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Three AECO Professionals Share How the CDT® Certification Impacted Their Careers

By Peter Kray posted 01-24-2023 03:27 PM


The Construction Documents Technology (CDT®) certification provides a comprehensive program of study for anyone seeking to enhance and demonstrate knowledge of writing, interpreting, enforcing, and managing construction documents.

Here, three architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) professionals share how earning this valuable certification informed and impacted their professional careers.


“Studying for and passing the CDT exam made all the difference in the world for my career in architecture. It is what eventually led me to become a specification writer. I took the exam early in my career when I was still drawing stair details and struggling with opening details in exterior walls. I realized there was much more to my profession than, “lines on paper.” I worked in a small office at that time and was soon reviewing submittals, processing substitution requests, and even evaluating applications for payment. Having the knowledge I gained through passing the CDT exam made all that easier and more meaningful.

Studying for the CDT exam in parallel with the architecture registration exams actually had a synergistic effect. Though the material was not the same, the concept of organizing information and learning what was presented was reinforced.

I later passed the CCS® and CCCA® exams which further enhanced my understanding of my work. Also, I strongly recommend product representatives study for and take the CCPRTM. After talking to a product representative for only a few minutes (and I have met legions of them in my career) I can be all but certain which ones hold the CCPR credential without looking at their business cards.

The best thing about the knowledge imparted by mastering the material for the CDT is it is beneficial not only to architects and engineers but to all in the AECO industry including administrative personnel. I worked at medium-sized firm once were there were four who held the CDT certificate; myself and three administrative assistants. They all performed they duties with the greatest competence and efficiency. Fortunately, while I was with that firm, I saw six intern architects and interior designers also obtain their CDT certification.”
James Sandoz CSI, CDT, CCS, AIA


“Coming from outside the construction industry, the rigorous CDT preparation provided a TON of value for me and my career, and I am grateful for what it personally provided me. Professionally, it has provided a level high of confidence to understand and anticipate my customers' needs and requirements. Personally, the preparation was a highlight; not since college was I required to master a subject on my own time and prove it. Achievement felt like validation that I belonged in a select and collegial team. I recommend the process to anyone who will listen because of what it has provided me.”
Tyler Sweeney CSI, CDT


“I’ll be honest, I did not pass the CDT my first time. However, I think failing it helped me to pass it because I then knew what to focus on when studying. I was also in college when I passed the CDT exam, so I was already used to studying and just applied the same study practices to this exam that I knew worked for me in college. To anyone who has failed it and felt like giving up, I would say to keep pushing and don’t give up because that’s what helped me!

What stood out to me about the exam in particular is how there could be more than one right answer, and you have to give the best right answer so you really have to know the information rather than just remembering definitions. Because of that, the exam process gave me knowledge and experience that I believe I will take with me throughout my career as I take more CSI certification exams.”

Melissa Giles, CDT

Join your peers and take your professional game to a whole new level. Learn more about the CDT®, CCCA®, CCS®, and CCPR™ exams today.