A first line worker in a city, county or other type of building department, a permit worker typically interacts with customers, performs paperwork and assists applicants in getting necessary building permits. Specialized training is available for people interested in this type of work. In order to receive permit technician certification, a person must complete all aspects of the training as well as successfully passing a certification exam.
Permit technician certification is not necessarily required in order to obtain a job. It can, however, be very helpful in demonstrating to potential employers that you have the needed skills and knowledge to perform all job functions. A person who has received certification has proven familiarity with building codes and enforcement, zoning and other knowledge essential to a permit technician’s job. If you are already working in the field it can also be helpful to obtain certification to become eligible for promotions and pay raises.
The International Code Council, commonly referred to as the ICC, is the organization that oversees the process of certifying permit technicians, as well as certification for many other careers within the building industry. A candidate must apply for, then successfully take and pass the ICC examination before receiving credentials. Prior to taking the examination most students prepare by taking classes that cover the various aspects of the exam.
Receiving permit technician certification requires that you be familiar with all the essentials needed to carry out the job. At the most basic level, this includes an understanding of building code enforcement and how a building department operates. To pass the test you will also need to have some knowledge of how to read blueprints as well as international building and zoning codes. An understanding of the legalities of code administration is also required.
For most people, the best way to prepare for the certification process is to take a class that covers everything the test will require. Such classes are offered in many different ways. Some building departments bring in teachers to teach employees and interested candidates, but most often a student must find and pay for the classes on his or her own. If you are interested in taking the test, you can typically choose to either take online classes, a correspondence course or enroll at a local college that offers such a program.
Once you have completed the required instruction, sign up for the ICC permit technician certification examination. You can register and pay on the ICC website. In most cases you can also fill out a testing application and sign up for the test through your school, since many schools help students register for the exam as part of the course. Once you have successfully passed the ICC test you will receive your certification.