Pursuing a career as a home inspector offers a compelling path to individuals seeking to contribute to the safety and well-being of their community while still experiencing an occupation with flexible hours and independence.
As a home inspector, your career will fulfill a critical role in public health and safety while offering you a rewarding, dynamic, and potentially even lucrative professional experience.
How long does it take?
A 200 hour self paced online course should take about 12 months. Of course you may work at your own pace and complete it even faster.
Also, the amount of time it will take to gain the necessary credentials to become a home inspector will wildly vary depending on state and county requirements. Most students, regardless of location, may end up needing at least 1 to 2 years of education, excluding state-required work experience (typically an apprenticeship).
Some jurisdictions have home inspector licensing or registration laws that additionally require a classroom, fieldwork, and association membership component.
States that require licensing may have 2 levels of advancement. You may elect to become a professional home inspector, which enables you to work independently, or a real estate inspector, where you must work under the assistance of a senior inspector or company.
A professional home inspector license requires 110 hours of education to fulfill a national requirement, in addition to any potential state requirements on top of that. A real estate inspector requires 90 national education hours, in addition to any state requirements.
How much does it cost?
The cost of any decent educational or certificate programs to become a home inspector typically ranges between $2,500 and $3,000.
There are no Associate’s degree programs (or higher) offered specifically for home inspectors, though many home inspectors are tradespeople who previously received higher education in a specific skilled trade such as HVAC maintenance or plumbing.
What will you study?
- Standard procedures: the objectives, scope, processes, and professional guidelines and codes of a home inspection.
- Drafting reports: the components and common practices involved in writing a home inspection report.
- Construction standards: the materials and methods used in residential construction, as well as common defects found and how to appropriately report them.
- Equipment: the types of personal protective equipment and home inspection tools used.
Benefits of a class
Enrolling in a home inspector training course can give prospective inspectors a competitive advantage when preparing for certification exams, as well as when seeking employment:
- Many home inspector certification programs are available online, enabling students to potentially supplement their training with additional educational opportunities for construction work and other skilled trades.
- Online courses are typically self-paced, enabling flexibility for working professionals while also granting students the option to finish a program faster than an in-person vocational college certificate.
- Pursuing a 200-hour course enables you to fulfill national requirements for both a professional home inspector’s license and a real estate inspector’s license while addressing any additional certification programs, such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) certificate.
Average Salary Nationwide
Salaries for home inspectors nationwide typically range between $43,000 to $73,500 per year, averaging $60,646 annually. The top ten percent of home inspectors may earn up to $100,000 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.
Certifications and Exams
A career as a home inspector demands a versatile skillset that may vary depending on your experience in the skilled trades and construction. While certain national requirements are fixed, state- and county-specific requirements needed to begin practicing may vary.
Different organizations additionally offer licenses, providing a range of options for any prospective home inspector.
The only nationally-mandatory certification required for becoming a home inspector is the National Home Inspections Exam. Certain states may have specific home inspector exams as well as educational requirements, and individual counties may have varying exams as well. Local requirements for practicing home inspectors may even be unrelated to the specific trade, relating more to business-related permissions for contracted labor.
Though some states may not even require any certifications to become a home inspector, a variety of additional certification programs are available to home inspectors seeking to specialize in a certain field or expand upon their credentials. Organizations including the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) both offer fundamental licensing for home inspectors in addition to specific certification programs, and home inspectors may also seek apprenticeships under the guidance of senior inspectors to gain work experience before working independently.
What is it?
Your job as a home inspector is to evaluate residential properties before their purchase, ensuring their construction complies with local and widespread regulations and codes. When surveying properties, home inspectors are tasked with identifying any defects in the construction, plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems that either may not comply with laws and regulations or that could pose a hazard to occupants.
Job Duties & Responsibilities
A typical job for a home inspector will mainly involve walking around the home and assessing every part of it. While there are certain benchmarks all homes must comply with, home inspectors will need a keen eye to evaluate the specific peculiarities of every house.
Here are some are typically items that need inspecting:
- Check the basements and attics of houses for moisture, cracks, leaks, and foundational issues, additionally evaluating if any vents in the attic are functioning optimally.
- Assess the electrical system and circuit board of the house, making sure all wiring is safe and properly set up.
- Inspect plumbing in the kitchen and bathrooms for cracks and leaks, and evaluate the function of water heater systems.
- Inspect HVAC/R systems to make sure they first and foremost function, as well as evaluate if the system is installed correctly.
- Examine bedrooms for uneven floors and ceilings, watching out for any cracks or stains that may indicate a more serious issue, also checking if all windows and doors are working safely.
- Evaluate all kitchen appliances, including ovens, sinks, garbage disposals, and ventilation systems to see if they work optimally.
- Evaluate the exteriors of houses, including their sheds, garages, and gutters, for cracks, damage, and rot.
Can you make a career out of it?
Working as a home inspector has great potential as a full-time occupation. Offering flexible hours and the independence of being your own boss, a career as a home inspector has a very high ceiling to what you can earn, with the top 10% of home inspectors earning up to 6 figures.
Can it be a side gig?
Though working full-time as a home inspector is a viable option for some, others may choose to supplement their current career with a part-time, more flexible earning opportunity. Startup costs to become a home inspector are low in comparison to other trades, as is the required amount of prerequisite education and training. In addition, one inspection can take between 2 and 3 hours to complete for a 2,000-square-foot home, offering an efficient way to make between $325 to $600 for just a few hours of labor.
How do they interact with real estate agents?
Home inspectors work in tandem with real estate agents to ensure customers find a safe and comfortable home well-suited to their needs. While a real estate agent’s task is to help people find a home, home inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the property is suitable to live in.