Building Careers for Today’s Generation

There is a tremendous work opportunity for qualified candidates seeking a job in the building industry, including code officials.

Professions within the building safety field vary widely in their specialties, and the industry offers many well-paying career options for today’s workforce:

  • Building inspectors inspect structures to determine compliance with the various building codes and standards adopted by the jurisdiction.
  • Building officials manage the development, administration, interpretation, application and enforcement of the codes adopted by their jurisdiction.
  • Special inspectors provide a specialized inspection of structural material fabrication and placement, such as poured concrete, structural steel installation and fasteners, etc.
  • Permit technicians assist in the issuance of construction and development permits to ensure compliance with the provisions of a jurisdiction’s adopted regulations and codes
  • Fire marshals develop and deliver fire prevention and implements public fire safety programs that provide for inspections of occupancies for life safety and fire issues in accordance with codes and standards adopted by their jurisdiction.
  • Plumbing inspectors inspect the installation, maintenance and alteration of plumbing systems complete with their fixtures, equipment, accessories, and appliances.
  • Electrical inspectors check the quality of materials, the installation work, and the safeguards in electrical systems. They make sure electrical systems meet city, state or national codes, and electrical codes and standards. Electrical inspectors look closely at new wiring and fixtures in businesses, public buildings, and in homes.
  • Mechanical inspectors focus on heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) concerns. This includes inspection of: mechanical appliances and equipment; air distribution systems; kitchen exhaust equipment; boilers and water heaters; hydronic piping; gas piping systems; flammable and combustible liquid storage and piping systems; fireplaces, chimneys and vents; refrigeration systems; incinerators and crematories. The mechanical inspector also checks for air quality and energy conservation measures.
  • Public works inspectors check digging and fill operations, and the placement of forms for concrete. They observe the concrete mixing and pouring, asphalt paving and grading operations and keep records of all work performed and the materials used. Public works inspectors may be specialists in one kind of operation such as reinforced concrete, dredging or ditches.
  • Property maintenance or housing inspectors inspect existing buildings to check for health or safety violations and the condition of the exterior property.
  • Plan reviewers or examiners begin the evaluation process which ensures that a building or structure conforms to the requirements of the local or specified code. The plan reviewer examines the construction documents used to describe a project, including architectural, structural, site plan, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire protection drawings as well as the corresponding specifications, structural design calculations and soil report.
  • Code enforcement officers evaluate and enforce local building codes. They typically issue warnings or give citations for any code violations they find.

Check out the Code Council’s career step-by-step guide to help you get started in the building safety profession.

If you are a student or professional looking for a new career, check out the Building Safety Career Path Initiative.

If you are a community looking to fund building code training, check out FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, which can fund eligible building code activities including: providing or pursuing training for building safety professionals; developing planning, training, and exercises for post-disaster building code enforcement through ICC’s “When Disaster Strike’s Institute” training course; and training building department staff on new software acquired through the grant program.


The Sustainability Membership Council (SMC) is famous for its series of Building Safety Month videos at its Facebook account. If you access Facebook, check out this first video on the Austin Energy Green Building program, produced by the SMC.


Jurisdictions and organizations are signing and issuing their proclamations declaring May 2022 as Building Safety Month. Among them is the United States President’s Administration who has once again issued a proclamation in support of raising awareness of building safety: “This year’s National Building Safety Month theme — “Safety for All: Codes in Action” — is an important reminder that modern building code adoption and enforcement is essential to keeping our homes, businesses, schools, and other facilities safe.” View the various national, state and local proclamations or submit your own here.

Application site for applying for Code of Honor Scholarships to participate in Louisville hearing is open

If you are an ICC Governmental Member Voting Representative, don’t miss your chance to apply for a Code of Honor Scholarship to support your attendance at the Code Council’s Public Comment Hearings being held Sept. 14–21, 2022, in Louisville, Kentucky. The scholarships help ensure that the International Codes reflect the consensus view of officials at all levels of government by providing funding to Governmental Member Voting Representatives seeking to attend and participate in the Public Comment Hearings. The application site is now open and will close on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Read more here.

Code Council’s 2021 Annual Report reviews the past year’s challenges, efforts and successes

ICC’s 2021 Annual Report was recently issued and highlights the Code Council’s renewed sense of resiliency to provide resources and support to members/customers serving their communities around

the world. “The International Code Council entered 2021 with a renewed sense of resilience. While the year delivered its share of challenges, the things we faced this year underscored the importance of building safety professionals and the role they play in preserving our safety,” a cover statement from ICC Board President Cindy Davis and Code Council CEO Dominic Sims said. “Our 2021 annual report reminds us of all we can accomplish when we work together.” Read more on the 2021 Annual Report here.

ICC Government Relations staff engaging members and stake holders on membership benefits

The Government Relations staff is working to inform building safety professionals who are not yet members of several important membership benefits and to make sure that current ICC members are taking full advantage of the benefits membership affords. Benefits include:

  • A FREE Digital Codes Premium subscription (based on member category).
  • 10-25% off code content, specialized publications and training materials.
  • Discounts on training and educational programs to earn CEUs.
  • Discounts on certification exams, exam resource materials and certification renewals.
  • Digital badging to showcase membership on social media and your resume.
  • Technical support to answer code-related questions (based on membership category).

Russ Manning selected to succeed ICC’s top technical services head Mike Pfeiffer who retires in 2023

Russ Manning, former executive director of facility operations and maintenance for the National Facility Services of the Kaiser Permanente Health System, joined the codes and standards department of the International Code Council as deputy senior vice president of technical services. Dr. Manning will succeed Mike Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, Mike Pfeiffer, PE. Pfeiffer recently announced his plan to retire in 2023 after serving the Code Council for 36 years. The Code Council’s Technical Services team makes the process of understanding and applying the codes efficient and straightforward by offering code commentaries and code interpretations. “Technical Services is thrilled to welcome Russ to the team. He has a passionate support for building safety and, from his unique

perspective and background, has a lot to offer to the Code Council,” Pfeiffer said. “Russ will be assisting me as we transition him to lead the department upon my retirement in 2023.” Read more here.

Code Council to donate portion of proceeds from ICC/ANSI A117.1 sales to Canine Companions

Code Council has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of its ICC/ANSI A117.1 standard for accessibility to Canine Companions, a non-profit organization that trains and donates service dogs to people with disabilities. The two organizations signed an agreement during a brief

ceremony on April 24, 2022, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. The agreement will be used as a starting point for the Code Council and Canine Companions to work together to raise awareness around accessibility in the built environment. “We are delighted to have the Code Council’s support in placing more service and facility dogs with people who need them,” said Matt Levering, Senior Development Director for Canine Companions, “Given its focus on safety and accessibility, our partnership with the Code Council is a natural fit.” Read more here.

Government Relations Department posts opening for Vice President of Technical Services position

The Code Council Government Relations Department is seeking applications for Vice President of Technical Services. This position is responsible for developing, coordinating, directing and implementing programs to ensure the successful completion of the goals and objectives of the GR Department on behalf of ICC and its business units under the ICC Family of Solutions (FoS) by providing technical analysis, support, and thought leadership on ICC FoS products and services. This critical position is charged with helping bridge the gap between technical and advocacy. Referrals welcome. Read more here.

Code Council applauds passage of the Resilient AMERICA Act to boost FEMA funds for resilient codes

The Resilient AMERICA Act, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, more than doubles

the allowable funding calculation under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program from the current 6% to 15%, which allows for additional projects and activities to be funded. With these additional resources, the legislation also recognizes the significant return on investment provided to communities by adopting, implementing,

and enforcing up-to-date hazard-resistant, consensus-based codes and standards. Resilient

AMERICA requires that each annual BRIC grant cycle invests at least ten percent in code-focused grant awards. The Code Council, which has supported this legislation since its introduction, recently joined over 25 emergency management, non-profit, and industry members in a letter to House leadership urging its swift consideration and passage more than a month ago. The Resilient AMERICA Act follows the passing of the Disaster Recovery and Reform Act (DRRA) in 2018 which, for the first time ever,

provided a dedicated stream of annual funding for FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation efforts and permitted these resources to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments in adopting and implementing hazard-resistant building codes. After running two BRIC grant cycles, the pent-up demand at SLTT levels of government for federal assistance for disaster mitigation was apparent, creating an urgent need for the additional resources provided through the Resilient AMERICA Act. Read more here.