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Protective Coatings Specialist (PCS) Program


$300 initial application fee
$200 examination fee
$75 re-evaluation fee

$400 initial application fee
$300 examination fee
$125 re-evaluation fee

Certification Term: 4 Years

How to Register:

Click here to find a course & register online

About the PCS Certification Program

The Protective Coatings Specialist certification program (PCS) identifies and awards recognition to individuals who have in-depth knowledge in the principles and practices of industrial coatings technology. Certification attests to the professional credibility of the coatings practitioner and raises the standards of the protective coatings profession.

PCS Certification demonstrates mastery in:

  • Assessment of coatings systems
  • Development of coatings specifications
  • Surface preparation and coatings applications
  • Economics of coatings
  • Contract planning and management
  • Coating failure analysis
  • Inspection

Click below for:

PCS Program Requirements

Work ExperienceEducationC-1C-2
Option A5 years coatings experienceBachelor's DegreeMust Take C-1 Exam OnlyMust Take C-2 Course and Exam
Option B7 years coatings experienceAssociate's DegreeMust Take C-1 Exam OnlyMust Take C-2 Course and Exam
Option C10 years coatings experienceHigh school graduation or GEDMust Take C-1 Exam OnlyMust Take C-2 Course and Exam
Option D -15 years coatings experiencen/an/aMust Take C-2 Exam Only

  • Candidates must provide a formal application & three professional references
  • SSPC recommends candidates take the C1 & C2 Courses before taking the PCS Exam
  • Candidates should read entire application for complete prerequisite details

Special Note:

Candidates must complete a comprehensive multiple choice and essay question exam and pass with a 70% or better. The Certification is valid for four years, subject to verification of current status as a protective coatings professional.

PCS Background

SSPC's certification process for coatings specialists was developed with the assistance of SSPC's C.6 Education & Certification Technical Committee and authorized by SSPC's Board of Governors. SSPC staff, the SSPC Education Committee, and a consensus of coatings industry representatives, including facility owners, contractors, consultants, academic institutions, professional societies, and SSPC members experienced in teaching coatings courses contributed to the design of the certification process.

A certification panel consisting of a minimum of three instructors who are SSPC Protective Coatings Specialists, and the Board of Governors oversee the certification process. The SSPC President appoints the certification panel, whose primary responsibilities are to review and validate examination grades (when required), resolve any disputes on grading procedures, review and ratify policies, and develop new exam material.

Applicants Background

Applicants should understand the mechanisms and effects of corrosion for a variety of materials, and be knowledgeable of the role coatings play in industrial corrosion control. The prospective Protective Coatings Specialist should also exhibit competence in management and planning of contracts for new construction and maintenance painting, economic analysis, and implementation of environmental and safety regulations and controls.

PCS Forms, Applications & Program Information


General Administrative Questions, Comments, & Suggestions

Contact Silvia Palmieri at P: 412/281-2331 x 2201 or palmieri@sspc.org if you are interested in enrolling in this program.