There are four levels of certifications available: A General Contractor’s (GC), Specialist, Specialty, and Certified. Once you become certified, your fees will increase to an associate’s level. An associate’s certificate is good for two years and covers most building code examinations. Specialty certifications require a specific number of hours of supervised instruction and professional cost. The prices for specialty certifications are determined by the professional cost and the number of hours of training that are required by the state.
As a Professional Building Inspector (PBI) your certification will be required by your state’s department of licensing and inspection (DOL). The state DOL will request a copy of your associate’s degree, special license, or certification from a program that they have approved. You can find a list of approved PBI programs at the State Board of Testing Services website. After receiving your certification, your exam fee will increase to a professional fee. Your certificate expires after one year and must be renewed before it is valid. Examiners will renew your certification every two years.
If you are a Senior Professional Mechanical Designer (SPMD) or a Senior Professional Electrical Inspector (SPIE) your certification will remain valid for two years. However, if you complete an additional six months of education or practice with a certificate program, your SPMD or SPIE certification will be renewed. An additional six-month certification program can be applied to your application fee. When applying for certification with your application fee is not considered. If you plan on becoming a licensed inspector, you need to become certified through an approved program. Once you have received your certification, you can call your state department of licensing and inspection to obtain your license.
Becoming a senior professional does have its advantages. You can work at anytime and you do not have to quit your job in order to take classes. Also, when applying for certification, you do not pay the examination fee or the application fee. Most states require candidates to have at least 500 hours of working experience. An additional six months of supervised training or experience is also required. These requirements vary from state to state.
In addition to the additional requirements that each state has, all certification programs that are recognized by your state also require a certain amount of equipment and materials. Some of the items that are required by most certifications include:
Some of the materials that are required for Associate certification are: printed study guides; one non-applicable test; two vendor references; one exam fee schedule; three AM Best or Poor rating certificates; one vendor list; and four vendor reference letters. All references and exam fees are provided by the vendor that provides your certification. In most cases the vendor will provide an application fee with their materials. If they do not, you can purchase the items separately. The Certified Electronic Inspector (CIE) exam costs $125 and is available to anyone who has passed the state exam.
The exam fee is refundable if you do not pass the certification exam. However, the certification will not be recognized if you do not take the needed courses and pass the certification test. Associate certifications are good for two years. A Bachelor’s degree will get you a certification.