March is National Designation Month

Leadership, Credibility, Prestige: The Value of Designations

NAHB Education offers professional development programs to building industry professionals nationwide that enhance their business savvy, broaden their areas of expertise and increase their marketability. In today’s growing housing market, what better way to get ahead or maintain your edge on the competition than a professional designation? Designations can lead to more earned income, credibility and prestige for members and their companies.

Professional designees stay up to speed on the latest developments in business, building methods, and technology while showing clients they have the know-how and dedication to earn a professional designation. Potential clients can use designations to help identify and select professionals with superior training, real-world experience and in-depth knowledge of their area of need. Designees are listed in The Professional Designation Directory on, making their contact info easily accessible to consumers.

Access to real-world information and great leadership opportunities are benefits typically mentioned by designees. However, graduates also routinely express that the chance to network with expert instructors and their peers is a huge plus.

Students develop a nationwide network of colleagues that they consistently return to as sounding boards for challenges and ideas long after their courses have completed. This chance to network with so many fellow industry pros often brings people back to obtain more designations.

Earning a designation from NAHB is hard work and the rigorous coursework is continually being elevated. Still, according to NAHB, builders and remodelers are as eager as ever to enroll.

NAHB’s commitment to offering industry professionals the best, most-extensive continuing education program is evident in the diverse array of programs. Most designations cover industry basics such as marketing and business techniques, however, specialized coursework includes aging-in-place remodeling, property management, green building and more.

Through NAHB Education, industry pros can earn professional designations in any one of 13 areas. Get more information on specific designations at

  • Certified Graduate Associate (CGA): Developed specifically for NAHB associate members (including suppliers of materials and financial services), the CGA program offers participants an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of home building industry fundamentals.
  • Certified Graduate Builder (CGB): An overview of key areas in today’s home building industry, the CGB curriculum covers business management, financial strategies, marketing techniques, construction technologies, and more.
  • Graduate Master Builder (GMB): The GMB program allows industry professionals who already have completed either the Certified Graduate Builder or the Certified Graduate Remodelor course to more fully develop their skills and provides in-depth instruction geared for experienced building professionals.
  • Certified Green Professional (CGP): NAHB’s CGP designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes—without driving up the cost of construction.
  • Master Certified Green Professional (Master CGP): The Master CGP designation comprises a more in-depth study of green building science and methods. The courses required for the designation cover topics like building science techniques, the high-performance home and marketing strategies for selling green.
  • Certified Graduate RemodelerTM(CGR): An exclusive professional designation that emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation, the CGR designation trains remodelers in project management, design estimating and job cost, along with other core skills relevant to the remodeling industry.
  • Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR): The GMR program includes advanced and updated courses geared toward experienced remodeling professionals.
  • Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS): Developed by NAHB Remodelers in collaboration with the AARP, NAHB Research Center and NAHB 50+ Housing Council, the CAPS program provides comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults to remodel their homes for aging-in-place.
  • Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP): The CSP program is designed to help specialists in new home sales to enhance their professional image, increase their marketability in the home building industry and sell more homes.
  • Master Certified New Home Sales Professional (Master CSP): A more advanced designation that acknowledges additional educational achievements of CSP graduates, the Master CSP program is open to professionals currently holding a CSP designation. Advanced courses such as “House Construction as a Selling Tool” and “Essential Closing Strategies” are targeted toward improving participants’ sales and marketing skills and providing increased marketability in the industry.
  • Certified New Home Marketing Professional (CMP): IRM’s mid-level professional designation, the CMP program recognizes the achievements of students who have completed four marketing-intensive core IRM courses: “Understanding Housing Markets and Consumers;” “Marketing Strategies, Plans, and Budgets;” “Lifestyle Merchandising, Advertising, and Promotion Strategies;” and “Challenges of New Home Sales Management.”
  • Master in Residential Marketing (MIRM): The most prestigious designation bestowed by the Institute of Residential Marketing, the MIRM represents the highest level of achievement for professionals in new home marketing. MIRM graduates are required to complete all mandated coursework and submit a case study for approval before graduating from the program.
  • Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP): A specialized designation for developers, property managers, asset managers and others working in the affordable housing industry, the HCCP program is the industry benchmark for education, experience and ethical standards for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) professionals. The HCCP designation is the only nationally endorsed credential of its kind, and was created through a partnership of NAHB and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA).