In Alabama, home inspection certification is a regulated profession and the business of the Department of Finance, Real Property Management. The specific docket is the Division of Construction Management. The Division offers two certifications, which are the home inspector and the EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) license. Of interest is the home inspection licensure.
For you, who are from the Heart of Dixie, the entire certification process has been boiled down into five clear-cut steps:
Familiarize Yourself with the State’s Basic Requirements
The fundamental requirements for first-time applicants are to get an education and get field experience. The Division requires that you either:
- Take a minimum of 120 hours of a course from an approved institution AND participate in at least 35 home inspections.
- Complete at least 35 hours of home inspection education AND participate in at least 100 home inspections.
All the educational milestones are to end with doing approved exams (explained in step 3). For the 35 or 100 home inspections, you will need to list names, addresses (of the inspected residences), phone numbers (of the homeowners), and inspection dates.
Apart from education and experience, you must draft 25 home inspection reports. Of the 25, 10 will need review and correction from a qualified home inspector. The licensed home inspector can be from within the state of Alabama of any other jurisdiction, provided that the inspector meets all the requirements of part 335-17-1.06 of the Alabama Home Inspectors Registration Program.
Do the Home Inspection Course
From the application form, here is the list of schools which the Division has approved for pre-licensing education (the 120 or 35 hours):
- Alabama Home Inspector Organization
- American Home Inspectors Training
- American Society of Home Inspectors
- ASHI South Chapter
- Birmingham NACHI Chapter
- Inspection Certification Associates
- International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
- McKissock Learning
- National Property Inspections
- Pillar To Post Home Inspectors
Attend the Exam
As a prospective home inspector in Alabama, you need to complete two exams, which are:
Provided by ASHI, aka the American Society of Home Inspectors. The test is a one-hour, 50-questions item that will cost you around $50.
You should complete and pass both tests a year and a half (18 months) before making your application for licensure.
Join a Home Inspection Association
To qualify as a home inspector, you need to provide proof of being a member in any of the following professional associations:
- American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI
- Housing Inspection Foundation, HIF
- International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, InterNACHI
- National Institute of Building Inspectors, NIBI
Make your application
As you mail the application form, ensure that you check (✓) all the following items:
- An application (registration) fee of $300, which you are to pay to the Division of Construction Management via money order or check (cashier or commercial).
- Produce copies of any professional and occupational licenses that you hold.
- Produce copies of all the applicable certificates and forms from the NHIE and the ASHI (examination).
- Valid insurance certificate(s) with the following minimum coverage:
- $20,000: For damage to property or injury to self.
- $50,000: For damage or injury – inclusive of the death of any other party (person).
- $100,000: For damage or injury – inclusive of the death of at least two parties).
- $250,000: For errors and omissions (per occurrence).
Once you have mailed the notarized application to the Division, allow between 1 and 2 weeks for the staff to complete processing.
License renewal is every year before December 31st of the current calendar year.