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New! 2018 ICC Permit Technician Practice Test


How do I become an ICC Certified Permit Technician?

ICC certifications are essential for permit technicians, building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials. Certifications demonstrate that the professional is properly trained in their field of expertise and can effectively apply the code to construction projects. Becoming a certified permit technician requires passing an International Code Council (ICC) certification exam. The entire process requires three basic steps:

Flow chart for how to become ICC certified

1. Learn what the ICC requires for Permit Technicians

The ICC Permit Technician exam requires the applicant to be knowledgeable in the Legal Aspects of Code Administration, International Zoning Code, and International Building Code, as well as the essential knowledge outlined in the Basic Code Enforcement text. The International Building Code and International Zoning Code are the most commonly adopted codes for buildings and properties respectively across the United States. The Legal Aspects and Basic Code Enforcement books teach permit technicians what items to look for and how to properly handle permit processes in a legally compliant professional manner. From this code, an examinee must be able to answer questions from the following categories:

General Administration 39%

Customer Service: Interview customers and determine their needs and assess the scope of their project and direct them. Communicate with customers and staff using the appropriate terminology. Educate customers. Employ organizational skills.

Project Applications: Verify that the project has all prerequisite approvals. Verify that application and the project information provided is complete and is acceptable. Verify professional and contractor licensing where necessary.

Basic Building Concepts: Review the basic building concepts on plans for content. Verify basic details, elements or components of plans for completeness.

Permit Issuance and Fees: Process documents for required approvals. Calculate and verify valuations and fees and accept financial guarantees. Issue permits.

Inspections and Certificate of Occupancy: Accept inspection requests. Verify that special inspections are performed where required. Track permit status. Coordinate approvals for and prepare the Certificate of Occupancy.

Legal Aspects 22%

Public Information and Legal: For new and existing projects, answer questions about the need for approvals, permits and inspections, general code compliance of designs, procedures and materials. Address liability and public disclosure issues when necessary.

Records Management: Verify that the necessary documents are retained for the period required and available as needed.

Record Research: Research and document project history and code compliance.

Appeals and Revocation: Process appeals and suspension or revocation of approvals, decisions and/or permits.

Plans and Documents 25%

Review Related Documents: Verify content of plans, engineered construction drawings and/or specifications for submittal. Determine the need and/or level of review.

Occupancy Group and Type of Construction: Verify that the occupancy classifications and the types of construction are designated on the plans and/or permit documents.

Read Maps: Read and identify map and plat/tract specifications and components.

Perform Calculations and Use Scales: Use architectural and engineering scales to determine basic dimensions and calculate areas and percentages.

Zoning and Site Development 14%

Land Use: Explain the site plan review process or developmental plan review and land use codes.

Right-of-Way, Utilities and Easements: Determine public right-of-way and private and public easements. Regulate construction in public right-of-way.

Site Plan Review: Verify structure location on the lot, zoning and engineering requirements. Verify required set back and percentage of lot coverage. Recognize the need for variances.


Questions from the International Building Code will be taken from Chapters: 1-3, 6, 12, 17 (1704.1-1704.5)

2. How to study for the Permit Technician (14) Exam

Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering legal and code questions is essential for a permit technician or someone about to take an exam. In the office, a permit technician should be able to answer general questions about zoning, plan requirements, basic code related requirements like occupancy load and scale dimensions and be competent in the legalities of the job. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the books fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 2:00 hours. Building Code Masters has developed practice exams for the most recent texts for permit technicians to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with. Practice exams for permit technicians can be found through the provided links below:

2017 Commercial electrical inspector practice exam


3. How to take the ICC Permit Technician Exam

When taking a building code examination, it is essential to be able to navigate the code fast enough to find all of the answers. Most ICC examinations are open book and because of this, obscure and hard to memorize material will be included in all of the examinations i.e. large tables and mathematical formulas. The 2018 permit technician exam requires applicants to be able to answer the following questions in the allocated time:

  • Number of questions: 60

  • Time limit: 2:00 hours

This means that examinees will have roughly two minutes per question. It may appear as a generous amount of time but some questions will be longer and more in depth than others which requires an examinee to be able to have section locations of the book memorized. Having chapter locations memorized and pacing oneself will lead to passing the exam. Practice exams from Building Code Masters prepare test takers for the time crunch and memorization of the most important sections of the code. Whether the exam be focused on building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing, Building Code Masters has all of the study materials available to help test takers learn how to become better educated building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials.

For a complete list of practice exams and study materials, CLICK HERE.

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