Alphanette Waters pushes herself to stay ahead and earn ICC Certified Building Official certification
Alphanette Waters, CBO, CFM, chief building inspector for the city of Port St. Lucie in Florida, had a very different career in mind when she graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Georgia Southern University in 1985. “I wanted to design toys and electronics, but those jobs were on the West Coast,” Waters explained. “Then, I got offered a job as an electrical inspector in Savannah, Georgia. And things just started happening from there.”
Those things — including a new job as an assistant building official in St. Lucie County — didn’t just happen. Waters threw herself into every aspect of her jobs, earning the respect of co-workers as well as increasing her responsibilities. Part of that devotion included achieving the certifications she needed to be the best at her job, most recently earning her ICC Certified Building Official certification. She studied for that exam just like all the others, reading through the code and looking for applications in her daily work life. “The codes change every three years, so you want to make sure you’re studying the most up-to-date codes you’ll be tested on,” she said. “And since we actually use the information every day, you want to make sure you stay on top of it.”
Speaking of staying on top, Waters’ willingness to climb ladders and scaffolding and get her hands into the work helped her earn respect from her male counterparts early in her career. “It was extremely difficult,” Waters recalled. “But then they saw what I was willing to do for the job, and they said, ‘She’s one of us.’ Fortunately, I was able to work with people who knew what was in my heart.”
Waters has a natural passion for pushing herself, being willing to learn every step of the way. And now she’s happily encouraging other eager, young professionals to make their way into the field. As chief building inspector for the past five years in Port St. Lucie, there are a handful of former coworkers that Waters routinely challenges to better themselves; keeping in touch and making sure they’ve still got that fire to achieve and succeed.
Following her own advice, she sets no limits on herself. This year, she earned the Certified Building Official certification and last year she acquired the Building Plans Examiner and Plumbing Plans Examiner certifications. She also has the Combination Commercial Inspector, Commercial Plumbing Inspector, Commercial Building Inspector, Commercial Mechanical Inspector, Fire Inspector II, Fire Inspector I, Commercial Electrical Inspector and Residential Combination Inspector certifications. She has plans for a few more and then wants to go after the prestigious Master Code Professional designation.
Waters has worked since 2016 as an assessor for the International Accreditation Service, evaluating building departments in many areas, including British Columbia, Michigan, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. While it’s great to travel, which she loves doing, she knows there’s work waiting for her when she returns. “They need an Electrical Plans Examiner here in St. Lucie County next week,” Waters said chuckling. “That won’t happen, but that’s the next test I’m studying for. Then mechanical, green and accessibility. Then I should have my Master Code Professional designation. And I want to do that by next year. I do all of this like I do everything: diving in with both feet. Just push my way through. I like to work under pressure.”
The Code Council Assessment Center is your one-stop shop to help you achieve your professional goals. Whether it’s obtaining certification, scheduling an exam, or learning about the different exams available, our Assessment and Test Development teams are here to help empower you. The Code Council maintains one of the most historic and prestigious credentialing programs for construction codes and standards. We are committed to upholding the highest standard through continuous review and partnership with experienced professionals. Code Council credentials are a great way to take your career to the next level. Building departments, state and provincial agencies, and third-party entities around the world recognize Code Council certification as the single most significant codes and standards credentials that building professionals can attain. Start your path to career advancement at the Assessment Center today.