.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of utilities inspector.

  • Monitor utility equipment: Monitor equipment which provides utility services such as power, heat, refrigeration, and steam, in order to ensure they are functional, operate according to regulations, and to check for faults.
  • Assess construction compliance: Determine whether a construction complies with laws and regulations.
  • Undertake inspections: Undertake safety inspections in areas of concern to identify and report potential hazards or security breaches; take measures to maximise safety standards.
  • Comply with legal regulations: Ensure you are properly informed of the legal regulations that govern a specific activity and adhere to its rules, policies and laws.
  • Manage health and safety standards: Oversee all personnel and processes to comply with health, safety and hygiene standards. Communicate and support alignment of these requirements with the company’s health and safety programmes.
  • Identify faults in utility meters: Monitor the measuring instruments which calculate the consumption of utilities such as water, gas, electricity, and heat, in order to assess whether the readings are accurate, and to identify damage and need for repairs and maintenance.
  • Prevent damage to utility infrastructure: Consult utility companies or plans on the location of any utility infrastructure that may interfere with a project or be damaged by it. Take the necessary steps to avoid damage.
  • Perform inspection analysis: Investigate and report on inspection procedures, techniques, equipment and materials.
  • Notify supervisor: Report problems or incidents to the supervisor in order to find solutions to problems.
  • Report utility meter readings: Report the results from the interpretation of utility reading instruments to the corporations which supply the utilities, and to the customers from which the results were taken.
  • Follow safety standards in industrial contexts: Abide by safety procedures and standards for industrial contexts, mostly where machinery is involved.
  • Conduct performance tests: Conduct experimental, environmental and operational tests on models, prototypes or on the systems and equipment itself in order to test their strength and capabilities under normal and extreme conditions.
  • Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
  • Make recommendations for repairs: Analyse and evaluate the problem and suggest repairs to adjust the issue.
  • Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
  • Oversee record management: Control and oversee electronic records of an organisation throughout the records life-cycle.
  • Lead inspections: Lead inspections and the protocol involved, such as introducing the inspection team, explaining the purpose of the inspection, performing the inspection, requesting documents, asking appropriate questions, and maintaining a high level of professionalism when investigating subjects.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of utilities inspector. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Building codes: The set of guidelines that determine the minimum standards for buildings and other constructions in order to protect public health and safety.
  • Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of utilities inspector. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Act as contact person during equipment incident: Act as the person to be contacted when an equipment incident occurs. Participate in the investigation by providing insights.
  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
  • Prepare audit activities: Prepare an audit plan including both pre-audits and certification audits. Communicate with the different processes in order to implement the improvement actions that lead to certification.
  • Advise on utility consumption: Advise individuals or organisations on methods in which they can reduce their consumption of utilities, such as heat, water, gas, and electricity, in order for them to save money and incorporate sustainable practices.
  • Investigate pollution: Identify the cause of pollution incidents, as well as its nature and the extent of the risks, by performing tests on the site of pollution as well as in a laboratory and performing research.
  • Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
  • Monitor work site: Regularly ensure that working conditions on site meet health and safety requirements; ensure that the proposed work will not pose a threat to the physical integrity of others.
  • Monitor parameters’ compliance in construction projects: Monitors progress in construction sites and the compliance of various parameters outlined in the design phase such as quality, costs, timeline, and contractors’ responsibilities.
  • Collect samples for analysis: Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory analysis.
  • Inspect facility sites: Inspect the land of a possible construction site for distribution facilities by measuring and interpreting various data and calculations by using the appropriate equipment. Check if the field work is conform with plans and specifications.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Respond to enquiries: Respond to enquiries and requests for information from other organisations and members of the public.
  • Use non-destructive testing equipment: Use specific non-destructive testing methods and equipment that do not cause any damage to the product, such as X-rays, ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle inspection, industrial CT scanning and others, in order to find defects in and assure quality of a manufactured and a repaired product.
  • Inspect industrial equipment: Inspect equipment used during industrial activities such as manufacturing or construction equipment in order to ensure that the equipment complies with health, safety, and environmental legislation.
  • Inspect sewers: Inspect sewage drains in order to detect explosive gases using gas analysis equipment.
  • Install utility equipment: Install equipment which is used for the provision of utility services through various energy means, such as heat, steam, power, and refrigeration, and ensure correct and safe installation of the equipment and machinery in facilities and residential properties.
  • Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.
  • Review construction projects: Review the documents and applications for building projects, discuss necessary changes with the contractors, and forward the documents to the building authorities if needed. Document any deviation from the original plans and inform the authorities.
  • Write records for repairs: Write records of the repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, of parts and materials used, and other repair facts.
  • Anticipate installation maintenance: Prepare resources and activities to execute installation maintenance, according to budget needs.

ISCO group and title

3119 – Physical and engineering science technicians not elsewhere classified


References
  1. Utilities inspector – ESCO
  2. Utility Inspector Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  3. How to Become a Utility Inspector? | Indeed.com
  4. Featured image: Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash
Last updated on May 17, 2023