What Is an ICC Certification?: An Introductory Guide

Did you know that roughly 3.4 people per 100,000 will have a fatal accident in the workplace?

So, a critical part of any development plan today is to ensure that operations strictly adhere to safety rules. There are also plenty of regulations known as building codes to stick to.

The International Code Council issues licenses to inspectors. These inspectors ensure that any construction meets the building codes’ standards. This article will learn what an ICC certification entails, who needs one, and how to get the certification. 

Read on to boost your knowledge of the ICC certification process.

What Is an ICC certification?

An ICC certification is a back from the International Code Council to inspect a specific type of construction or building. There are many different types of ICC certifications you can obtain.

Who Needs an ICC Certification?

The ICC certification affirms that building officials have gone through training classes. Also, they’ve passed the ICC’s test in their specific field.

Some of the field exams ICC offers include:

  • Building plans examiner
  • Residential mechanical inspector
  • Commercial plumbing inspector
  • Residential electrical inspector
  • Plumbing plans examiner
  • Fire inspector
  • Building official
  • Accessibility inspector
  • Residential energy inspector

Therefore, there are different types of ICC certifications. This is because the requirements to qualify to inspect various structures differ. To become certified, you will likely need to learn about:

  • Structural integrity
  • Fire safety intricacies
  • Other safety restrictions

The following are examples of ICC certifications that are available:

CLA Swimming Pools

CLA stands for Credential of Learning Achievement (CLA) in Swimming pools. This is a certification granted after you pass the required test successfully. To pass the test, an inspector needs to understand the compliance regulations for swimming, spas, and hot tubs.

G24 Master Plumber

This is issued to inspectors who demonstrate a sound knowledge of plumbing fixtures. For example, bathtubs, water heaters, urinals, and storm drains. In addition, this certificate requires inspectors to learn building codes. Namely, those related to sanitary drainage facilities.

F13 National Standard Residential Building Contractor

To earn this ICC certificate, the learners must demonstrate expertise in many aspects of a residential building. Examples include safety fire alarm systems, foundations, masonry, etc., in the form of an exam.

F16 Master Electrician:

To pass this exam and receive a certificate, an inspector should comprehend electrical wiring. Further, they should know the materials required to create electrical wiring. This could be in residential or commercial structures.

F15 National Standard Shingle Roofing

In this case, an inspector needs to comprehend the materials used in creating roofs. All of the safety concerns of roof work come into play here. The re-roofing process is also a requirement for this certificate.

F29 National Standard Master Mechanical

To earn the F29 National Standard Master Mechanical certification, test-takers need to show they understand the general requirements of mechanical appliances, exhaust, and ventilation systems.

Additionally, this exam assesses their expertise in fuel supply systems, chimney vents, and duct systems.

F33 National Standard Master Gas Pipe Fitter

For an inspector to acquire the gas pipe fitter certificate, they need to answer general requirements questions on natural gas piping correctly. They also feature ventilation systems. Test takers must show that they comprehend the basic requirements for venting natural gas through various structures.

F35 Class DF Fire Suppression Installation Contractor

The fire suppression certificate attests that an inspector understands the requirements of fire prevention systems. Further, an inspector must display expertise on code requirements. This can include indicating the number of fire detectors needed in buildings of various sizes.

You Can Get Multiple ICC Certifications

Many certificates are available; each one highly specialized in a specific area. Almost every certification covers general safety codes such as occupancy limits and fire. However, some exams only cover their respective field. Many inspectors opt to sit for multiple ICC certification exams to better handle any issues they face on the job.

How to Get an ICC Certification

To become ICC certified in a specific field, you should be at least 18 years old and pass a test set for that particular certification. The duration of each test is at least a few hours, while the most extended tests can be allotted a maximum time of six hours.

There are two modes of taking the exam; the Computer-Based Training (CBT) exam, which is discharged at a designated testing facility. Or remotely, the Proctored Remote Online Testing Option (PRONTO) is one test that you can only take it remotely.

If you want to have both options available to you, take the 2015 version of the exam. The 2018 version of the exam only offers the PRONTO system.

In both cases, the exams are typically open-book and proctored. Thus you can prepare study materials and bring them to the test. 

Work experience is not a prerequisite to taking either test. Yet, many inspectors opt first to gain equate experience at a job before taking the test.

Tips for Taking an ICC Certification Test

Since ICC certification tests can take up a lot of your time and cost you money, you need to prepare beforehand to be ready.

Numerous materials are available on the International CodeCouncil’s website that can be of value as you prepare for the test. Similarly, other sources readily offer many other test preparation materials and increase your chances of passing.

Below are tips for preparing to take an ICC Contractor Exam:

Interact with the Materials on the ICC Website

The International CodeCouncil’s website is among the best study material sources for exams. ICC’s website includes exam catalogs, test locations, study materials, and explanations of the various tests they offer.

When studying, you need not memorize the questions but know where to find the answer in the code. All inspector candidates should comfortably navigate the codebook.

In addition, you should familiarize yourself with the Table of Contents, and the Index, as these will come in handy during the test. In case you need more guidance, there are genuine ICC study resources on the internet that you can utilize to help you prepare for the exam.

Remember to register and pay for your exam through the ICC website once you decide which test you wish to take.

Get On-The-Job Experience Before Sitting for an Exam

Many inspectors opt to get some work experience before committing to an exam. The experience exposes them to real-life scenarios of the materials covered in the exam prep booklets and allows them to choose the proper exam.

Having firsthand experience of the material is often an excellent way to learn about the topics included in the test.

Research the Job Opportunities Available for Your Certification

Before sitting for a test, it can be insightful to find out which jobs the exam qualifies you for. For instance, if you are longing to work as a plumber, you may find it worthwhile to sit for the plumbing exam and any other tests that qualify you to inspect residential homes since most plumbers spend a lot of time working in people’s houses.

Does ICC Certification Matter?

If the government is looking for code-trained staff such as building inspectors and plan reviewers, they must be certified. Making errors in code decisions is inconvenient for anyone.

However, being a certified ICC inspector isn’t sufficient in some cases. Oregon, for instance, requires all inspectors or plan reviewers to have an Oregon Inspection Certification as well. In addition, they need a specialty certification for any subcategory they wish to work in, such as plan review or fire inspection.

ICC Combo Certifications

The International Code Council also provides several combo exam designations. For example, if you take and pass both the B1 Residential Building Inspector Test and the B2 Commercial Building Inspector Test, you can automatically be granted the B5 Building Inspector Designation.

Meaning, you qualify to be a Building Inspector for any type of building. Therefore, it’s also crucial to find out the various types of Combination Designations ICC offers.

How Long Will It Take You to Get ICC Certified?

You don’t have to wait. Immediately after the exam, you will receive a pass or fail letter. You will know instantly know whether you passed or not.

Once you pass, you will be assigned a unique certification number such that if someone were to look up certified professionals within the ICC website, your name would appear in the search results.  In addition, you will also get a wall certification.

How Long Are Icc Certifications Good For?

ICC certifications are valid for three years from the day you pass the exam. Codes are constantly updated. So, there is a need to renew your certification to stay up to date with all rolled-out changes.

You must renew the certification before it expires. The first step to renew your ICC certification is to gain the required amount of Continuing Education Unit (CEU’s). Next, pay a renewal fee for each certificate you are renewing.

In addition, you can gain CEUs by attending seminars. You could also participate in professional development courses. Within three years, you can accumulate the CEU’s and when you are ready to renew, pay the renewal fee and submit the necessary number of CEU’s.

What to Do Next?

By now, you have all the valuable information regarding ICC certification. Remember, once you decide on which test you would like to sit for, take time to prepare so as not to incur a loss in terms of your time and money.

All you have to do now is study and take the test, we have plenty of resources on our site to help you study effectively. Check them out!