Home inspectors play an important role in the real estate industry by verifying that a property is in good structural and mechanical shape and doesn’t have any hidden problems that could make the home a financial burden in the future.
Becoming a home inspector is a great choice if you are excited about the building trades, enjoy providing excellent customer service, and want a job that will take you to different places every day. This article will explain the process of becoming a home inspector step-by-step.
Does My State Require Home Inspector Classes & a License?
There is no governing body for home inspection at a national level. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations. The best place to learn about training to become a home inspector is American Home Inspectors Training. They offer programs to help you get started in this career.
How to Become a Home Inspector in 4 Simple Steps
Different states have different requirements for becoming a home inspector. Some states require multiple weeks of training, tests, and applications, while others have no requirements whatsoever. Regardless of where you live, the process of becoming a home inspector is relatively straightforward. The steps you’ll need to follow are outlined below.
1. Research Your State’s Requirements
Each state has different requirements for becoming a certified home inspector. Please consult your state’s website for specific details.
2. Choose Your Prelicense Education
If the state you live in requires prelicense education, you will want to have options. American Home Inspectors Training offers online courses and live, in-person classes in some states. Find out which options are available in your state.
3. Take & Pass Your Licensing Exam
There is a national exam for home inspectors, even though there is no national regulation or licensing of the home inspection industry.
Since the NHIE is standardized, it is relatively easy to prepare for it by taking a prelicense course or doing some test prep work.
4. Complete Your State Application
States that regulate the home inspection industry require an application for licensing. The application must be completed and mailed to the state’s licensing board. The application fee is $75 to $300.
You’re Legally Able to Work as a Home Inspector in Your State. Now What?
There are only four steps involved in becoming a home inspector, so you can start earning money in this profession right away. If you want to become a home inspector, here’s what you need to do next.
Start Your Own Home Inspection Business
Many newly certified home inspectors are drawn to the idea of starting their own home inspection business. The ability to set your own schedule, be your own boss, and keep all the profits sounds like a great opportunity.
Starting a home inspection business is a route that many home inspectors pursue, however, growth is typically slow. Unless you have experience running a business, there will be a learning curve. It takes a lot to operate a business successfully. You will need to learn how to market your services, nurture your leads, provide customer service, collect payments, and satisfy Uncle Sam. Additionally, you will actually need to inspect homes.
If you see a clear way to achieving success in your business, then this is a good option to pursue.
Find a Home Inspection Company to Hire You
Most new home inspectors look for a job, which is required in about a third of the states with mandatory “apprenticeship” periods. By choosing a reputable company to work for, you can focus on gaining valuable experience as a home inspector without having to worry about the practical aspects of running a business.
Get the Right Home Inspection Business Insurance
Different states have different requirements for home inspectors in terms of professional insurance. The most common type of insurance required is called Errors and Omissions (E&O).
E&O insurance protects you from being held liable if a mistake is made on a home inspection report that causes financial loss for the homeowners. Professional liability insurance protects you and your employer from any accidents or injuries that occur on a job site.
There are many professional insurance providers to choose from. We recommend The Hartford because they offer a variety of insurance products to meet the needs of home inspectors in most states.
Understand Your Continuing Education & Professional Development Requirements
In states where a license is required to act as a home inspector, continuing education (CE) and ongoing professional development are most likely required.
These events help you stay informed about what is happening in the home inspection industry. They cover topics like tools and customer service strategies. They can be helpful for anyone considering making home inspection their career.
There are continuing education requirements that differ depending on the state, but usually, 10 to 20 hours of professional development or CE is needed to be completed every two years.
How to Become a Home Inspector FAQs
Now that you’ve learned how to become a home inspector, you can start your new career! Review the frequently asked questions below before you get started.
Can you make good money as a home inspector?
The earning potential for home inspectors is increasing. The median income for home inspectors in the United States is $58,000, and if you own your own business, you could earn even more. This is good news for anyone thinking about becoming a home inspector. But it gets even better—the earning potential for home inspectors is on the rise.
If you generate trust and confidence with real estate professionals, you will be more successful financially as a home inspector. Real estate agents value home inspectors who are skilled and reliable. If you can build a group of loyal clients who trust you and you develop your skills over time, you will be successful as a home inspector.
Are home inspectors in high demand?
Home inspectors are always in high demand because they are a part of the process of buying a home.
The home inspector’s role is closely linked to the real estate transaction and market. Changes in consumer demand for inspection services often occur as a result of market fluctuations.
Can I make home inspection my side hustle?
Many real estate agents who are just starting out begin working part-time, and many professionals in the building trades supplement their income by doing home inspections on the side. This can be a valuable strategy for those with experience building homes, as they already have the necessary knowledge to assess a home’s condition thoroughly.
Working as a home inspector is not as physically demanding as being a carpenter, framer, or roofer, making it a good after-work or weekend job that you could transition into full time.
How long does it take to become a home inspector?
In some states, you can become a home inspector in less than a day, without any prelicense education or exam.
It typically takes six weeks to go from not having a license to being able to work as a home inspector.
State-by-State Home Inspector Licensing Requirements for 2022 (Map)
In Alabama, home inspectors are licensed annually and must renew their license every year. No continuing education is required for home inspectors in Alabama. The Alabama Building Commission is the regulatory body for home inspectors.
1). Complete and file a notarized home inspector application and mail to:
(334) 240-7300 The Alabama Building Commission requests that home inspectors register with their office. Registration can be done by mail or in person, and inspectors must provide evidence of their qualifications.
You will need to show proof that you have met the standards and ethics examination requirements of the American Society of Home Inspectors, as well as proof that you have passed the National Home Inspector Examination administered by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors.
You will need to provide proof of insurance coverage for errors and omissions in the amount of $250,000, and liability insurance in the amount of $20,000 for injury or damage to property, $50,000 for injury or damage to any one person, and $100,000 for injury or damage, including death, to more than one person.
You will need to provide proof that you meet the qualifications listed on the application.
The registration fee is $300.00, to be paid with a cashier check, money order, or bank check.
Alabama Building Commission
The RSA Plaza is located at 770 Washington Ave, Suite 470 in Montgomery, Al. The phone number is (334) 242-4082.
P O Box 301150 Montgomery, Al 36130-1150
Alaska home inspectors need to renew their licenses every 2 years and take continuing education courses as required by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.
In order to legally inspect homes in Alaska, inspectors must first obtain an Alaska Business License. This can be done by registering as a new home inspector, an existing home inspector, or through joint registration.
The appropriate certification can be obtained by completing the Alaska licensing application.
An individual who wants to be a home inspector must have a $10,000 bond, which will go into effect on January 1, 2015.
In Arizona, home inspectors are regulated and have to renew their license annually. They are required to do continuing education, which is 14 hours in the first year and 7 hours each year after.
You need to complete a minimum of 84 hours of training and have the required amount of experience before you can get a home inspector license.
Arizona’s Board of Technical Registration charges a $175 fee for applications. You can find the forms and more information here.
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In Arkansas, home inspectors must be licensed. The Home Inspector Registration Board regulates home inspectors and licenses must be renewed annually. No experience is required, but 80 pre-licensing hours are required, as well as 14 annual hours of CE.
The Board requires that home inspector training be completed at a school with an approved curriculum. Eighty hours of classroom training are necessary, and online or correspondence courses will not be accepted.
The Board has given its approval for a list of schools to teach the “pre-registration” curriculum.
According to the Arkansas code, home inspection regulations are put in place in order to protect the public from unqualified home inspectors. Furthermore, the code states that home inspectors must meet certain qualifications in order to be licensed in Arkansas. Finally, the code outlines the specific duties and responsibilities of home inspectors in the state of Arkansas.
You can download the registration application form from the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board office website or request one by telephone at (501) 683-3710.
The registration fee is $250.00 per year. However, for applications received between July 1 and December 31, the fee is $375. That registers you for the balance of the year plus the following calendar year.
Since January 1, 2015, they have had new rules and procedures in place.
We have a guide that can show you how to become a California home inspector for free.
There is no state regulation of California home inspectors, but there are restrictions on unethical practices, according to the California Trade Practice Act of 1996.
The law encourages courts to take into account the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of ASHI and CREIA when making decisions about whether an inspection meets the necessary standard of care.
To learn more about contractor licensing in California, you can visit the website for the California Contractors State License Board.
24 Hour Licensing & Consumer Information: 1-800-321-2752
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There is currently no regulation of home inspectors in the state of Colorado. A bill proposing to require licenses for home inspectors was narrowly voted down in 2017. Therefore, when clients and agents are considering hiring a home inspector, they will want to see customer reviews and some kind of training or certification.
In Colorado, it is competitive to become a home inspector. There is more to starting a business than just a license. Our guide can help you become a home inspector in Colorado.
Home inspectors in Connecticut are regulated by the Department of Consumer Protection. They are required to renew their license every two years. To become a licensed home inspector, you must complete 40 hours of pre-licensing coursework and 20 hours of continuing education. The Department of Consumer Protection has a list of approved home inspection schools and pre-licensing courses on their website.
To be eligible for a home inspector license, an applicant must:
1) Have successfully completed high school or its equivalent;
The person must have earned a permit to work as a home inspector intern and must have completed at least 100 home inspections in accordance with the requirements outlined in section 20-493b.
The department requires that you pass an oral, written, or electronic competency examination before you can continue.
4) Paid a fee of $200.
To be eligible for a permit as a home inspector intern, an applicant must:
1) Have successfully completed high school or its equivalent
or equivalent as specified in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 506, Subchapter C You must have enrolled in and completed a board-approved training program or equivalent as specified in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 506, Subchapter C
by this section Each home inspection trainee shall have an identified supervisor who meets all the requirements specified in this section.
4) Have paid a $100 fee
The application can be found here.
Home inspectors in Delaware are regulated by the state. The requirements differ depending on whether you have an active license in another jurisdiction or are applying for a new one.
To become a home inspector in Delaware, you have to either apply to be a home inspector trainee or, if you are a current licensed inspector, you can apply by endorsement.
If you have completed at least 75 inspections under the supervision of a licensed inspector, you can take the exam to earn your own license.
To Take the Exam:
- Submit copies of your classroom or online training certificates. Training must total 140 hours and be approved by ASHI, NAHI, or InterNACHI, as well as proof of your 75 inspections.
- Send the Board verification that you have passed the National Home Inspector Examination®, sent directly from the exam service to the Board office.
Division of Professional Regulation
The Cannon Building is located at 861 Silver Lake Blvd. in Dover, Delaware. Suite 203 is located on the second floor of the building.
Phone – (302) 744-4500 Fax – (302) 739-2711 firstname.lastname@example.org
There are specific licensing requirements in Florida that are different from other states.
Home Inspectors are regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Pre-license requirements:
- 120 hours from one approved training provider
- Pass the NHIE, FABI, InterNACHI, or CI-HPI exam
- Obtain liability insurance
- Pass background check
You need to complete 14 hours of board-approved education every 2 years, as well as pay a $105 fee.
The Home Inspectors Licensing Program is a program that provides licenses to home inspectors. The program is located at 2601 Blair Stone Road in Tallahassee, Florida.
Top Markets in Florida
Boca Raton-Pompano Beach
There is no state regulation of home inspectors in Georgia at this time.
It is advised that you have liability insurance and are certified through a credible home inspection training organization.
Even without government regulation, there is still a lot of work to do if you want to start your own business. We have created a comprehensive guide here that is specific to the state of Georgia.
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At this time, the state of Hawaii does not have a licensing requirement in place to become a home inspector.
At present, there is no regulation of home inspectors by the state of Idaho.
You should get liability insurance and get certified through a reputable home inspection training association.
If you want to become a home inspector in Illinois, we have a guide that covers everything you need to know.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regulates home inspectors.
The requirements to become a licensed home inspector:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Obtain high school diploma or GED
- Complete 60 hours of pre-license education from an approved provider
- Complete 5 ride alongs with a licensed inspector
- Pass the Home Inspector Exam for Illinois (Consists of NHIE plus a section on Illinois specific statutes & regulations)
- Submit application and pay fee
The Division of Professional Regulation is responsible for regulating a variety of professions in the state of Illinois. These professions include, but are not limited to, doctors, lawyers, and accountants. The Division is located at 320 W. Washington St. in Springfield, IL.
Telephone: (217) 785-0800 Fax: (217) 782-7645