ICC Looks to Veterans to Fill Massive Labor Shortfall

A new ICC program is focused on the military, preparing for what they assert will be an 80 percent loss of skilled workers in the building industry in coming years.

The International Code Council’s Military Families Career Path Program helps veterans who are transitioning to civilian life and their family members learn more about building safety career options. We are grateful for the sacrifices the service members and their families have made to keep us safe and are committed to ensuring their success after service.

Over the next 15 years, the building industry will experience a loss of 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce. This is a tremendous opportunity for military family members and veterans looking to enter the civilian workforce.

Code official positions fall into three main categories: plans examiners, inspectors and administrators. Each of these three areas encompass a number of different job titles and descriptions. The ICC Learning Center offers a variety of trainings for those new to the field as well as continuing education for experienced code officials. Visit learn.iccsafe.org for details. More information is coming soon about typical building safety career paths

Why consider a career in building safety?

High salaries. According to a 2014 study, the median salary for code officials is between $50,000 and $75,000 per year. And, there’s room for growth! One fifth of the survey respondents earned between $75,000 and $100,000 annually. This is significantly above the median household income of $51,017 reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012.

Protect and serve. Service members serve their country and protect lives. Those in the building safety profession also protect their communities by ensuring safe buildings where people live, work and play.

Innate skills. Individuals who enter military service develop skill sets ideally suited to the building safety profession – attention to detail, a strong work ethic, technical knowledge and teamwork. Military family members often have the necessary skills for the building safety profession such as discipline, organization and commitment to a cause.

Certifications transfer with you. Each state has a number of building safety professionals. The International Codes are used in all 50 U.S. states and in many other countries,, and ICC certifications are honored and required across the U.S. So, if you need to move, your certifications will transfer with you to your new location and your new job.

Low or no cost training. Earning an ICC certification costs around $540 for books, courses and the final exam. In comparison, the College Board reports that the average yearly tuition and fees for a public two-year college is $3,440 and a public four-year college for in-state students is $9,410. In addition, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the Montgomery G.I. Bill repays qualified veterans for the cost of Code Council certification exams taken after January 2003.

Quick and accessible. Most certifications take around 150 hours of study and testing. Candidates can get started from anywhere. Many of our trainings are available online, and our online testing center, PRONTO, allows users to take tests 24/7 from any secure location.

Many veterans have chosen this career path in the past. In fact, a survey of Code Council members revealed that 50 percent of respondents had previously served in the military.

As part of the Code Council program, Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John A. Hammonds participated in a ride-along with his local code official in Abilene, Texas. After his ride-along, he told one Code Council staff member:“I’m sold. I’ll start tomorrow as a build ing official or inspector. I’ve been proudly protecting the safety of the United States for most of my life, so I’d be proud to keep doing it through the building industry.”— Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John A. Hammonds

Visit ICC’s Career Center for job postings in the building safety industry across the U.S. Many state and local governments give preference to veterans, so make sure to indicate that you are a veteran in your application.

Click here to learn more about Safety 2.0, the Code Council’s signature initiative to welcome a new generation of members and leaders to the building safety professions.
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