Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: What are the typical duties of a Building Inspector?

ANSWER: Permits are the first step in the building approval process. Inspections are the second step, ensuring that quality work was performed. The contractor must request that the City perform the property inspections at the proper stages of the project. Building inspectors make professional judgments about whether a building meets specific building code requirements. Cities, townships or counties typically employ building inspectors with most inspectors consequently holding multiple ICC certifications.


QUESTION: What inspections usually take place for Residential and Commercial construction. Furthermore, what types of ICC Certification is required to perform them?

ANSWER: Residential Inspection

ANSWER: Commercial Building Inspection


QUESTION: Which ICC exam(s) should I take?

ANSWER For Maximum Usability the ICC offers its exams both Individually and in Combination Inspector packages. Multiple licenses allow an inspector to perform numerous types of inspections.

For example – The B1 Residential certificate allows you to perform structure inspections on residential construction while B2 Commercial certification enables you to perform structure inspections on commercial construction. ICC B5 Building Inspector certification enables you to perform structure inspections on BOTH residential and commercial construction.

NOTE; to perform multiple types of inspections and to receive the highest possible salary, you should hold numerous certifications.

  • To perform all residential code inspections, you need to possess the (ICC R5 Residential Combination certification) IE you must hold all of the following individual certifications, the B1, M1, P1, and E1 Residential inspector certifications.
  • To perform all commercial code inspections, you need to possess the (ICC C5 Commercial Combination certification) or hold all of the following individual certifications. ICC B2, M2, P2, and E2, Commercial inspector certifications.
  • To perform all commercial & Residential code inspections, you need to possess the (ICC C8 Combination Inspector certification) or hold all of the following individual certifications. ICC B1, B2, M1, M2, P1, P2, E1, and E2, Residential and Commercial inspector certifications.

However, many employers will hire you if you have only a B1 Residential or B2 Commercial certification. To maximize your flexibility, we recommend you possess B5 Building Inspector  status, which is the equivalent of having both the B1 Residential and B2 Commercial Inspector certifications.


QUESTIONWho is eligible to take the ICC “International Code Council” (B1, B2), (M1, M2), (P1, P2) or (E1, E2) Residential, or Commercial Building Inspector Certification Exams?

ANSWER: Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to become a Certified ICC Building Inspector. Moreover, construction experience is not required. Consequently, many contractors, tradespeople, and real estate agents dramatically increased their earning potential by gaining ICC inspector certification.


QUESTION: What will I experience when I take my exam, how is the exam structured?

The B1 Residential Building Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2 hours to complete the test & must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IRC and 2014 or 2017 NEC depending on which exam you are taking.

The M1 Residential Mechanical Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2 hours to complete the test & must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IRC depending on which exam you are taking.

The P1 Residential Plumbing Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2 hours to complete the test & must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IRC depending on which exam you are taking.

The E1 Residential Electrical Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2 hours to complete the test & must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IRC and 2014 or 2017 NEC depending on which exam you are taking.

The B2 Commercial Building Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 3.5 hours to complete the test. You must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IBC, and the ACI318-14 with commentary depending on which test you are taking.

The M2 Commercial Mechanical Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2 hours to complete the test. You must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IMC and 2015 or 2018 IFGC, depending on which test you are taking.

The P2 Commercial Plumbing Inspector Certification exam is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 2.5 hours to complete the test. You must have a copy of the 2015 or 2018 IPC, 2015 or 2018 IFGC, and the ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, depending on which test you are taking.

The E2 Commercial Electrical Inspector Certification exams is an open-book exam. The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 3.5 hours to complete the test. You must have a copy of the 2014 or 2017 NEC depending on which test you are taking.


QUESTION: What are the exam topics?

ANSWER: Depending on which ICC exam you are taking, exam topics and study programs change. For detailed information, select the type of ICC certification you wish to acquire.


QUESTIONWhy should someone study when the ICC Building Inspector Exams are open-book tests?

ANSWER: The ICC Codebooks are large and complex publications. Consequently, it is difficult to locate every correct answer in the time allocated during the exam. However, our courses help familiarize you with ICC and NEC Code Books, so you know exactly how to find the right answers quickly.

We thoroughly cover each of the subjects appearing on the ICC Building Inspector Exams.


QUESTION: Why is an original copy of the 2015/2018 IRC, IBC, or other ICC Codebook required for these courses?

ANSWER: These courses are an excellent study companion to the ICC Codebooks. These courses additionally make frequent references to code sections and guide you through the exam topics. However, it does not reprint entire code sections. More importantly, the ICC Building Inspector Exams are open-book tests. You may reference original tabbed copies of the ICC codebooks while taking your exam.


QUESTION: Where do I take my exam?

ANSWER: Take your exam at home via the PRONTO ICC Online Exam Portal. Additionally, you can take it at any Pearson Vue Testing Center as well.


QUESTION: What are PRONTO online exams?

ANSWER: Exam Administration Process: Proctored Online Testing Option (PRONTO) is the ICC’s at home online testing system. In short, the PRONTO system allows you to take the exam at your home or office and on your schedule.