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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 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. Keep in mind, however, that some states may require additional state specific examinations for inspection positions.
  • 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.

Note: A closed captioned version of the video is available here.

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 building 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

When Sergeant First Class Mike Reese decided to retire from the United States Army after 20 years, he wanted to find a way to put his construction experience to use in the civilian sector. Reese is now a code services officer for Manhattan, Kansas. He says:

“If someone was successful in the military, they're going to transition well into this field without requiring a lot of handholding. …This is a job you can excel in. It's been a great opportunity." — Army Sergeant First Class Mike Reese

Reese Michael

Hear more from Reese in Episode 6 of ICC’s Pulse Podcast.

Read profile article of Mike Reese that was published in the Building Safety Journal.


Click below for additional Military Families Career Path testimonials

Code Council Board Member Jim Brown

Code Council Board Member Kris Bridges

Former Code Council Board Member Jeff Whitney

Code Council Board Member Donny Phipps

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.

If you are a military veteran interested in the benefits of ICC membership, take advantage of ICC’s special Safety 2.0 offer. Enjoy a six-month FREE ICC Participating Membership and get connected now with the best code resources and member benefits in the industry. Click here for more information and to apply.

Ready to embark on your new career? Visit ICC's Career Center

ICC's Career Center has 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 for job listings.

Want to learn more?

The International Code Council’s Mentor Program connects seasoned building safety professionals with job seekers interested in joining the industry. Participants can develop meaningful, long-term connections with others passionate about building safety in their area. Take just a few minutes to fill out a short application to share the specifics of your situation, and potentially change the course of your career.

If you are interested in a career in building safety but aren’t sure where to start: