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How to become a Chimney Sweep (Professional)

You will need more than a chimney brush and a dust mask to become a professional chimney sweep.

The scope of work for a modern-day chimney sweep is high-tech, requiring specialized training. There are many ways you can learn how to become a chimney sweep.

First, you can sign up as an entry-level chimney sweep, and get trained by an established and knowledgeable expert. You can also enroll for a chimney sweeping course at a local institute or the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

The latter is one of the most recognized institutes offering regular and intensive chimney sweep training.

Your Credentials Matter

Once you have learned how to become a chimney sweep and take the certification exam, register for membership with recognized chimney sweep unions like the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps (GMCS), or the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS).

Membership in any of these union bodies will convince customers of your competence and help you rank high against your competitors. You will also become marketable since clients can find your details on the internet.


Learning how to become a chimney sweep comes with several professional perks including; opportunities to attend trade shows, receiving liability insurance discounts, and getting important updates on chimney codes that may affect your work.

How much do Professional chimney sweeps earn?

According to Glassdoor, professional chimney sweeps earn between $15 and $17.50 per hour. This may change if you decide to venture into entrepreneurship.

However, we recommend that you do chimney cleaning as a side hustle until you become an expert. As a certified chimney sweep, you can also consider other professions within the chimney sweep field like office administration and supervisory roles.

Setting up your chimney sweep business

Currently, there are more than 5000 registered chimney sweep businesses in the United States. Starting your own chimney sweep business may seem like a scary, almost unachievable idea.

However, it will come with the benefit of great financial returns and give you the self-satisfaction that entrepreneurship brings. If your ultimate vision is to own a chimney sweep business, the following steps will get you up and running:

  • Ensure you do thorough market research to know where and how to start up your chimney sweep business. One of the reasons for startup failures is inadequate market study. Learn the tricks and trends on how to become a chimney sweep in the 21st century, and up your game accordingly.
  • Choose a business name that clients can easily remember. A name like Wolfeschlegelsteinhaus won’t do you any justice.
  • Get the necessary licenses and permits to avoid trouble with the state or city administrative agents.
  • Get a chimney sweep insurance in case an employee gets injured at work.
  • Purchase all the necessary chimney sweep tools.
  • Take advantage of social media to advertise your business.

Learning how to become a chimney sweep will add another skill to your portfolio and prepare you for future entrepreneurship. If you decide to establish a chimney sweep company, do not overlook the small details. When small, yet essential, things are overlooked, they morph into larger obstacles and hinder progress.

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