In Texas, anyone who performs plumbing inspections is required to have a state license. The licensing process is similar to that of a master plumber. A candidate must have a combination of classroom training and documented hours of on-the-job training to qualify to take the licensing test in Austin. See the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) website for details.
The International Code Council's codes are the dominant set of construction regulations in the United States, as well as many other parts of the world. The ICC publishes new editions of all of its codes every three years, incorporating changing technology and needs. The Codes are written through a democratic process: changes are proposed to committees, then presented in code development hearings and voted on by registered voting members of ICC.
Cities must officially adopt new editions of the Codes through approval from their City Councils. Cities have the power to adopt amendments to the Codes to fit their specific needs. In the North Texas area, many cities go by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) recommended amendments, which help ensure consistent application of the Codes throughout the region.
The ICC publishes codes for every category and discipline of construction. The only exception is the National Electric Code (NEC), which is published by NFPA. The NEC is the dominant electrical code in the nation.
ICC administers tests for certifications over most of the codes. These tests are computer-based, and offered at ICC-approved testing centers throughout the country, including multiple locations in the north Texas area. ICC certification exams are open-book, but have time limits. It is important that anyone taking a test be very familiar with the content of a code book, and be able to interpret the information correctly. Study guides are available through ICC. See the ICC Certification and Testing website for details.
By and large, our industry is very committed to training, culminating in the pursuit of code certifications, a mark of true professionalism and expertise. For example, the Building Professional Institute offers beginner-to-expert classes in a variety of tracks of study at its conferences throughout the state. Local and regional professional organizations, such as the North Texas Chapter of ICC and the Building Officials Association of Texas offer accredited seminars throughout the year. In addition, we support construction education degree and certificate programs from community colleges and universities, and organizations such as the Construction Education Foundation. Visit ICC’s certification page for details on how you can achieve code certifications. In Texas, plumbing inspectors must also have an inspector’s license from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. The process is similar to becoming a licensed plumber.