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Plans Examiner: Combination

Discussion in 'Association Talk' started by Papio Bldg Dept, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    (Not sure if this is the right forum - feel free to move to correct forum)

    I am trying to perform a comparative study for determining a wage range for a Combination Plans Examiner. The Combination Plans Examiner is responsible for review of Commercial, Residential, Plumbing, Mechanical, Accessibility, Energy and limited Electrical & Structural compliance. I have looked at various postings, and it appears that, regardless of jurisdictional size (I would have liked to find more within my range, 18-25k, but those almost non-existent), that most Plans Examiners are specialized or limited to one or two codes. Has anyone else had first hand or administrative experience with this? What are the typical responsibilities for Plans Examiners in your Jurisdiction? What kind of increases in work load, education, jurisdictional size, certifications, license, experience, performance, or increased responsibilities should warrant an increase in the wage range? When should a Plans Examiner be at the top of their range, and the bottom of their range?

    Thank you for your insights and perspectives in advance.
     
  2. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    We are a lot higher....$46K to$70K, of course it would start toward the lower end. Ours has always ended up being filled internally by an inspector, then we hire and train if need be for the inspector position. Typically the position concentrates more on IBC/IRC requirements, but knowledge of the other trades is required. Getting to the top of the range would be based on annual evaluations and merit increases when available. Which are few and far between. We have had one increase of 1% in the last 5 years.....
     
  3. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Registered User

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    [TABLE]

    [TR]

    [TD]Building Plans Examiner

    [/TD]

    [TD=width: 20%]$17.95 Grade I

    [/TD]

    [TD=width: 20%]$18.10 Grade II

    [/TD]

    [TD=width: 20%]$18.85 Grade III

    [/TD]

    [TD=width: 20%]$19.42 grade IV

    [/TD]

    [/TR]

    [/TABLE]

    .

    Plans Examiner – Grade I

    i. ICC Certification as a Building Plans Examiner and either:

    1. ICC certification as a Mechanical Plans Examiner or Plumbing Plans Examiner.

    k. Plans Examiner – Grade II

    i. Six months relevant experience as a Plans Examiner

    ii. ICC certifications for Mechanical Plans Examiner and Plumbing Plans Examiner

    l. Plans Examiner – Grade III

    i. Two years relevant experience as a plans examiner

    ii. Plans Examiner II requirements

    iii. ICC certifications as Accessibility Plans Examiner and Commercial and Residential Energy Plans Examiner.

    m. Plans Examiner – Grade IV

    i. Five years relevant experience as a plans examiner

    ii. Plans Examiner III requirements, ICC certifications as Electrical Plans Examiner and Fire Plans examiner.

    n. Plans Examiner Merit Pay

    i. Merit Pay for Plans Examiners will be paid for relevant ICC certifications. Special Inspector categories will be paid at the rate of $.25/hr per certification. Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Fire and Electrical Inspector categories will be paid at $.50/hr per certification. The Building Official may approve other certifications for merit pay. Maximum merit pay is $3.00 /hr.

    As you see an inspector coming up through the system could easily add his inspector certs and bump up the base pay right from the start. When we went under this system I qualified as a Grade II and recieved another $1.50 for merit inspector certs and $.75 for related certs

     
  4. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    Thanks, I was referring to jurisdictional population range of 18-25,000. I am not sure if there is any correlation to salary ranges based on jurisdiction size or not, but I wanted to check. Your salary range is about the same as ours at the lower end, but a bit higher at the top end.
     
  5. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    Thanks mt. That is very helpful. The salary ranges ($37-40k) were a bit lower than I expected, but I liked the level changes and merit pay ideas (merit pay, or any other increases, are not popular here right now).
     
  6. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Registered User

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    Our population is 20,000 and these are union positions. 4 years into this system with 4 employees. 2 have received no merit or other increases, 1 earned 2 certs for $1.00 raise. The last guy is self motivated and has gotten a $2.75 raise over the years, not bad in this economy. Spoke with HR and about 10 % of the employees have taken advantage and improved themselves. The rest complain about no raises and still have the union mentality of I worked x number of years I should get a raise.

    BTW we pay for all cost associated with getting the certs
     
  7. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    No union, population base around 90K...........
     
  8. peach

    peach Registered User

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    all depends on the local economy and how much of the building department budget is paid by permit fees. Our plan reviewers get much more, but most are also PE's. It's easy to take tests..much harder to do the work. Having said that, I think a good combo plan reviewer is worth much less than a good combo inspector. Plan reviewers see in 2D, inspectors have to see in 3D; very few people are good at both.
     
  9. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    Thanks peach. The economy and the budgets certainly aren't helping.

    Our plan reviewer is currently among the lowest paid, only above permit coordinator, and is cross-trained to do all inspections and administrative office work (except commercial electrical and limited residential electrical). Only the Chief Building Official is also capable covering all departmental positions. They have an architectural background (MARCH Degree with 7+ plus years of private practice experience as a project manager/designer preparing to take RDP exams), and are more than comfortable seeing/thinking in 3D during plan review, or on a job site.

    In my opinion, a good combo plan reviewer should, at a minimum, be capable of seeing/thinking in 3D when looking at 2D construction documents, but also be able to express concepts and ideas in 3D (an additional level of difficulty for most) to contractors and designers, and should go out in the field with inspectors, or as an inspector, as it helps the reviewer to verify critical information is provided, in terms of inspections, in the construction documents. And just as a good combo inspector is more than capable of reading 2D plans and seeing/thinking in 3D, they can both be of equivalent value if they serve each other.

    I agree testing does not validate the efficacy of an individual, it merely certifies they are capable of passing tests. Many qualified individuals have both passed and failed tests, if not but for the simple reason that they perform better or worse on tests. I prefer first hand, on the job, evaluations are much more indicitave of an individuals value over testing.
     
  10. pyrguy

    pyrguy Moderator

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    Quoted for truth.

    Plan reviewers NEED to see how the parts go together in 3d when looking at the drawings. Peach, I agree inspectors need to see it also. BUT in the field 3D is easy. (0r easier)

    I know people that have a wall full of certifications but couldn't do a complicated plan review or anything above the basic commercial office space.
     

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