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How to get Certified as a Pool Builder?

If you enjoy outdoor work, can handle the physical demands of the job and follow specific instructions, then you will be a successful pool builder. The job of a pool builder is to construct, repair and install swimming pools, and spas and although the job requires no educational background, a significant amount of skill and experience will be needed to succeed.

Pool builders earn an average of US$39,000 annually, although top earners can make up to US$58,000 a year which translates to more than $1,000 a week. To legally work as a pool builder, you must have a nationally recognized certification.

Levels of Certification 

There are different levels of certification for pool and hot tub workers and they include:

  • Certified Pool and Spa Operator (entry-level)
  • Certified Pool and Spa Maintenance Specialist
  • Certified Pool and Spa Service Technician
  • Certified Pool and Spa Service Professional
  • Certified Pool and Spa Retail Professional
  • Certified Hot Tub Technician
  • Certified Pool and Spa Building Professional (highest level of certification)

Each certification has a different requirement with the entry-level requiring very minimal experience and the highest level requiring at least 5 years of experience. Only a person with the highest level of certification: Certified Pool and Spa Building Professional (or CBP), is licensed to build swimming pools and there are currently lesser than 250 people holding such certification in the United States.

What are the Necessary Requirements?

To earn a CBP certification, you will need at least 5 years of experience, complete the approved courses and pass the required exams. The exam which requires a fee of US$250, contains one hundred and fifty questions and lasts for about 3 hours. The exam can be taken at a computer testing center, a remotely proctored computer, or sponsored testing events. Proper research must be done to know which additional licenses and certifications are required in your state.

Benefits of Getting a Certification

Since relevant courses will be required to earn a certification, you gain more technical and theoretical knowledge of how it works, this, in addition to having 5 years of experience ensures that you have all the skills needed to succeed in the field.

Getting certified also gives you an edge over other pool builders with no certification. Clients are more likely to trust your judgment and work than others and will give you much more control over the project.

In addition, because of the extra experience, courses, and exams, a certified pool builder has more working knowledge of the best pool designs, the likely faults, and hazards that can occur. This helps to protect swimmers from having accidents due to badly designed or constructed pools.


Working as a pool builder is a great way to showcase your creative skills, enjoy the outdoors and make some money. Before getting started, however, it is important to get a certification.

Getting certified may require many years of experience, taking online courses, and passing exams but it also has many benefits for you and your future clients.