How to Become a Home Inspector in California

home inspector

California’s real estate market is one of the largest in the nation, with a high volume of home sales and transactions. This creates a steady demand for home inspections.  Learn how you can tap this income stream as a home inspector.

Education & Training

An online training course from a local school is the most convenient way to get started:

Search Home Inspector Programs

Get information on Home Inspector programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Why Take a Course?

You will learn everything you need to know to start your career.

This course is also a critical step toward acquiring a National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) Certified Inspector credential.

Taking an online, self-paced program grants students the flexibility they may need to balance their current careers and busy schedules with their education.

How Long Does It Take?

Most decent certification courses, such as the ones above take about 12 months, or 200 hours of your time.

How Much Does It Cost?

Home inspector certification programs typically cost $900 to $2,500 for the entire course.

What Do You Study?

A typical course geared towards prospective home inspectors will address the following:

  • Equipment: what equipment is used when conducting evaluations of properties, along with appropriate safety procedures and methods of use.
  • Reports: How to write an inspection report and its components, how to report construction issues or malfunctions in homes, and how to document your work appropriately.
  • Procedures: The components and standard procedures of a complete home inspection, including objectives, steps, and guidelines.
  • Construction: Construction basics, including commonly-used construction materials and standards, and location-specific environmental hazards, such as earthquake safety procedures.

Salary Range

Below is some regional data from the BLS:

Area Hourly Annual
Bakersfield $38.22 $79,510.00
Chico $43.71 $90,910.00
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode $40.61 $84,460.00
El Centro $39.85 $82,890.00
Fresno $39.06 $81,240.00
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim $46.05 $95,790.00
Madera $45.72 $95,090.00
Modesto $41.10 $85,490.00
Napa $47.59 $98,990.00
North Coast Region $37.98 $78,990.00
North Valley-Northern Mountains $38.40 $79,880.00
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura $41.60 $86,520.00
Redding $40.45 $84,130.00
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario $40.99 $85,260.00
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade $44.83 $93,250.00
Salinas $44.38 $92,300.00
San Diego-Carlsbad $41.73 $86,790.00
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward $55.72 $115,890.00
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $52.83 $109,880.00
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande $40.43 $84,080.00
Santa Cruz-Watsonville $51.74 $107,620.00
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara $49.89 $103,770.00
Santa Rosa $51.72 $107,570.00
Stockton-Lodi $45.83 $95,320.00
Vallejo-Fairfield $49.46 $102,870.00
Visalia-Porterville $36.61 $76,160.00


California has no licensing requirements for home inspectors.

The only federal requirement for home inspectors is completing the National Home Inspector Exam, which requires prerequisite knowledge of inspection protocol and adjacent skilled trades.

National Home Inspector Examination logo

Furthermore, if you wish to seek employment at a home inspection agency or to be contracted independently by a real estate agent, your employer may still request some prerequisite education to verify your level of competence.

Search Home Inspector Programs

Get information on Home Inspector programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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