Here in the Mountain State- governmental inspector are appointed or hired & it doesn't matter if they can spell electricity. I, on the other hand, doing inspections on my own had to pass 2 nationally recognized tests.
All this is about to change slightly. Our legislature passed a licensing law that will require all electrical inspectors (mine inspectors exempt) to hold a WV Master License and pass any other test as determined by the State Fire Marshal. I can hear some of those city inspectors shaking in their boots. But make no mistake, this is just another tax on the working man.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
In NE an inspector must hold a journeyman or master/contractor license and pass the IAEI test to be an inspector. All inspectors are govermental employees either state or local city/county. All inspectors have to be acceptable to the state board. This is getting rid of "uncle Joe" the one man town jack of all trades inspector unless "uncle Joe" is/was a licensed electrician.
Wirenutt: Here in NJ Inspectors are state licensed. Levels are: ICS & HHS, then Electrical Sub-Code, and if you desire Construction Official. Basically ICS is resi & light comm, HHS is everything. "Sub-Code" is like the cheif electrical inspector and Const. Official is the administrator of the "Construction Office" (Administration) We also have a T.A.C.O., who is responsible for running the office. (And a whole lot more)
All of the above positions require stste lic. To qualify for Inspector, you must be a electrical contractor first. I believe the time is 5 years. Sub-Code is 7 yrs and CO is 10 years.
BTW, the Building, Plumbing, Fire, all have the same basic set-up, and the CO can have a "TECH" licence in any of the disciplines.