Code enforcement officers are responsible for enforcing housing codes and regulations in their town or other jurisdiction. Their duties include recognizing and responding to violations, as well as acting as a liaison to the public regarding the code itself.
Kinds of Code Enforcement Officers
Before any steps can be made toward becoming a code enforcement officer, you should choose the type of code enforcement officer you would like to become. Different states and cities have different structures of code enforcement, and so positions may be at the state, county or town level. Additionally, there are many different types of code, including regulations for housing, plumbing and health. It is best to focus in order to maximize your ability to gain a position.
Contact the office of code at which you would like to be employed and inquire about its specific education requirements for code enforcement officers. Usually, at least a high school diploma is required, though sometimes a General Educational Development (GED) or other high school equivalent is accepted. Higher positions within code enforcement may require additional education. Some jurisdictions, such as Maine, require training and special certification for their officers, and so it is important to be educated on the exact requirements of your prospective district.
As a government employee, code enforcement officers often are subject to a higher degree of scrutiny for security purposes. This may include a background check, simple interviews or drug testing. Successful applicants must be able to pass these assessments. Prior criminal conviction or history poses possible roadblocks toward employment as a code enforcement officer. In addition, officers are often required to drive to deal with violations, and so a valid driver's license and good driver history are necessary.
Employment in areas such as code enforcement often comes with extensive benefits, including retirement and health care, that make these positions that are in demand and, thus, hard to get. It may be necessary not to limit your scope at first to ascertain a job, but rather simply to find a job within the code enforcement department. It is much easier in careers such as this if you know who does the hiring. For additional assistance, contact The American Association of Code Enforcement, a national, nonprofit code enforcement group.