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How to Advance Your Career in the Restoration Industry (Top Courses)

Restoration contractors in industry standard course with teacher to Advanced Career with RIA course, RTI Course, RSA, courses, IICRC standards trainings, Xactimate certification, magicplan certifiction.

Whether you're a seasoned professional looking to stay ahead in a competitive field or a newcomer eager to build a solid foundation, one thing is certain: Investing in education can open doors to new skills, enhanced knowledge and, ultimately, greater success in the restoration industry. Below, we’ve listed several ways you can cultivate your professional development.

Study Industry Standards

Standards developed by the nonprofit Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (online) contain common, industry-accepted language and terminology to enable universal discussion of concepts and procedures.

All IICRC Standards are available online at the IICRC Webstore. Click on Current Standards in the top navigation bar and select the Standard you are interested in purchasing.

Complete Professional Courses

Explore the options listed below. Or visit the IICRC Certification Courses web page to search for specific courses near you. (As a certifying body, IICRC owns no schools and has no instructors on staff. Rather, IICRC certifications are available through approved schools and instructors that apply to and meet criteria established by the organization’s board of directors.)

Restoration professionals can turn to RIA's Advanced Designation program to become a Certified Restorer (CR), Fire Loss Specialist (FLS), Content Loss Specialist (CLS), Water Loss Specialist (WLS), or Environmental Risk Specialist (ERS).

Register to attend in-person classes at RTI’s state-of-the-art training center. Or, if you prefer restoration industry onlinetraining, sign up for the institute’s Digital Training Solution – a training and resource library with a selection of microlearning-style training and courses.

RSA promotes its education program as a way to “learn valuable new restoration skills and techniques in a dynamic classroom environment lead by an experienced instructor.” Classes vary in length from 1 to 5 days, and are offered at distributors and at RSA education centers across North America.

Read Study Guides

Here are three examples – two to buy and one that’s free.

This guide supplements existing IICRC restoration standards and certification classes, and it is available for purchase on the IICRC web store. The content includes valuable information about safety and health hazard identification procedures, safe work practices, and control methods that prudent disaster restoration and cleaning professionals should employ.

Also available for purchase, the Complete Guide is RSA’s entire collection of classroom course manuals. Every RSA course is represented, including water damage restoration protocol, fire and smoke restoration, odor control, microbial remediation, trauma scene cleanup, upholstery and fabric cleaning, and carpet cleaning. The content has been extensively reviewed and revised by experienced cleaning and restoration instructors, researchers and industry leaders.

This free document is intended to provide an update on the changing and expanding restoration industry. It is organized to cover primary knowledge sections that follow core competencies and levels of understanding. The content also conveys how elements of the restoration profession are interrelated.

Become an Expert with Industry Apps

Dive in to learn more about these popular mobile tools.

Select from a variety of Xactimate® training options, including Xactware Classroom to access hours of training at your own pace. Learn from Verisk-certified instructors in classroom or virtual settings and engage in official certifications to validate your training level in the industry.

  • magicplan Training

Accelerate your sketching, documenting and estimate mastery! Browse the magicplan Help Center for how-to articles, guides and product updates. Watch webinars and video tutorials. Download eBooks and whitepapers. And be sure to join the magicplan community to browse solutions and get tips from other users.

magicplan ecourses

Learn the Lingo

A good glossary, like this one, can be a go-to resource: RIA Glossary of Damage Restoration Terms.

This contains all the key terms you need to know, organized alphabetically from A to Z.

Peruse Periodicals

Subscribe to and read industry magazines to stay caught up with current news. Here are the two main ones worth reading:

This is the oldest trade publication specifically dedicated to the cleaning and restoration industry. C&R was founded by the Restoration Industry Association more than four decades ago, as a member-only benefit.

However, it is now available to the entire industry for free, in both print and digital formats.

This magazine is promoted as “the restoration industry’s leading independent resource for actionable insights.” R&R empowers restoration professionals to reach their fullest potential through useful coverage on important topics such as water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, contents restoration, catastrophe restoration, forensic restoration, business management, insurance and legal issues.

Attend Industry Events

Find out what’s happening this year:

Billed as “the industry’s premier event,” this annual assembly will take place April 8-10, 2024, in Dallas, Texas. Save the dates and consider attending so you can increase your industry knowledge.

This event, taking place April 3-5, 2024, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers an alternative to the RIA event mentioned above. It addresses cleaning, restoration and remediation processes, products and procedures. Attendees can experience live, hands-on demonstrations, specialty pavilions, workshops, and interactive sessions all led by expert instructors.

This Las Vegas event will be held September 4-6, 2024. It gives you the opportunity to connect face-to-face with like-minded peers, enjoy extensive hands-on learning opportunities as well as classroom education, and uncover emerging trends and technologies.

 restoration industry trade shows and conference

Watch Training Videos

Check out these and other video offerings.

RTI’s YouTube channel offers videos on a variety of topics – “content that provides Knowledge, Passion, and Inspiration” to the members of the industry. You can watch already-posted videos, and also subscribe to the channel to get notifications of new ones to watch.

This series (available for purchase) is geared toward businesses who want a thorough way to train their water restoration technician employees. It includes 150 videos on water restoration fundamentals, processes, the science of drying, and customer service. If your company owns this video series, you can learn a lot by watching it.

Parting Thoughts

While all of the resources mentioned above focus on technical training, don’t forget to upgrade your “soft skills” as well. Those include:

  • Communication and Collaboration – skills that help you interact effectively with other people
  • Adaptability and Problem-solving – skills that help you face new challenges
  • Time Management and Teamwork – skills that make every workday more rewarding


Becoming a soft-skill rockstar will boost your earning potential to the next level!




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