How to Become a Certified Chimney Sweep

Updated April 17, 2017

Chimney Sweeps are individuals specially trained to inspect chimneys for potential hazards. They may clear a chimney when a bird has made a nest, clean debris that could cause a fire and perform other functions to maintain the health and safety of a building's chimney. They have extensive knowledge about different types of chimneys and chimney safety.

Determine if you are committed to becoming a chimney sweep. Chimney sweeps have to spend long hours on roof tops and in small places such as a chimney. They must be in good physical condition and not mind getting dirty, spending time on a hot or slippery roof in cold conditions.

Go to CSIA's official website (see "Resources" below). CSIA offers the only program that is nationally recognised for certification.

Order study materials. Though it is possible to become certified by passing the exam without reading the materials, very few will pass the exam without thoroughly reading and studying these manuals. You will learn about chimney physics and how to troubleshoot woodstove and chimney problems.

Sign up for the review course and exam. The review course is given at different times and locations throughout the year. You may also take the review online but not the exam. To find current locations and times visit the website and click on "CSIA Event Calender."


At the end of the review course you will be given the exam which takes approximately one hour to complete. The exam is 100 questions and you must earn a score of 80 per cent to earn CSIA certification.


You may take the review course online but not the exam. If you opt to take the review course online you must sign up to take the test at a proctored location such as a public University.

Things You'll Need

  • CSIA certified chimney sweep credential
  • Study manuals
  • Review course
  • Exam
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About the Author

Lee Mellott holds a Masters degree in education from Hood College. Her background includes freelance writing, Internet promotion, sales and education.