Basic Guide to ICC Certification and How to Get Certified

The International Code Council (ICC) is a non-profit organization that produces а unified set of national model building codes, known as the I-Codes, used in the construction industry. 

These model codes are commonly used throughout the United States and a few overseas locations. The organization is devoted to developing model codes and standards used in building and other structures’ design, construction, and compliance processes.

The I-Codes are a collection of comprehensive codebooks that cover building safety, fire prevention, and a wide range of other crafts associated with the construction industry. Moreover, the ICC offers professional qualifications, known as ICC certifications.

The Advantage of an ICC Certification

Many construction departments demand candidates to be ICC-certified to get hired. The ICC certification tests offer you the chance to gain professional recognition in your field of expertise. It demonstrates your understanding of numerous building regulations and standards to improve your career as you master the trade.

The more you become an expert, the greater your chances of getting preference for higher-quality jobs with higher-paying salaries. As such, ICC certificates are crucial for career advancement, professional recognition, validation of your technical expertise, and being more marketable during your job search.

How to Acquire an ICC Certification

Here are steps you need to take to get ICC-certified: 

1. Pass the ICC Certification Exam

The examinee must be of legal age (eighteen years old and above) and have no prior job experience to sit for the exam. Those seeking certification as a residential building inspector must pass the B1 exam. In contrast, those pursuing certification as a commercial building inspector must take and pass the B2 exam.

2. Get a List of ICC Certifications in Your Area

You will need to contact the local building department in your region and ask for the list of ICC certifications available in your area. You will also have to determine which I-Codes you are interested in targeting. Each has its list of certifications for you to take.

3. Estimate How Much Time You Need to Review

You must also estimate how much time you will require to study for the test. Ensure that you are knowledgeable on the information in the codebook that corresponds to the certification you are seeking. Try some practice tests on the ICC website to see what questions you need to study.

4. Outsource Study Materials or Practice Exams

Preparation is everything, and practice makes perfect. There are online and printed study materials and practice tests to help you ace your actual ICC certification exam. 

These resources can also recommend reference books to further your review. Other sources of review content can come from webinars or face-to-face seminars for ICC certification.

However, remember that the ICC does not provide official testing services, practice exams, or sample questions. The only materials you should use are the I-Code books and practice tests. 

How Long Will It Take to Be ICC-Certified? 

Becoming an ICC-certified residential or commercial building inspector can take six months to two years. It all relies on your willingness to learn and put in the effort.

The local jurisdiction creates the exams responsible for enforcing the building codes. The ICC does not regulate it, so the areas that require them may have different rules and laws. Each jurisdiction has other requirements for applicants and a further selection process for those certified.

In addition, prepare to renew your ICC certification every three years, which you can conveniently do online.


An ICC certification can help you achieve your goals. It is a valuable asset that can help you market yourself to potential employers. Obtaining an ICC certification shows that you have the knowledge and experience to work in a specific trade. If you want to change careers or sectors, you may require an ICC certification to be hired.

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