skip to left menu
skip to main content

Link to the Prevent Fires Campaign
Learn More


Sprinkler Licensing · Certificate of Competency Holders

In Washington State, any company offering to contract to design, install, test, and/or maintain a fire sprinkler system must be licensed by the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Any contractor licensed to design and install water-based fire protection sprinkler systems must also have a full-time [at least 20 hours per week] Certificate of Competency Holder [COC] in their employ, holding the same level of certification as the contractor’s licensing level.Certificate of Competency Stamp

Any employees performing inspection and testing work on water-based fire protection sprinkler systems – regardless of the licensing level of the company – must possess certification as an Inspection and Testing Technician, which is a separate certification level altogether.

In order to apply for a Washington State Fire Sprinkler Certificate of Competency for design, an interested individual will need to submit to this office a Certificate of Competency Application, Affidavit, and Verification of Employment form.

Interested parties may choose to contact the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3914 and request that an application packet be sent electronically or to a mailing address.

As a new COC there is a one-time application fee of $ 50.00. There is also an annual certification fee of $ 50.00 which is prorated for the first year of certification based upon the month of certification. Thereafter, the full annual certification fee of $ 50.00 will be necessary to renew each year. Those reinstating certifications will only be charged the full annual certification fee regardless of the month they return to the program and must contact the office to determine if it is a full reinstatement or just a late renewal and the processes therein. Specifics on the fees can be found on the Sprinkler Licensing Program Fee Schedule.

Please note the COC will be responsible for obtaining a certification stamp and the instructions for this stamp will be provided to those who have been issued a current certification during the issuance process.

The application form asks for the name of the company the COC will be working for. A COC must be employed by a currently licensed sprinkler contractor of the same level unless they wish to be certified as FOR DESIGN ONLY. If you wish to be FOR DESIGN ONLY, indicate that on the application as your employer.

Certification through the National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technologies [NICET] is required for state certification as a level II and III designer. A certification test can be administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal to for a level I designer and a level U Certificate of Competency Holder. A full description and explanation of the levels of certification can be found at the Levels Of Licensing web page.

Once the completed application documents are submitted to this office, the application is reviewed by the Deputy State Fire Marshal in charge of the Sprinkler Licensing Program. When approved, the Certificate Of Competency Holder will receive their certificate and stamp by mail to the address on file.

NOTE: This certificate and stamp are valid from the date of issue until December 31 of the same year. This is an annual certification program.

Temporary Certificate of Competency Holders:

For those currently pursuing certification through N.I.C.E.T. of either a level 2 or level 3 in Automatic Sprinkler Design Layout, the Revised Code of Washington [R.C.W.] provides a temporary certification program to qualified individuals.

R.C.W. 18.160.040 (5) details the temporary program. In order to apply for a temporary certificate, applicants will need to complete the Certificate of Competency Application, Affidavit, and Verification of Employment form as you would for a Certificate of Competency. Applicants must also submit to this office at least six (6) letters of reference from the fire service and/or sprinkler industry supporting their intent to qualify for certification. In addition, applicants must submit three sets of completed, installed, and approved plans that they have drafted, including the hydraulic calculations for each system.

Other Certificate Information

The fee schedule and approval process is the same as with a Certificate of Competency, as this individual will function exactly like a fully certified designer with the following notations:

  1. No Temporary Certificate of Competency can be certified as "Temporary" for more than three years in the life of the individual.
  2. Each renewal (only two allowed) must be accompanied by evidence of attempting to obtain N.I.C.E.T. certification in Automatic Sprinkler Design Layout.
  3. No Temporary Certificate of Competency can be certified as FOR DESIGN ONLY.
  4. As this program is specified by statute, an application for temporary certification can be received at any time.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the Fire Sprinkler Licensing Program, please contact:

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Daniel E. Johnson
Phone: 360.596.3913

Mr. Humberto Rodriguez
Phone: 360.596.3914


Adobe Reader Link Icon Please note that some of the documents provided on this page are available in Adobe® PDF format only and will require the Adobe® Reader in order to view or print them from your Web browser.

Back to Top

Link to the State Fire Marshal Page
“Saving Lives
through Prevention
and Preparedness"

Quick Links

Fire Sprinkler Contractor License