For the most part, the chimney sweep profession lacks industry-wide standards or regulations. This means that anyone with basic chimney sweep tools can pose as one.
So how can you distinguish yourself from the crowd? The first step to building up a strong reputation as a chimney sweep expert is getting a chimney sweep certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (C.S.I.A.).
C.S.I.A Chimney Sweep Certification
For more than 30 years, the C.S.I.A has modeled a standard of excellence in the industry by providing regular expert-led training and education to industry professionals. It has made it easier for homeowners to find reliable, experienced, and highly-trained chimney professionals.
The C.S.I.A chimney sweep certification is acknowledged by state and federal agencies, industry organizations, and insurance underwriters as a measure of a chimney sweep’s knowledge of chimney evaluation and maintenance.
Also, with a C.S.I.A chimney sweep certification, homeowners will have a lot of confidence when hiring you.
What does a chimney sweep certification require?
Acquiring a C.S.I.A chimney sweep certification is no afternoon walk in the park. Moreover, maintaining the certification will require active, ongoing education to stay on top of the current trends and developments in the industry. The certification process can be broken down into three steps:
1. Studying selected courses
The first step involves studying selected core publications of modern-day chimney sweeping including:
- Successful chimney sweeping
- International Residential Code
- The NFPA 211 (National Fire Protection Association)
2. Exam Review
Complete an online or an in-person review of the exam. The online review takes one week and comprises five quizzes and lessons, while the in-person review takes a single day.
3. Passing Examinations
You will need to complete two tests:
- A timed 100 question exam based on the 2006 International Residential Codebook with a score of 80% or higher.
- A timed 100 question exam based on the Successful Chimney Sweeping  trade book and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  codebook with a score of 70% or higher.
After successfully completing the examinations, agree to and sign the C.S.I.A code of ethics. The C.S.I.A will review your certification annually. To ensure you get recertified, commit to participate in relevant educational courses thereafter.
Why you should get a chimney sweep certification
Getting a chimney sweep certification will give you a professional standing in the industry and greater credibility among competitors and clients.
You are likely to get more referrals from affiliated industries like construction. A C.S.I.A chimney sweep certification will give you nationwide recognition from all 50 States, and even internationally. Also, you will be entitled to trademark protection, making you stand out from the crowd.
If your goal is to start up a chimney cleaning business, getting a chimney sweep certification will undoubtedly make you more hirable by homeowners.
Most homeowners do not want to waste time perusing through reviews and recommendations or wondering if a job has been done right. Your certification will be enough to convince them of your competence.
If you want to stand out and get noticed in the chimney world, there’s no better way to do it than getting a C.S.I.A. chimney sweep certification.