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Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Evaluation Program: Individual Certification

If you are an abatement or evaluation firm, then we recommend you read through all of the subjects below to learn how to fulfill your legal requirements to protect yourself, your employees and your clients from the dangers of lead exposure.

Overview | Firm Certification | Individual Certification | Individual Recertification |Resources

Individual Certification

Individuals Seeking Lead Abatement Certification

EPA administers lead-based paint abatement regulations only where states, territories or tribes are not authorized by EPA to operate their own lead abatement programs. Find information regarding the authorization status of a particular state or tribe on the web or by contacting the National Lead Information Center (NLIC). Where EPA implements the lead-based paint certification program, you must apply to EPA to be certified as an inspector, supervisor, risk assessor, project designer or abatement worker if you wish to conduct lead-based paint activities.

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Activities Included in Each Discipline

  • Inspectors may perform inspection and post-abatement clearance activities.
  • Risk assessors may perform inspection, post-abatement clearance, lead hazard screen, and risk assessment activities.
  • Abatement supervisors may supervise abatement projects and prepare occupant protection plans and abatement reports. Supervisors may also perform all of the abatement activities that may be performed by abatement workers.
  • Project designers may prepare occupant protection plans and abatement reports for abatement projects.
  • Abatement workers may conduct abatement activities under the direction of certified abatement supervisors.

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Timeline to Apply for and Receive Certification

You may begin work immediately after receiving a course completion certificate from an initial training course that is accredited by EPA. This certificate serves as interim certification for six months following completion of training.

You must complete the application process, including the third-party exam (if required for your discipline) within six months after completing your course - in other words, before the expiration date of your interim certification. Submit your application for certification to EPA within 30 days of completing your initial training course so that you have plenty of time to take the third-party exam and ensure that your application is complete before your interim certification expires. If you do not pass the exam within six months, then your interim certification will expire and you will no longer be able to work.

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Late Applications or Delays in Fulfilling Requirements

You must have completed the application process and received a certificate from EPA within six months of receiving your course completion certificate. If the application process is not completed, then you must retake the appropriate course from an accredited training program and reapply for certification from EPA. If you do not receive a certificate from EPA before your interim certification expires, then you cannot conduct lead-based paint activities.

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Requirements for Applying for Certification

Application for certification is done online. You must have the following materials available in order to apply:

  • PDF copy of your course completion certificate.
  • Passport photograph (JPG format preferred).
  • Credit card, debit card, or information needed to complete an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment of the applicable fee.
  • PDF copies of evidence that you meet all of the education, experience, and training requirements for the discipline (e.g., academic transcripts, resume, and training course completion certificates).

Additional Requirements for Education, Experience and Training by Discipline

  • Lead-Based Paint Inspectors
    • None.
  • Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessors
    • Pass an accredited inspector course.
    • Meet one of the following requirements:
      • Bachelor's degree and one year of experience in a related field;
      • Associate’s degree and two years of experience in a related field;
      • A high school diploma (or equivalent), and at least three years of experience in a related field; or
      • Certification as an industrial hygienist, professional engineer, registered architect and/or certification in a related engineering/health/environmental field.
  • Lead-Based Paint Abatement Supervisors
    • Meet one of the following requirements:
      • One year of experience as a certified lead-based paint abatement worker; or
      • Two years of experience in a related field.
  • Lead-Based Paint Project Designers
    • Pass an accredited supervisor course.
    • Meet one of the following requirements:
      • Bachelor's degree in engineering, architecture, or a related profession, and one year of experience in building construction and design or a related field; or
      • Four years of experience in building construction and design or a related field.
  • Lead-Based Paint Abatement Workers
    • None.

Requirements for Certification if You Are Already Certified by an EPA-Authorized State or Tribal Program

If you are already certified by an EPA-authorized program in a particular discipline, and you want to obtain Federal certification, then you will be required to submit the following in your online application to EPA:

  • PDF copy of your currently valid certificate (license/permit) from the authorized state or tribe;
  • Passport photograph (JPG format preferred); and
  • Credit card, debit card, or information needed to complete an ACH payment of the applicable fee.

You do not need to take an EPA-accredited initial training course or the third-party exam.

Requirements for Passport Photos

You must submit a passport photograph of you alone (JPG format preferred). The photographs must be:

  • Recent enough to be a good likeness (taken within the last six months);
  • Clear with a front view of your face taking up the majority of the area (no hats or dark glasses) with a white/off-white background;
  • Focused on your head and shoulders; and
  • Also please note that retouched and profile images are not acceptable.

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What to Expect After You Apply

If you are applying for certification as an Inspector, Risk Assessor or Supervisor, EPA will send you a letter that instructs you how to register for and take the required third-party exam for that discipline. If you are applying for certification as a Project Designer or Worker, EPA will begin processing your application as soon as it is complete.

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Recertification Requirements

You must be recertified every three years. Your EPA certificate will indicate when your certification expires. More information on recertification for lead-based paint abatement.

Read more frequent questions about lead abatement.

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