Honoring the tradespeople that keep society functioning
Tradespeople are the dedicated professionals who maintain the complex infrastructure of American roads, cities, water systems and power grids. Due to the nature of the profession, oftentimes the important work of these men and women are overlooked for “flashier” industries, but that does not make their work any less critical.
In fact, this has never proved truer than during the current state of affairs. As society has been sheltering-in-place, tradespeople such as plumbers, mechanics and electricians were very early on declared essential by the Department of Homeland Security and have been tirelessly ensuring our homes continue to be safe and inhabitable during these trying times. After all, tradespeople are the backbone of the built environment and uphold the codes and standards ensuring our communities are safe and resilient.
With that in mind, Maryland has more to celebrate than most when it comes to these professionals. Having adopted the International Plumbing Code (IPC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) in late December 2019, the state joined its mid-Atlantic neighbors in utilizing these standards and adding a greater sense of continuity across state lines. Both IPC and IFGC are part of the International Codes, which are the most widely used and highly regarded set of building safety codes in the world and currently adopted and used in all 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories and in many other countries.
With this key update, Maryland’s plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning tradespeople now have a set of standardized provisions and best practices that mirror those in neighboring states, which will provide more opportunities for tradespeople to grow their businesses and seamlessly expand in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Additionally, with the adoption of the new codes and standards, tradespeople based in Maryland will be able to utilize the International Code Council’s Assessment Center, which offers training tools to familiarize themselves with the codes and prepare for an exam that could lead to licensing by local jurisdictions. Specifically, passing the Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Exam is a key credential in becoming licensed in many states across the United States. Local tradespeople can purchase copies of the codes on the Code Council’s website and at the Maryland Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association’s headquarters located in Ellicott City, Md., while the professional development tab of the Code Council website has a variety of training options for trade professionals to familiarize themselves with the codes and prepare for the exam.
As building safety continues to be at the forefront of community’s concerns with people spending exponentially more time indoors, tradespeople are needed to keep our communities safe – and the job opportunities in the building safety field are abundant. These new benefits are not only a boon for Maryland’s established base of tradespeople but will also be a draw for the next generation pursuing a career in the field. With over 55 countries in which the Code Council’s family of solutions is active, these professionals will have the benefit of exponentially extending the regions where they can conduct business.