The state House this week passed legislation designed to reverse a decline in the number of people becoming certified building code officials.
The goal of the bill, House Bill 1945, is to get more people into a field that has been dramatically shrinking, leading to possible delays in getting building plans approved for construction.
The number of certified inspectors and plan examiners has dwindled to less than 2,500 in recent years. Both municipalities and third-party agencies are reporting shortages in qualified people to fill vacancies.
Under current regulations, an employee cannot work in the field until he or she possesses a number of certifications under the Uniform Construction Code, or UCC.
House Bill 1945, drafted by Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), would allow people to work under the supervision of a certified supervisor while studying and taking the required state certification exams.
“We need to make sure individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in these fields are able to get on the job now and learn from those currently in the field before they retire or move on to other professions,” she said.
The legislation has been backed by the Pennsylvania Builders Association. The bill is now in the Senate.