Kudos from Minnesota!

Our students say the nicest things about us. But sometimes we get praise that makes us blush.

My husband and I have a small construction business that we’ve been working in for over 20 years.  He used to have to take time out of his schedule to go physically to attend classes to keep his contractors license.  Then in 2012 we heard about the Certified Training Institute and online training.  It’s the best change we could have made. 

My husband is not a big computer guy but he loves being able to do the classes at home at his own pace and is able to print out all information in each course.  You can’t fail.  It’s set up to help people truly learn and be able to have references to go back to.

All of the staff are so helpful about answering any questions….none are silly to them.  I can’t believe how much easier it is to get him to do the classes in the comfort of our home.  They make sure his paperwork gets to our state in a very timely manner.  We’ve had no problems with this company.  If I have any questions about licensing I call them first.  Even with the lead abatement rules and regulations they are on top of it. 

I give them a 5 out of 5 on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being the very best!!  Well worth trying out.  You won’t go back to your previous providers for continuing education!!

Kathy O.

Well thank you Kathy! We are very honored and so happy that we have been able to help you and your husband!

Customer service and student support is a top priority at Certified Training Institute. Our staff takes personal pride in their work as educational providers. With instructors that students can contact and speak with for clarifications on specific topics, we make sure that every need is met with a helping hand and an “I can” attitude.

Certified Training Institute is dedicated to supporting the licensing and continuing education needs in the general construction industries, architecture, real estate, drones, personal safety, and pesticide application industries.


The Fun We Had in 2016!

Wow! What a year we have had. 2016 has proven to be very productive for Certified Training Institute.  Not only have many new courses been released, but we’ve entered several new industries and even moved into a whole new facility. Let me take a moment and give you a recap:

Our new larger location is 3135 Logan Valley Road in Traverse City, which is in beautiful northern Michigan where the snow gets deep this time of year and the eagles fly overhead. We built an in-house studio with new enhanced equipment to give our video and narrated courses the feel of being right in the classroom.

We partnered with Mississippi State University to produce a line of video pesticide education that has set a new standard in online pesticide training. The education is available across the nation and has already been approved to fulfill continuing education requirements in over dozen states.

Real Estate Online Continuing Education is now approved and available in eight new states to go along with our Michigan real estate salesperson and broker prelicensure courses:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

UAS/Drone Technology is one of our latest topics in online education, and boy has it made our on staff pilots happy. Of course, we had to purchase a droned to create the videos. Be sure to watch for drone specific blogs and newsletters highlighting new designs, uses and features that are quickly invading the world of drones.

Personal Safety and Self Protection education, which should be mandatory in every industry that requires employees to work after hours or all alone, has been added to our curriculum. Preston “PT” Taylor has over 20 years of experience in teaching people to protect themselves and it has been a pleasure to make his expertise and techniques available online.

We’ve expanded our Architect continued education to include a Successful Building Design Series developed by Wayde Hoppe, a professional registered Architect who combines illustrations with narrated discussion to create a comfortable, interesting, and easy-to-understand fashion. Wade will be walking his students through various levels of new construction, renovation, and additions.

Our journeyman plumbing exam preparation course in full video is instructed by Ken Knightlinger, well known plumbing instructor, as well an inspector for fire protection and mechanical. Ken will make sure aspiring plumbers pass that journeyman plumbing exam on your first try and go in to the industry equipped with the knowledge to succeed.

Thank you very much for your support throughout the year and your trust in our online education. We are excited to get started with 2017.


Is Wintertime Building More Expensive?

It used to be said, “If you can’t get the roof on by the first snowfall, wait until spring”, but not anymore. There are now many new products and technologies that allow builders to work all year long. New expanded lighting systems compensate for the shorter daylight hours. Portable heaters and lighter, warmer clothing allows builders to move easier in colder temperatures. But be prepared to get out your wallet. Staying warm can be expensive.

One advantage may be that you get faster service because builders aren’t as busy, but the disadvantages can add up:

Snow Removal – Find a reputable company that will keep the construction job site and all accesses clear so your crew can keep going and your materials can be delivered.  It may cost a few more dollars for reliability but you will be glad you did it. Be sure you build additional time for snowstorms into your time estimates.

Heating Expenses – Temporary heaters are not only expensive to buy, but expensive to run.  And you not only need to keep your crew warm, but some of the building materials also need more care.  Shingles turn brittle and become hard to handle in the cold, plus they may not seal as well. Ground heaters and blankets may be necessary for concrete work.

Lighting Expense – Shorter daylight hours either cut building time from the workday or require the expense of additional lighting.

In times when the country is leaner, these additional costs can be offset by reduced labor expenses because skilled workmen may not be as busy and can be more easily obtained. Also, building materials are very often less expensive in low demand times like the winter. However, these are things you can’t always count on, so…

… be sure to build additional wintertime expenses and time into your bid. They can add up, dramatically biting into the profit margin. And you don’t want to have to go back to your client asking for more money to cover the added costs. For more tips to think about when building your construction bids, consider taking an online course on Construction Estimating and Bidding.

The wintertime is also a great time to get your builders or contractors license continued education out of the way. There are bound to be a snow day or two throughout the season, so having online courses ready and waiting for those times when you need something to do is a prudent move.


Drone Signals Are Being Jammed for Safety Purposes

On July 13th, 2016 Utah approved a legislation that will allow authorities to disable drones that fly too close to firefighting operations. Recently drones have become a hindrance to firefighters while fighting forest and wild fires in the state of Utah. Five drone flights forced a firefighting aircraft to ground because they interfered with the airspace. Drones flying over industrial area

“Sen. Evan Vickers, of Cedar City, said that while the bill does allow firefighters or law enforcement to shoot and disable a drone, he doubts they’d do so because the unmanned aircraft fly so high and it would be difficult to do. Instead, fire officials or law enforcement officers are expected to use technology that jams signals to crash drones.” (abcNEWS.com)

On June 22nd, 2016 the FAA released that they will now incorporate small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), otherwise known as ‘drones’ for commercial use. The FAA will now require people to pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test as an FAA approved testing facility.

It is still unclear if the person(s) manning the drone in Utah was flying for commercial or personal use. Even if you are not looking to fly your drone commercially it is still important to know airspace regulations. The extra knowledge could keep you out of trouble and keep the skies safe for others. You’ll need to understand different types of airspace classifications and how to operate in them -there is a difference. Weather also plays a major factor in how and where you can operate safely. Federal Aviation Regulations that govern the airspace must be adhered to as well. It’s common sense blended with an understanding of Controlled Airspace, Weather, Regulations and best practices. It’s not as simple as plug and fly.

Certified Training Institute offers 6 courses on the Command Certification exam prep:

greg_macmaster_head_shotEach of our courses are taught by instructor Greg MacMaster, who is a Certified Drone/UAV Pilot.


Give the Gift of Knowledge


Most professional trades require continuing education in order to keep a license current.

No matter the industry, the internet is a great source of convenient and timely resources for meeting state required continuing education requirements. There are plenty of reputable online educational opportunities for individuals who require the convenience and savings of taking their courses online.

Online classes are often much less expensive than attending the same course in a brick and mortar classroom.  Online education requires no facility rental, no hourly instructor fees and is a much more convenient solution.  Busy professionals can take their required competency courses anytime 24/7 from the comfort of their own home or office.

Now is the perfect time to consider giving the gift of education to yourself, family member or a valued employee. Not only will you be giving the gift of education, but any purchase you make before the end of the year can be a tax deduction!

You’ll also be investing in the future of your company.  To quote Malcolm X “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it.” 

Take advantage of the holiday season by giving the gift of knowledge and adding a stamp to your passport to the future!


Medical Marijuana — IBEW and NJATC Release Special Bulletin

Photo of dry medical marijuana buds with shallow DOF

The Electrical Training Alliance, formerly known as the NJATC, is the main training and apprenticeship platform for Union Electricians of the IBEW. Through the law firm of Sherman Dunn, which has served as general counsel for the IBEW for nearly 60 years, a bulletin was released clarifying IBEW and National Training Alliance’s stance on medical marijuana and it’s use by electricians in the Union.

In their statement, the National Training Alliance references their longstanding substance abuse policy which does not protect an applicant or apprentice who tests positive for medical marijuana. This means that any electrical apprentice or applicant who tests positive for marijuana, under any circumstance, would be subject to suspension of duty and required to attend a rehabilitation program before re-entering the workplace. They also state that regardless of any state law, marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level. In their organization, federal law remains in control.

Marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level.

The bulletin also refers to the Colorado court case Coats Vs. Dish Case No. 13-SC-394. In this case, the state law provides that an employee cannot be terminated for engaging in any “lawful activities” while off premises. The case interpreted “lawful activities” to include those activities that are lawful under the state law (which deems marijuana lawful), and under federal law (marijuana is still illegal). According to this bulletin, any and all use of marijuana by IBEW apprentices or applicants going through the National Training Alliance is banned, and could lead to users being expelled from the program. To read the full bulletin released by the IBEW and National Training Alliance Click Here.

If you are planning a career in the electrical trades, you should know going in that medical marijuana will not be tolerated as a union member, regardless of the State’s views.


Michigan is Cracking Down on Real Estate Wannabes


If you’re out there selling real estate without a license, the State of Michigan is coming after you! The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is partnering with Attorney General Bill Schuette to ramp up efforts to hold unlicensed real estate practitioners accountable.

There has been a rise in unlicensed real estate activity

For the past several months, Michigan Realtors ® has been heading up discussions with both LARA and the Attorney General to promote an initiative to deal with this increase.  They are taking a strong stance to keep consumers safe by promoting the Consumer Complaint/Inquiry System making it easy for individuals to file complaints online via a Consumer Complaint Online Form or by calling a Toll Free Consumer Hotline (877-765-8388).

Please be aware when filing a complaint or inquiry that they become public records when submitted to the Attorney General’s office and they may be subject to disclosure to anyone who asks for them.  For complete rules on filing complaints and inquiries, along with a mail-in complaint/inquiry form, CLICK HERE.

For those who would like to get licensed, the Real Estate Training Institute is a great source for taking the State Approved salesperson prelicensure education, as well as broker prelicensure and real estate continued education for real estate professionals who are already licensed.



Everyone Needs a Plumber!

Very few people make it through home ownership without calling a plumber at some point.  If you have the stomach for certain aspects of the industry, it can be a lucrative career to pursue. In May of 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the national average salary for plumbers was between $50,000 and $51,000. The annual mean wage in Michigan ranges between $50,240 and $58,790.

Regardless of your ability, Michigan plumbers must be licensed as either a Journey plumber, Master plumber, or registered Apprentice. Plus, a licensed master plumber must be in charge and responsible for the job.  All Plumbers must be licensed even if they are working for a licensed plumbing contractor.

The first step in starting a career as a plumber is to secure a job as a plumbing apprentice under a licensed master plumber. You must also register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You need to be at least 18 years old, submit the plumbing apprentice registration within 30 days of employment and pay the $15.00 fee.

You must be pre-approved by LARA before becoming a
Michigan Journey or Master Plumber

After 3 years of experience as a registered plumbing apprentice under the supervision of a licensed authorized master plumber, you are eligible to apply for your license and take the journeyman examination. The exam is taken through PSI Examination Services and it is not easy.  You might consider taking a journeyman plumber exam preparation course to increase your odds of passing on the first try.

Getting a Master Plumber license is a bit trickier in that 4,000 hours of experience as a Michigan journeyman plumber is required, but these hours must be as a journeyman plumber over a period of not less than 2 years immediately preceding the date of the application. After this requirement is met, you are then eligible to apply for your license and take the master plumber license exam.

Link to LARA for Plumbers:  http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-10575_17409-42835–,00.html


7 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Online CE with US!

Your inbox is filled with online schools claiming to provide the best education. We understand it is difficult to know who to choose. Certified Training Institute makes it easy for you to make the right choice.

Fast, Easy, and Affordable

We realize not everyone learns the same way. That’s why we created a variety of courses in video, text or narrated formats, allowing you to choose the courses that best suit your learning style. Our user friendly system guides you through every step. We keep our courses priced competitively to help our students stretch their business dollars.

Interesting Topics

We offer a variety of topics to choose from like ADA Standards, Weatherization, Safety, Drones, Personal Safety, and many more.

Take Your Courses Anytime from Anywhere

Courses are available immediately from any computer or mobile device. You can take your course from your home, office, the park or even in your pickup truck.

We Store Your Records at No Charge

Lose your certificate? Not a problem! You always have access to your course results, including the date they were completed, and the ability to reprint your certificates.

Student Support

Every member of our excellent staff is ready and willing to make your learning experience the very best it can be. We welcome your call at 1-800-727-7104 and promptly reply to emails sent to info@licensetobuild.com


Have You Ever Been Burned On a Contract?

The instructors at Builders License Training Institute (BLTI) have heard many stories of contractors being taken advantage of because they didn’t have the right information on a contract or in some instances no contract at all. This story has been told many times here at BLTI. A client needs work done on his house, and hired a local guy to do a $40,000.00 job. The client repeatedly promised, saying that he would cut a check as soon as the job was complete. On the final day of the project, the client refused to pay for two reasons, 1: No written contract, and 2: No contractor’s license.

Builders License Training Institute has created a course to help contractors avoid situations like the story above. This 6-hour online video course explains the principles of contract law and the important elements of a home building and remodeling contract. The difference between the various contracts used in residential construction are also described. Requirements and types of insurance are covered, as well as the details of Workers Compensation.

Tell us your story!

Have you had an experience where, you were taken advantage of because of faulty contracts or the lack of a signed contract? What did you do in that situation? Were you able to do anything at all? Maybe you have a story where a contract has saved you and your work from an unhappy client. Tell us your story!

Builders License Training Institute would like you to post it on our Facebook page. Each person who shares a story will automatically be entered in to win our 6-hour Contracts, Liabilities, and Risk Management course. A drawing will be held on August 8th, 2016.