Most of us give little thought to the safety of our homes, workplaces and other spots we frequent and take for granted that they have passed safety inspections. Property maintenance and housing inspectors take great care to assure that residential and commercial properties are safely built and maintained. In the construction inspection industry, women make up only 7.8 percent of all workers as of 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
International Code Council
Not required by all employers, certification looks great on a resume and shows potential employers that you’ve taken the extra steps to gain additional knowledge and legitimacy in the field. The International Code Council offers the most sought after property maintenance and housing inspector credential. Earning the ICC’s certification not only helps you land a job, it can help you advance in your career and oftentimes, increase your salary, according to the ICC. Because the ICC makes all certification holders agree in writing to follow the ICC’s Code of Ethics, employers can be sure they are hiring top-notch employees.
Prepping for the Exam
The main component of the certification process is taking and passing the certification exam. You can register and pay your exam fee online through the ICC’s website. While the exam is open book, if test-taking isn’t your forte, the ICC provides a number of testing resources, including sample questions, practice tests, topic outlines and outside reading references. Some of the ICC’s test prep resources cost money, while many are free. Test prep help also comes from outside sources, including exam reviews. A number of community and technical colleges offer certificate programs that specifically prepare students to take the ICC’s certification exam.
Taking the Test
Proctored by Pearson VUE, the exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions with a two-hour time limit and takes place at locations throughout the country. You can take the exam via computer or traditional pencil and paper format. Immediately after you complete the computer test, you’ll know whether you passed. Topics you should be familiar with before taking the exam include notices and orders, repair and demolition, enforcement, occupancy rules and regulations, fire and life safety and mechanical maintenance.
Maintaining the Credential
Once you hang the certification certificate on the wall and put the certification card in your wallet, the work still isn’t done. You’ll have to renew the designation every three years by submitting a renewal application and paying a renewal fee. As part of the renewal process, you’ll also have to earn 1.5 continuing education units during that three-year period. CEU’s come from a variety of sources, including taking self-study courses, attending seminars, taking part in ICC code hearings, earning other ICC certifications, participating in ICC chapter activities, authoring industry publications or teaching related courses.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: 2012 Household Data Annual Averages
- International Code Council: Certified Code Safety Professional Exams
- Carl Vinson Institute of Government: ICC Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector Certification Exam Review
- ICC: Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector Sample Questions
- ICC: National Certification Examination Information Bulletin
- Building and Fire Code Academy: Property Maintenance Inspector Certificate Program
- ICC: Renewal Information Bulletin
- NA/Photos.com/Getty Images