Permit Runner: What Is It? and How to Become One?

In this article, we will explore what a permit runner does and how you can become one. Permit runners, also known as permit expediters or permit coordinators, play a crucial role in facilitating the smooth progression of construction projects.

Permit Runner: What Is It? and How to Become One?

Permit running is an essential aspect of the construction industry. It involves obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for construction projects, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations.

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What is a Permit Runner?

A permit runner is a professional who specializes in obtaining construction permits and approvals on behalf of individuals or companies involved in construction projects.

They serve as intermediaries between the project stakeholders and the local authorities responsible for issuing permits.

Permit runners are well-versed in local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit application processes.

Role and Responsibilities of a Permit Runner

The primary responsibility of a permit runner is to navigate the often complex and time-consuming process of acquiring construction permits.

They work closely with architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals involved in a construction project to gather all the necessary documentation and submit permit applications to the relevant authorities.

Permit runners also follow up on the status of permit applications, address any concerns or queries raised by the authorities, and ensure timely approval.

Why Do Companies Hire Permit Runners?

Companies hire permit runners for several reasons. Firstly, the process of obtaining permits can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Permit runners have the expertise and experience to streamline this process, saving companies valuable time and resources. Additionally, permit runners possess in-depth knowledge of local laws and regulations, reducing the risk of non-compliance and potential penalties.

Their familiarity with the permitting system enables them to anticipate and address potential roadblocks efficiently.

Skills and Qualifications Required to Become a Permit Runner

Why Do Companies Hire Permit Runners?

To become a permit runner, certain skills and qualifications are necessary. Let’s explore some of the key requirements:

Knowledge of Local Laws and Regulations

A thorough understanding of local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit application processes is crucial for a permit runner.

Staying updated with any changes or updates to these regulations is essential to ensure compliance.

Strong Organizational Skills

Permit runners handle multiple projects simultaneously and manage various documents, applications, and deadlines.

Excellent organizational skills are vital to keep track of all the information and ensure everything is in order.

Attention to Detail

Permit applications require accurate and detailed information. Permit runners must meticulously review documents and forms, ensuring all the required information is provided.

Even minor errors or omissions can result in delays or rejections.

Excellent Communication Skills

Permit runners regularly interact with various stakeholders, including clients, architects, engineers, contractors, and government officials.

Effective communication is essential to convey information clearly, address concerns, and build strong relationships.

Steps to Become a Permit Runner

Steps to Become a Permit Runner

If you aspire to become a permit runner, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Research and Familiarize Yourself with Local Laws and Regulations

Start by studying the local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit application processes specific to your area. Understand the requirements and procedures involved in obtaining permits for different types of construction projects.

Step 2: Build a Network and Establish Relationships with Relevant Authorities

Developing a network of contacts within local government departments and building authorities can be immensely beneficial. Building relationships with these individuals can help streamline the permit application process and keep you updated with any changes or requirements.

Step 3: Develop Strong Organizational and Time Management Skills

Focus on improving your organizational skills and time management abilities. Establish systems and processes to manage multiple projects, deadlines, and documents effectively. Utilize tools such as project management software or spreadsheets to stay organized.

Step 4: Enhance Communication Skills

Effective communication is a crucial skill for a permit runner. Hone your communication skills, both written and verbal, to effectively convey information, ask for clarification when needed, and build rapport with stakeholders.

Step 5: Gain Experience in the Construction Industry

Prior experience in the construction industry can provide valuable insights into the overall project lifecycle and the specific requirements for permits. Consider working in construction-related roles to develop a practical understanding of the industry.

Step 6: Obtain the Required Licenses and Certifications

Check if there are any specific licenses or certifications required in your area to work as a permit runner. Some regions may have specific requirements that need to be fulfilled. Completing relevant courses or certifications can enhance your credibility and marketability.

Challenges Faced by Permit Runners

Challenges Faced by Permit Runners

While being a permit runner can be rewarding, it comes with its own set of challenges. Here are a few common challenges faced by permit runners:

Dealing with Complex Permitting Processes

The process of obtaining construction permits can be intricate and time-consuming. Permit runners must navigate through the requirements, forms, and documentation, ensuring all the necessary information is provided. They need to be familiar with the specific steps involved in different permit applications.

Navigating Bureaucracy and Red Tape

Government agencies often have their own bureaucratic processes, which can slow down the permitting process. Permit runners must be patient and persistent when dealing with the authorities, addressing any concerns or requests promptly.

Managing Multiple Projects and Deadlines

Permit runners often handle multiple projects simultaneously, each with its own set of requirements and deadlines. Effective time management and organizational skills are essential to ensure that all projects progress smoothly and meet their respective deadlines.

Advantages of Being a Permit Runner

Advantages of Being a Permit Runner

While the role of a permit runner can be demanding, it also offers several advantages. Let’s explore some of them:

Job Stability and Demand

Construction projects are constantly taking place, creating a continuous demand for permit runners. As long as construction activities are ongoing, there will be a need for individuals who specialize in acquiringconstruction permits. This provides job stability and opportunities for long-term career growth.

Continuous Learning and Growth Opportunities

As a permit runner, you will constantly learn about local laws, regulations, and building codes. You will also gain knowledge about various construction projects and industry practices. This continuous learning keeps the job dynamic and offers opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Networking and Relationship Building

Working as a permit runner allows you to build a network of contacts within the construction industry and local government departments. Building strong relationships with architects, engineers, contractors, and government officials can open doors to future opportunities and collaborations.

Tips for Success as a Permit Runner

Tips for Success as a Permit Runner

To excel as a permit runner, consider the following tips:

Stay Updated with Local Regulations

Keep yourself informed about any changes or updates to local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit application processes. Stay updated through industry publications, websites, or by attending relevant workshops or seminars.

Develop Efficient Systems and Processes

Establish effective systems and processes to manage the permit application process, project deadlines, and document organization. Utilize technology and tools such as project management software, spreadsheets, or cloud-based platforms to streamline your workflow.

Maintain Strong Communication Channels

Maintain open and clear communication with all stakeholders involved in the construction project. Regularly update clients, architects, engineers, and contractors about the progress of permit applications and address any concerns or queries promptly.

Stay Organized and Manage Time Effectively

Develop strong organizational skills to handle multiple projects and deadlines efficiently. Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and reminders to stay organized and prioritize tasks. Effective time management ensures that you meet project deadlines and provide exceptional service to your clients.


Becoming a permit runner requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and experience. As a permit runner, you play a vital role in ensuring the smooth progression of construction projects by acquiring the necessary permits and approvals. By staying updated with local laws and regulations, developing strong organizational and communication skills, and gaining experience in the construction industry, you can position yourself for success in this field.

Remember, being a permit runner comes with its own challenges, including dealing with complex permitting processes, navigating bureaucracy, and managing multiple projects and deadlines. However, the advantages, such as job stability, continuous learning, and networking opportunities, make it a rewarding career choice.

If you have a passion for the construction industry and enjoy working with various stakeholders to bring projects to life, becoming a permit runner may be the right path for you.

What is the average salary of a permit runner?

The average salary of a permit runner can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the size of the construction projects they handle. However, in general, permit runners can earn a competitive salary that ranges from $40,000 to $70,000 per year.

Are there any specific courses or certifications required to become a permit runner?

While specific requirements may vary by location, there are no universally mandated courses or certifications to become a permit runner. However, completing relevant courses or certifications in construction management, building codes, or project management can enhance your knowledge and credibility in the field.

Is previous construction experience necessary to become a permit runner?

Previous construction experience is not always necessary to become a permit runner. However, having a solid understanding of the construction industry, its processes, and terminology can be beneficial. Some permit runners may have prior experience in construction-related roles, while others acquire the necessary knowledge through research and on-the-job experience.