You are here because you’ve made one of the biggest and forward-moving steps in your entire life.
Am I exaggerating?
No. Believe me when I say that this is your eye-opener. You are interested in knowing how to get home inspector certification, right? If so, it’s about time you drove yourself into the profession.
Let’s assume that you’re the one interested. You’ve been good at noticing when something in a house is not functioning well. You’ve been doing your assessment so well, such that no one called a professional home inspector. And all the way, the defects guided perfect renovations. If that’s it, time to go pro.
Albeit slow, home sales and construction activity have been going up. What this should communicate to you is that certification will put you in the middle of a flourishing industry. Very lucrative, right? In this article, you will enjoy an outline of all the nitty-gritty details you need to know.
This article is the one-stop destination for all your Home Inspection License related questions. I’ll be covering:
- The benefits of becoming certified
- Brief of government-approved certifications
- Where is it mandatory to become certified and where not
- Available certification programs
- Available training options
- Preparing for Necessary exams
- Precise steps of becoming a certified home inspector
- Costs of training obtaining the license
- Earning potentials of a home inspector and a lot more.
I’ve also attached a video featuring over the shoulder look at inspecting with a certified inspector.
I’m covering everything you asked and everything you meant to ask. You got the energy and determination to become a successful home inspector. Everything you needed was an organized and unbiased source of information to guide you through—a small push to help you plan the road-map. This article offers a whole lot to help you jump start.
You’ll feel well informed and confident about making your career decision after reading this in-depth article. Use the table of content to navigate through the page. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference. Share with your friends and family and help them make the best decision.
Now, shall we?
What Is A Home Inspector Certification License?
A home inspector certification license is your way into the center of the action. As you may already know, a license makes any trade a legitimate one. You are a cut above the rest if you have certification in anything, even emoji translation. If you’re not a licensed home inspector, it’ll be a bit hard convincing a house owner that you are the deal.
So, what are the licensing requirements? To answer this in the fewest words possible, you need to pass an exam. If you are in any twenty-nine states, licensing will require you to sit and pass the NHIE test. Here’s some pointers for you:
- The NHIE or National Home Inspector Exam warms up inspectors to their duties. The 21-year old Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) administers it.
- There is no specific exam administering schedule. You can do it at any time you please. However, the availability of the exam depends on the test center you choose. You can only do it if your test center of choice is open. Also, the test center needs to have available seats.
- In 2018, at least 8500 people did the exam. We can safely conclude that yearly, up to 8000 people do the NHIE. If you go for it, remember Michael Jackson’s You are not alone lines.
- Surely, you would want to know how people perform in the test. Online home inspection forums say that passing in an uphill task. Data from 2017 puts it out that slightly more than half of the candidates (51%) passed on the first shot. In the second one, the percentage downed to 39%. Could we say that the more you do it, the harder it gets?
- If you’re ready to take the test, you will part with at least $225 for the exam registration. The fee is the only registration requirement, somewhat. Your state, however, may top that figure by imposing this or that fee. They will guide you, worry not.
- If you fail the first time, that’s not the end of the world. Retakes are limitless, but you should know something. After a failed test, you need to wait for at least a month to be in line for you to do it again. And of course, another $225 for the non-passing. You can always get a practice test, but not for free. The 50-questions practice test has a $50 tag on it.
- The test scoring is scale-based, just like an SAT or ACT. Whatever you get in your exam is converted to a figure between 200 and 800. If the transformed total is or above 500, you pass. If it’s below that, you have to redo it – no questions asked!
- The NHIE has 200 multiple-choice questions that you should answer in four hours. Such a lengthy test, right? Well, a home inspection is no child’s play.
National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) Curriculum Outline
- Property and Building Inspection/Site Review (63%)
- Site conditions
Here, the exam tests the description and inspection of the drainage, patios, driveways, walkways, retaining walls, and vegetation.
- Building exterior
On hand here is looking at flashings, eaves, cladding, fascia, trim, soffits, windows, and doors. You also look at porches, balconies, stairs, decks, and stoops.
- Roof and structural components
You look at the covering, skylights, flashing, and other penetrations (such as drainage systems). Also, these are looked at: the foundation, floor structure, walls, vertical support structures, and roof-and-ceiling structures.
- Electrical, cooling, and heating systems
This covers the following electrical services: lateral, drop, entrance, equipment, and grounding. Also, service panels and sub-panels are tested, together with wiring methods. Alternative energy systems and devices, equipment, and fixtures (like lights) are not left out. Also, you look at the cooling and distribution systems.
- Insulation, moisture management, and ventilation systems
This is the HVAC area. You look at heating, thermal insulation, vent systems, and items such as humidifiers.
Also, you pay attention to attic vent systems, roof assemblies, and crawl spaces.
- Mechanical exhaust and plumbing systems
These tasks look at the exhaust systems of areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. Also, indoor air management systems like heat recovery ventilators come up here. Plumbing involves the water supply distribution system, fixtures, and faucets. Water heating and fuel storage and distribution systems are also taken care of here.
- The interior
Among other interior system components, you look at walls, floors, steps, stairways, installed countertops, and cabinets. You also get tested on smart homes.
- Fireplace, fuel-burning, and the chimney areas
Areas addressed are solid-liquid, and gas fuel-burning fireplaces and appliances.
- Common permanently installed kitchen appliances
The area covered is the proper conditions and operation of the fixed kitchen installs/appliances.
- Analysis of Findings and Reporting (25%)
- Client briefing on inspection
This area looks at how to inform the client of the findings. Also, you should describe building systems and components by their distinguishing characteristics to the client.
- Inspection methods
You need to explain the inspection methods and their limitations in the inspection report. Also, you should be able to inform the client what was uninspected and why.
- Defective systems and components
For the inspected systems and components, you talk about why some are not functioning well or faulty.
- Systems and elements that need further evaluation
This is very straightforward – you see what requires to be checked and note it down.
- The implication of defects
This area asks you to describe to the client what could happen if the affected areas remain unfixed.
- Professional Responsibilities (12%)
- Pre-inspection arrangements
Here, you need to establish the rights and responsibilities of both the inspector and client by obtaining a written pre-inspection agreement. The agreement may cover areas such as scope, limitations, and terms of service.
- Quality, integrity, and objectivity in inspection
In this task, the focus is on fundamental legal concepts, conflicts of interest, financial protection, and the client’s best interest.
When you’ve sat and got 500 (or above), you can present your score report to the relevant state department. This proof of excellence should start the licensing process and get you certified. Depending on your state, you may be required to meet other pre-licensing needs such as:
- Having a high school diploma
This need is state-specific. The grade is not an item of consideration, so don’t worry about that letter etched on your credentials. What is necessary is that you must have completed high school, whichever the curriculum.
- Having an education in home inspection
Some states will require you to have completed home inspection training with an approved platform. If you are in Florida or Arizona, continuing education is a must.
- Obtaining liability insurance
In around 24 states, you need to have this policy. If you accidentally damage a client’s property while doing the inspection, the policy covers the claims. It also takes care of you if you get injured during the work. The institution where you do your home inspector course should guide you to be insured. If that doesn’t work, you can always look up insurance companies and make inquiries on the same. The average monthly premium payment is $42.
- Passing a background check
If you’re from South Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, or Florida, this one’s for you. Mostly, a check would want to identify whether you have a criminal record. Other background check aspects are employment history and education. You might want to look up the different types of background checks.
- Making some payment
Other payments are state-specific. For example, the state of Indiana requires that you make a $50 payment as your license application fee. It gets crazier in Alabama, which charges a whopping $300. Explosive, right?
- Completing an application form
Completing an application form. The NHIE registration is a two-page document that you need to fill. Some of the details required on the application are:
- Personal information (including social security number)
- Mailing address details
- How long you have been in home inspection
- Reason for taking the exam
- Educational attainment
- Past work experience area
- Amount paid and payment method (a card, check, money order made payable to PSI)
Upon completion, you should forward the information to PSI, together with the payment details.
You don’t need to subscribe to any organization to get certified. However, some home inspection course providers like InterNACHI promote the idea of subscribing to their membership program. It is just for anyone who wants a jump-start.
Among other bodies, home inspection gets regulated by boards, commissions, or departments. The laws (or regulations) are specific to states. In Connecticut, for example, the Department of Consumer Protection regulates home inspectors. Arkansas, in its right, uses a code law.
In most states, there is little or no mention of a certified professional home inspector’s rights. However, and as a US citizen, the federal labor laws apply to you. If you are employed, here are some of your rights
- You are entitled to the federal minimum wage, at least. If you work overtime, your employer should pay your 1.5 times more than your regular pay.
- Your employer should make sure that you are safe at work. They should provide you with the necessary equipment, such as a helmet.
- Depending on circumstances and some state-specific regulations, you are entitled to compensation.
Benefits Of Becoming A Certified Home Inspector
That’s right – there are benefits and splendid ones for that matter. And, you deserve to know them. I mean – shouldn’t you understand what’s in it for you? Why exactly is this house inspection certification license such a razzle-dazzle thing?
Well, here’s a list of benefits that may make a hit on you:
- Handsome (or beautiful) rewards
With a license, you join a sublimely rewarding salary bracket. The latest stats have it that, on average, a certified home inspector makes around $61,091 annually.
Every time you do an inspection, the charge can be anything around $450. The hourly rate is at an estimated $29. What you should know is that these figures change depending on:
- State of operation
Suppose you are in Alabama, a year of inspection can earn you $82,510. That’s astounding. Anyway, many areas reward home inspection services generously. Don’t move to Alabama just yet.
- Size of house
A bigger house means that you do more inspection work, therefore more working hours. And, the more you work, the more the bucks.
- Age of the house
The older the building, the more the problems. And the more the issues, the more time an inspection takes. Once you get certified, keep wishing that you get called up to inspect a house that is along in years.
Do you see those figures? You won’t get them unless you’re certified. Trust me.
- Industry stability
Home inspection is under the Construction and Building Inspectors industry. Figures such as the number of housing units in a country control the industry. The number of houses is in the millions. And it is upping like nobody’s business.
if you go for house inspector certification, there will always be a market. Always.
Stats from the Labor Bureau speak well about the industry. In at least eight years, projections say that this industry’s employment will have grown by 7%. I know you may think that 7% is little, but it isn’t.
It is a faster growth percentage than all the other occupations combined (5%).
Real estate is full of life – people are moving in and out, buying and selling houses. So, both realtors and homeowners make many call-ups to certified home inspectors every day.
If you’ve read all that and don’t feel secure already, you’re not feeling right.
Go for security.
- Work schedule control
Control is the one thing everyone wants while working. Control gives you the freedom to do what you want at a time of your choice. Many workers don’t enjoy that freedom, but you are about to be free.
A self-employed certified home inspector does not struggle with the stress of a nine-to-five job.
If one inspection takes an average of 2.5 hours, you can decide how many you want to do in a day. With proper planning, you will doubtlessly get time to enjoy a hobby, learn an extra skill, or even do a part-time gig.
Do you want to take control of how you work? Make a break for it – get certified!
- Pick it, pick it, point you
It’s not about the nursery rhyme – it’s about you. Clients will be looking in your direction when they need a home inspector. Clients are more likely to settle for a professional than a wishy-washy inspector.
You can only become the sort-after professional if you get certified.
When you’re a cut above the rest, your services will be sought more, easing the stress of staying a long time without getting a job.
If you become certified and your house needs an inspection, who do you call? Of course – you!
If you become a pro inspector, you can use your skills and accreditation to examine your own house. It will help in saving on the cost of seeking house inspection services.
Why don’t you help your family or friends dodge that expense?
- Less demanding job
Home inspection work requires an eye for detail, and that’s it. Honestly, you work less and make more in this job. The muscles you move the most are the six or seven extraocular ones that control your eyeball movement.
In your home inspection activities, you don’t have to break you back or twist your joints to earn a living. Your shirt may catch some dust, but not as much as a firefighter’s uniform would.
If you get certified, you will show yourself into this painless job. No pain, no gain is not a mantra you’ll chant here.
If the above list doesn’t blow you away, they should blow you into going for a license.
Seriously – they should.
Steps Of Becoming A Certified Home Inspector
First, find out the regulations that are specific to the state where you want to operate
It is a little harder to become certified in a regulated state than it is an unregulated one. Unregulated ones, however, give recommendations on how best to practice home inspection. So technically, the freedom there is limited.
To thoroughly catch on the regulations, here are three guiding questions:
Should I have completed a home inspection competency education?
A home inspection course will introduce you to the trade fully. It is only reasonable that you study, whether online or in the classroom.
With an education, you won’t fidget when a hotshot client asks you whether there’s improper deck ledger attachment or deteriorated boots. Wait, what are those?
On another educational issue, some states require that a prospective home inspection professional should have continuing education. Continuing education or in-service training is where a home inspector, who has already attended a full course, goes back to class from time to time to get an update on the developments in the industry.
Should I have done a state-specific exam?
Apart from the NHIE, some states provide their tests. Others add questions to the NHIE to contextualize it, such as Illinois.
Should I have any home inspection experience?
Some states require that you complete some field-based inspections under the supervision of a licensed home inspector. Others require that you observe a certified inspector doing the job several times.
Sign up with a course providing institution if your state requires that you have a home inspection education
In selection of the training school, these are seven things that you should consider:
You need to choose an esteemed institution. You can learn this by looking at a school’s history and how long it has been training home inspectors. Its review section will also provide feedback from the alumni of the school.
What determines an institution’s legitimacy? If its courses have state approval, the school is on the level. Make sure that the institution you select comes from a list of those that your state approves.
Some institutions are available in some areas and unavailable in others. For example, there is a top training platform that offers home inspection training, but not in Nevada and New Jersey. Take that as your homework and find out which one it is.
Provision of materials
Since you are going for education, you need to know whether the institution will provide materials and specifically, the exam and training textbooks. These will help you to prepare for the pre-licensing examination.
Apart from the exam books, check whether the school provides free access to home inspection tools such as software applications. These applications make the inspection data entry seamless, therefore making the tasks convenient to execute.
Convenience in learning
The medium of delivery is what you use to judge this. Online programs are convenient since you can learn them from anywhere, as long as you have internet connectivity. We can agree that you can’t enjoy that luxury if you take the program through in-class attendance.
Imagine you went through a course to prepare you for the NHIE, only to realize that you are nothing more than a sitting duck.
At the test center, you start behaving like you’re sitting on pins and needles because you don’t get a thing! Now, stop imagining.
As you select your school, make sure you look at the course content vis-à-vis the NHIE’s exam content outline.
Well, the course needs to be affordable for you. After looking at a few course providers, the average cost I got is $728. You can consider anything that doesn’t deviate very far from $728 as reasonably priced. Also, look at whether the fees applicable are one-time or have a frequency of recurrence.
Are there schools that offer free home inspector training? None.
Be advised to take up the course even if your state doesn’t require you too. Learning will not only give you a sense of accomplishment but also equip you with excellent productivity skills.
Start and complete the home inspection education
Sit for your pre-licensing exam
With the exam, you don’t have to worry about feeling a little weak in the knees. Quizzes and sample test questions will help you prep and ease tension.
Check all the other boxes
Make sure that you tick against each one. If you’ve forgotten, here are some buzzwords and phrases to jog your memory:
Apply for your license
With this step, it is now a matter of time before you get licensed. The license will give you the strong arm you need to establish yourself as a service provider.
It’s time for congratulating you on becoming a certified house inspector!
Government-Approved Home Inspector Licenses In The USA
The home inspection industry is multi-faceted in terms of licensing. Some state governments have single or multiple licensure options. In this section, you will learn about the following types of home inspector certification licenses:
- Home Inspection Licence
- Associate Home Inspection/Intern Permit/Apprentice Inspector License
- Reciprocal Home Inspection License
- Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems License
- Real Estate Inspection License
- Professional Real Estate Inspection License
Home Inspection Licence
It is the coincident license for the 34 regulated states. Here are some of its specifics:
- Schooling and other aspects
Depending on the state you’re in, you may wait between a year and two years. In this period, you may need to take on an internship or employment.
Applicable fees are between $50 and $680, depending on your state.
You need to show proof of having attended between 40 and 354 hours of online or in-class training from a state-approved institution. Some states ask that you be members of relevant professional bodies at the time of application.
Associate Home Inspection/Intern Permit/Apprentice Inspector License
With this license, you warm up for full home inspection duties. Here are some of its details:
- Schooling and other aspects
You can apply it immediately you complete the training and exam.
The applicable fees between $220 and $225.
You need to have completed high school and a board-approved training and exam. Also, you need to have identified a licensed home inspector to be your supervisor. If you are in Texas, you’ll need proof of sponsorship by a professional inspector.
Reciprocal Home Inspection License
If you have a valid license from another state, this is your option. Where you’re coming needs to have the same or exceeding standards as those of Connecticut or Massachusetts.
- Schooling and other aspects
When you present your previous state’s license application and its statutes and regulations, you can make your application.
It is between $100 and $338.
You need to produce evidence of your home inspection training. Also, include documentation to prove that you passed the NHIE.
Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems License
Dear Alabamian – this is yours if you need to engage in home inspection trade:
- Schooling and other aspects
As soon as you pay the appropriate fees, you can apply.
According to the Alabamian administrative code, a fee of $300 accompanies this licensure application.
You need to be a member of a professional body and adhere to its ethical standards. Also, you need specific
Real Estate Inspection License
- Schooling and other aspects
You can apply as soon as you’ve checked all the requirements.
You should take 90 hours of specific coursework items after submitting a course and instructor evaluation. On top of that, you can take the option of an additional 32 classroom hours. That option also includes 20 fieldwork hours and 12 hours of experiential coursework.
Professional Real Estate Inspection License
Hey Texas? Do you use this as a reference for Home Inspection?
- Schooling and other aspects
You can make your application as all you’ve met all the requirements.
The minimum is 130 hours in a classroom. Texas gives an additional three options. You choose any of the three and satisfy all its requirements. One of the options is taking an additional 200 classroom hours. On top of that, you should finish 40 hours on the field, plus 24 hours of experiential coursework.
Looking at the above types, it means that you specify the kind of registration you’re making. However, it depends on your state.
Home Inspection Certificate & License Requirements by State
When you’re officially licensed, you can choose how you’ll step into the industry. Like many other professions, the industry operates in a twofold style. You can either work as a sole proprietor or seek employment at an already-established company.
This section will throw light upon the differences between these two sides of the same coin. The contrast will be made based on the following:
- Client attraction
- Customer handling
- HR Benefits
Let’s look at each one of them.
Being self-employed is on par with starting a business. And starting anything is quite distressing – just like a baby’s teething. Look at these two concerns that may drive you up the wall if you go solo:
Acquiring a dependable vehicle – how else will you move from site to site? With a car comes the need to buy gas, go for vehicle servicing – you get it, right?
Getting office space – where do you expect to do all the report writing, client tracking, and financial management? Then, office space will attract utility costs, won’t it?
Good for you if you have an outstanding study.
- Buying tools of Convenience
We all enjoy it when work is made easy, especially by technology. Some great tools and systems exist to make home inspection an almost-effortless venture.
The above concerns have one thing written all over them, and that is money. A company saves you the stress of having to source a lot of starting capital to kick-start your career. A good company will ensure that the working conditions are well enough for you to inspect with comfort.
If you’re part of a home inspection company, you can’t just make do anything you want. Not to exaggerate, but the tightness of working under instructions can choke you to death.
Imagine this: a company expects you to do three home inspections in half a day. Then, they ask you to complete reports of the work done before the close of business. Besides that, they require you to go on a long trip the following day to make an inspection. Worse still, you report to an Inspections Manager who doesn’t like you because of your inborn oomph and confidence.
Don’t feel peeved or irritated – it is only an imagination (chuckles).
If you’re self-employed, however, you have more legroom. You choose the number of inspections you want to do in a day. You can also schedule some weekend duties, which clients will surely love. Also, a solo home inspector can work at night if it’s convenient for both the client and them.
- Client Attraction
You are less likely to be hired if you’re self-employed, especially when you’re months or weeks old. A company, however, gives you a share of its glory and makes you attractable to clients. If your employer has a good track record and numerous positive feedback from past clients, duty will call sooner than later.
Also, a good company organizes for marketing personnel to handle client outreach. Self-employment means that you’ll have to read Robert Greene’s The Art of Seduction before you go out there. Whether you want to read a book or inspect a house – the choice is yours.
Companies work with deductions. As an employed home inspector, your pay is not as matching to your work as it should be. The company has to handle utility bills and pay a bunch of taxes. On a light note, some company executives may need to update their wardrobes or their iPhones.
I saw a home inspection job post by a Floridian company. The company had set the salary bracket at $64K – $69K. Further research opened me up to Gary Fuller, a home inspection expert mentioned in J. G. Ferguson’s book – Exploring Tech Careers: Real People Tell You what You Need to Know. Gary says that he knows inspectors who make $300,000 a year. Yes, three thousand grand. You can never make that kind of money when you’re working for a company.
- Customer Handling
A good company incorporates a customer service department to handle inquiries and complaints. You don’t enjoy that luxury when you’re an independent contractor. Check out this scenario:
You are a self-employed home inspector. On this balmy day, you’re in the plenum space checking the HVAC air return system when suddenly, a certain Karen calls. You ignore it the first time, but they keep on ringing. You decide to excuse yourself and pick it up. When you do, Karen engages you with so many questions about your job. All of this is happening at the displeasure of your client.
Now comes the question: on a scale of 1 – 10, how disgruntled would you feel? I guess that your answer is 76, give or take.
- HR Benefits
Most companies always have a department for human resource management. This department organizes programs and practices that are beneficial to the employee. If you’re employed, therefore, these are some items you could enjoy:
- Medical insurance
- Bereavement funds
- Saving for retirement
It’s not that you can’t take care of these when you’re working alone. A home inspection company will handle them more closely, giving you time to focus on work. Frankly saying, they are probably not the first things that would come to your mind. You’ll probably be thinking about advertising and doing a professional job to cultivate referrals.
With your house inspector certification, you can choose any side of the coin you want. If yours is self-employment, seek guidance from some of the best home inspector training schools. They will help you start your business and build your brand. However, if you want to be employed, there are open jobs even now as you finish this read.
Go for whichever you see fit since to each, their own.
Home Inspection is not as clear-cut as, say, painting Easter eggs. It is like bits of architecture and engineering put together. Indeed, the Labor Department categorizes it as being under the Construction and Building Inspectors industry. Seeing that this is the case, you should take home inspection certification as seriously as the country took Area 51 and its aliens a while back.
What does a home inspector do?
During an inspection, a home inspector looks at the following:.
An expert will check on smoke detectors, ground fault interrupters, safety glasses, and stairs. These need to be installed well and in the right place.
Here, the home inspector pays attention to the condition of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
Electrical systems need to be powering the house enough, and they need to be installed well on the ground. Other things they can look for is scorch marks on cover plates. He/she should check on electrical issues such as exposed wiring, GFCI protection, and reversed polarity.
Plumbing systems need to drain water well and provide it sufficiently to the house. Faulty plumbing may cause water damage, which in turn invites mold infection.
HVAC systems need to supply heat evenly to the home. They should ensure that there good airflow and air return. The air ducts should not have loose connections. Water heaters should be at a maximum temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
A home inspector flashes and openings, cracks, or leaks on the roof. They also attend to the chimney, skylights, and gutters. It helps them make sure that there is no debris or moss growth.
The inspector examines the walls and the foundation to see their integrity. This integrity is in terms of how strong they can withstand sharp weather.
Floors and ceilings
A home inspector should check for any loose planks or boards, and note those that need resealing or reattachment.
A home inspection report includes:
– The number of items inspected
– Deficiencies found and their images
– Safety hazards and things that need immediate attention
– Recommendation for dealing with the issues – An inspector can suggest that the client call an expert. Also, he can ask that the client take up a DIY (Do It Yourself) project.
A house inspection report excludes the following:
– Condition of asbestos and well systems
– Mold infection
– Radon gas and pest control situation
– Most kitchen appliances and items such as swimming pools
Before any work begins, the home inspector needs to develop a pre-inspection agreement with the client. It helps both parties to know their rights, responsibilities, and limitations.
How many hours a week does a home inspector work?
– Conducting an inspection
– Writing reports
– Taking appointments
– Responding to emails or taking/making calls
– Marketing, for example, by arranging lunch-and-learn meet-ups with prospective clients
With employment, a home inspector has fixed operating hours. Here, the nine-to-five idea applies, therefore making them work up to 45 hours a week.
A full-time independent contractor works for more hours since they manage all their business operations, including client handling. They could work around 13 hours a day. Operating for six days at that pace brings the count to about 78 hours a week.
Part-timers do up to a hundred inspections a year, which translates to around two per week. If the average time of a home inspection is 3.5 hours, it means that a part-timer works at least 7 hours a week.
Here’s a over the shoulder video of what certified home inspectors do on site featuring Home Inspector Jim Krumm
Why do I, as a home inspection student, need to go to school?
Studying a home inspection program differentiates you and the services you offer when approaching a client. It works to your advantage, especially if you want to work in an unregulated state.
Schools provide hands-on skills and field experience. These practical aspects help you to prepare well before you handle any client’s house.
Schooling proves to your prospective client that you have what it takes to conduct a home inspection.
School’s got value – no buts necessary.
What are home inspection schools teaching?
The NHIE’s outline provides the model which home inspection schools use to shape their training program. The model has the following three domains, which are, in essence, the home inspection syllabus:
Property and Building Inspection/Site Review
This domain is the most concentrated. Modules under this domain help home inspection students to know the A – Z of a house. Here, you learn about describing and inspecting various home areas.
Analysis of Findings and Reporting
After description and inspection, there is a need to report findings. This domain guides home inspections students on how to prepare comprehensive reports. Also, communicating inspection findings to the client falls under this domain.
Home inspection work is a profession, just like other occupations. In this domain, therefore, students learn how to conduct themselves competently.
All programs that schools teach center on these domains.
Why is it Important to get Training from a reputed school?
You will always win the favor of informed clients. Informed clients are those that have done their research on home inspection work. Check out these exchanges:
CLIENT: So, where did you get your home inspection training?
Me: Well, I did it at (my school, reputed one)…
CLIENT: Stop right there – I am already impressed. Please, take up and do your job, pro!
At the mentioned of your school, the informed client instantly believed in you. That’s splendid. We can say that a super-excellent school does the talking.
Well-known schools not only take you through training but also help you to kick-start your career. A school should offer you booster training for establishing your business.
A reputable school provides you with bonus materials which include:
– Home inspection reporting software
– Lifetime access to course material at no additional fees
– Continuing education – a school of repute should give your CE so that you’re up to date with the developments in the industry.
What are the online training programs for Home Inspectors?
Professional Home Inspection
This one appears first since it is the main home inspection training program. It is the general course that prepares many students for the NHIE. The course teaches the following modules:
– Plumbing and electrical systems
– Roof inspection
– HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) inspection
– Exterior-interior inspection
– Deck and moisture intrusion inspection
– Inspection of fireplaces and the chimney
– Attic and its insulation (ventilation)
– Report writing (including the use of reporting software)
– Standards of practice and code of ethics
Most schools offer this for anyone who is starting their home inspection career.
Commercial Property Inspection
As the name suggests, this course steps you out of residences and into business buildings. It is an extra that can set you above the rest. In this course, you learn the following:
– The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards
– Environmental issues
– Soil boring
– Property condition report
– Pricing and marketing
Ugh, yuck, or yikes are probably the things a house owner would say when they discover a mold problem. This course makes you helpful in such situations. With this course, you are open up to the following:
– Types of mold inspection
– Mold inspection standards
– Health effects of mold
– Mold contamination on a building
– Aesthetic effects of mold
– Damaged Building Hypothesis
– Complete and limited mold inspection
Radon is a radioactive gas, which means that it is harmful. The gas can make its way into a client’s ventilation. Stats have it that this gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the US. That is enough to tell you how important this course is. In radon inspection, you tackle:
– Radon-resistant features for new home construction
– Techniques of a proper home inspection for radon gas
– Radon mitigating features and their benefits
Pool and Spa Inspection
With this course done, you won’t fidget when a client asks you whether you can take a look at their pool and spa. Also, you would be of great help to someone who wants to buy a house with a pool and spa. Here are some things you get to know with this course:
– Guidelines on spa and pool barriers
– Circulation in the whirlpool/pool
– Heating and electrical systems, and filters
– Water level inspection
– Safety measures for preventing drowning
Septic systems are popular in rural US and Canada. The areas of interest are:
– Fundamental components of septic systems
– Septic systems’ maintenance schedule
– Tank volume measurement
– Sewer/sewage flow
– Measuring tank volume
Wind Mitigation Inspection
Floridians know that storms can get crazy. This course helps home inspectors to guide a client in knowing whether their house can withstand strong winds. You get the following from this course:
– Understanding wind mitigation and its history
– Inspection process overview
Inspected items include
– Roof coverings
– Secondary water resistance
– Roof geometry (shape)
– Roof-deck and roof-to-wall attachment
– Opening protection (shutters, impact windows, skylights, garage doors, etc.)
There is so much gold for home inspectors online. What you need to do is look up an approved school, sign up, and enjoy online courses. You can pursue extra courses as part of your continuing education.
How Long Does it take To Become a Home Inspector?
Assuming you’ve met all the educational, experiential, and other state-specific requirements.
The waiting period depends on when you have met all the requirements and
when did you apply for the license?
In the following regulated states, there is no waiting time, and you can apply for your license as soon as you meet all conditions:
Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In the following regulated states, there is some waiting time:
Between the tests’ completion and licensure application, there needs to be an 18-month gap.
Within one year of passing the exam, you can make your licensure application.
You require to have worked for two years.
You need to be an associate home inspector for not less than a year – more like an internship.
Like Massachusetts, you should be a home inspector associate for a year.
Between the NHIE and your application, there needs to be a two-year gap.
Your wait is at least a year, in which you work as an associate home inspector.
You require at least a year’s employment.
You need to work for at least two years.
You need to have conducted a home inspection business for three years.
The idea of a waiting period is not applicable in the following states since they are unregulated:
California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming.
This list also includes the District of Columbia.
How much does it cost to become a Certified home inspector?
Home Inspection Training
Your home inspection should surely start with some education. Whichever school or course you take, some money will exchange hands.
With schools and training, you’re likely to meet the following costs:
Pre-licensing course cost
Depending on your institution, this may be between $595 and $895.
Some schools ask that students subscribe with a fee, such as InterNACHI ($49/mo. or $499/yr.)
Continuing education cost
One of the pre-licensing requirements for licensure applicants is that they have CE. Depending on your state and the school, you may incur as little as $15.97 per course.
Many states expect prospective home inspectors to take liability insurance and E&O (Errors and Omissions) Insurance.
You need to show your state proof that you have taken any or all of the policies. The average cost of the insurance policy is $42 per month.
As you make your application, your state is likely to ask for an application/registration fees, or both. Check these out:
This fee is usually between $50 and $680, and it exists in all the states.
This is what makes you join the list of your state’s home inspectors. It can go up to $235.
If you are in North Carolina, this is yours to take. A year after your application is approved, you should sit for a licensing exam, which costs $80.
Home inspectors of North Carolina need to pay an issuance fee of $160.
As you walk towards home inspection, those are the costs that you are highly likely to incur. Since you now know them, I’m sure any surprise fees won’t shake your plans much.
How much money can you make as a home inspector?
Employed inspectors split their earnings with their companies. Their average annual salary is around $48,373. Here are details of the earnings’ ranges:
– Early Career/Entry-level: $24,000 to $61,000
– Mid-Career: $32,000 to $86,000
– Experienced: $34,000 to $121,000
– Late Career: $32,000 to $147,000
Majorly, companies focus on experience when determining home inspector pay. Experienced home inspectors attract bonuses, commissions, and earnings from profit sharing. That is aside from their salaries.
As an independent contractor, you can sell your services at $350 per inspection. You may attract at least eight clients a month in your first year. Per year, this translates to at least $33,600. Years in the business can move you into earning up to $60,000 annually. With time, you may enjoy the incredible $300,000-a-year figure.
Apart from the business type, qualification, and experience, a home inspector’s location may affect how much they earn.
If you were recently certified, you should start as an employed inspector. Employment will provide you consistent income and work experience. Then, you can warm up to starting your own business.
How long is a home inspector liable?
When a home inspector fails to adhere to particular standards.
An inspector missed inspecting a system or component, especially that which was in the scope of the agreement.
In the agreement, the Limitation of Liability and Arbitration Agreement part usually spells out the time limit. For example, the following can be the liability condition:
The client shall make any claim through a written letter within 14 days after the inspection.
In the example, the home inspector is only liable for a fortnight after doing their job.
Any liability claim made beyond the confines of the agreement is null and void.
Home inspectors should always seek legal advice. Also, they should take advantage of policies such as liability and E&O (Errors and Omissions) insurance.
What is an ASHI Home Inspector?
Some highlights of ASHI’s standards of practice are that
– A home inspector does not have to give architectural or engineering assistance or opinion.
– They don’t need to talk about how adequate particular systems and components are.
– They are not required to check unreachable or difficulty-accessible items.
– They don’t have to inspect recreational facilities.
– They are not obligated to talk about the life expectancy of inspected items.
– They don’t have to do any inspection work that may put them in danger of hurt.
Here is what’s in it for ASHI members
– ASHI helps you to sell your services by connecting you to home buyers and homeowners. You get a customized profile to help you stand out before clients.
– ASHI does liaison with the U. S. Department of Energy to offer training. The training makes home inspectors certified in Home Energy Assessment.
– ASHI has InspectorWorld®, an annual get-together conference that facilitates learning about the home inspection industry developments.
– ASHI has an online center and a live webinar series. These platforms allow home inspectors to take on education, and do it at their own pace.
– There are local ASHI chapters that empower home inspectors in specific locales. Also, the ASHI Reporter magazine and the ASHI newsroom help inspectors to be up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.
– ASHI has a great website and support staff that is always ready to offer home inspectors assistance.
Because of ASHI’s brand success, clients are more likely to choose ASHI home inspectors than other companies or independent contractors.
How do I become a Government Home Inspector?
Here is the process of becoming a government home inspector:
Having high school education
A high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED, is sufficient. Skills emphasized here are technology, reading comprehension, and math.
Earning a college degree
You need a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in areas such as cost estimation, infrastructural construction, or site inspection. The degree labels your specific government inspection area of expertise.
Learning the standards of operation
You need to be acquainted with the set criteria. Items included are:
– Codes and laws
– Quality control tools, such as software and equipment
– Work professionalism
Acquiring related work experience
If your idea is to work on buildings, you can liaise with building and construction experts to set you up with an internship. You can also offer volunteer services to be a master of your area.
Earning licensure/a certificate
Depending on your state’s law, you may need licensing to operate in the government inspection. You need to meet some pre-certification requirements, such as work experience and exam success.
What you should take away from here is that it is quite difficult to get government inspection employment without a college degree.
If you’ve forgotten everything, remember this: make sure you know your state’s requirements before moving. And, make sure you’re certified before you start practicing. You could go to jail if you operate without a license. I’m sure you’re okay having your freedom.
It would be unfair if you didn’t leave a thank-you-so-much message in the comment section. Assuredly, there’s nothing you don’t know about home inspector certification. If you feel that something’s missing, post it as a question, and I’ll address it in an update. Otherwise, anyone who woke up saying they dreamt about being a home inspector – this is their read. Share and let them learn. Read more about becoming a home inspector here.