Residential Construction Academy

National Skill Standards

Construction professionals and educators have created National Construction Skill Standards for the construction trades to support the development of a skilled workforce. Industry experts from across the country met with an independent research and measurement organization to develop these training standards, which are the foundation of the Residential Construction Academy series.

The guidelines from the National Skills Standards Board met or exceeded American Psychological Association and ANSI standards for occupational credentialing.

Copies of the skills standards can be obtained by contacting Laura Bray, Director of Administration, at HBI – lbray@hbi.org

Residential Carpentry Skill Standards 


Incorporates Level I standards for semi-skilled carpenters and Level II standards for skilled carpenters. Standards were developed and validated for the following 11 carpentry specialties: Wood Framing; Metal Framing; Interior Trim; Exterior Trim; Siding; Concrete Forms; Drywall; Roof Application; Stairs; Insulation; Cabinets and Counter Tops. Within these specialties, 32 critical work functions or duty areas, along with key activities for these functions, were identified. These are all addressed and applied in Carpentry: Residential Construction Academy from Cengage.

Residential Electrician Skill Standards 


Incorporates Level I standards for semi-skilled electricians and Level II standards for skilled electricians. Among these standards, 117 critical work functions, along with key activities for these functions, were identified. These are all addressed and applied in Electrical Principles: Residential Construction Academy and House Wiring: Residential Construction Academy from Cengage.

Residential HVAC Skill Standards 

Residential HVAC standards are designed for HVAC equipment installers and service technicians. Standards are developed and validated for eight HVAC specialties: Air Conditioning, Gas Heat, Oil Heat, Hydronic Heat, Electric Heat, Geothermal Heat and Air Distribution. Nineteen critical work functions or duty areas are identified. These standards are designed to be a source in developing curricula and evaluating the outcomes of residential HVAC training programs. These are all addressed and applied in Residential Construction Academy: HVAC from Cengage.

Residential Plumbing Skill Standards 

These standards are for trainees entering the second year of training and journey level plumbers. Standards are developed and validated for nine plumbing specialties: Public Water and Sewer Connections, Private Water and Sewer Connections, Lift Stations and Sewage Systems, Water Quality and Filtration Systems, Solar Systems, Hydronic Heating Systems and Boilers, Gas Piping, Backflow Protection, and Irrigation Protection. Thirteen critical work functions or duty areas are identified. The standards will provide a basis for the certification and training of workers as well as objective benchmarks for employee selection and training needs. These are all addressed and applied in Residential Construction Academy: Plumbing from Cengage.

Residential Masonry Skill Standards 

Incorporates Level I standards for semi-skilled masons and Level II standards for skilled masons. Standards were developed and validated for two specialties; masonry and concrete. Forty-five critical work functions or duty areas were identified. Critical work functions describe the major tasks and content areas of work within each specialty. Key activities or major tasks and knowledge involved in completing critical work functions are also provided.

Residential Facilities Maintenance Standards 

Facilities Maintenance standards, also known as Building Construction Technology, are organized into the following broad categories: Applied Academic Skills; Basic Occupational Skills; and Occupational Specific Skills. Performance indicators or skill standards have been developed for key activities and knowledge required for completing critical work functions.