Construction Industry Certification Guide: Everything You Need to Know

!( certification can be a great asset to a construction worker's resume, and it shows an employer that you're serious about keeping your skills and knowledge current. Beyond the potential career advancement benefits, certifications are required in some instances. Today, many local and national building codes and project owners require certified personnel on job sites.

Let's look at several construction industry certifications – such as those for management, engineering, concrete and safety – that workers often seek and employers prefer.

Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI)

The CMCI, a subsidiary of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), offers the Certified Construction Manager (CCM( credential. Widely considered the pinnacle certification in construction management, the CCM recognizes construction managers who are experts in all phases of a construction project, from planning and design through construction and completion.

Eligibility requirements are hefty. Candidates must have at least four years of responsible-in-charge (RIC) experience in the domains of knowledge and skills established by CMAA and provide at least two client/owner references. It requires an additional eight years of experience in construction or general design, which may be substituted with an undergraduate or master's degree in construction management, construction science, architecture, or one of several engineering disciplines. CCMs must also recertify( every three years by completing qualified training or volunteer work and paying a $200 recertification fee, or by passing the current CCM exam.

The CCM exam features 175 multiple-choice questions and takes up to four hours to complete. CMCI charges a $325 application fee ($425 for non-CMAA members), and the exam itself costs $275.

American Institute of Constructors (AIC)

Another good source of general certifications is the AIC Constructor Certification Program(, which administers the Associate Constructor (AC( and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC( certifications.

The AC aims at candidates who have completed an accredited four-year construction management degree program or have four years of qualifying experience; AIC also accepts a combination of education and experience. The AC exam has 300 multiple-choice questions, is administered in two four-hour sessions over the course of a day and costs $165.

After achieving the AC certification, constructors who have accrued another four years of experience (with two of those years managing projects) can sit for the CPC exam. Without the AC certification, a candidate needs eight years of experience and/or education. The CPC exam is available only twice per year, has 175 questions, takes up to four hours to complete and costs $575 ($675 for nonmembers).

Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)

Green building continues to be a hot area of the construction industry, for both commercial and residential projects. The GBCI's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professional certification program( starts with the Green Associate credential, which validates a person's understanding of current green building principles and practices.

From there, candidates can pursue one or more LEED Accredited Professional (AP) certifications in building design and operations (LEED AP BD+C), operations and maintenance (LEED AP O+M), interior design ...