How to Become a Home Inspector

Three Parts:Education and TrainingTesting and CertificationFinding Work

If you are interested in getting involved in the real estate business, but the bones and base of a house are more interesting to you than the sales and closing process, a career as a home inspector might be worth pursuing. Home inspectors take a detailed look at properties and report defects and problems that buyers and sellers need to know about. Become a home inspector by educating and training yourself, taking a test to get certified and looking for work in the field.

Part 1
Education and Training

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    Take some classes in home inspections. Even if you have experience in construction, plumbing or electric work, a course in home inspections will help you focus on what inspectors must look for.
    • Look for online learning opportunities. Many training programs can be found through national educators such as Kaplan, ITT or AHIT.
    • Check with your local community college. You can find instruction for new home inspectors as well as experienced inspectors in local classrooms.
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    Work with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This organization offers its members ongoing training and educational opportunities.
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    Find ways to get hands-on experience. Accompany a home inspector to a property and watch how he or she works. Ask questions and take notes.

Part 2
Testing and Certification

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    Check the regulations in your state. Each state has its own set of guidelines and requirements for home inspectors.
    • Contact your state's licensing board for information on what kind of certification, if any, is required. You can also utilize ASHI, which often has state and local chapters to help.
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    Register for any required testing. Even if your state does not require testing and certification, it is a good idea to take and pass a national home inspector test. It will add to your credibility when looking for work.
    • Take the National Home Inspector Board Exam, administered by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors. This 4 hour exam consists of 200 question and you are graded on a scale of 200 to 800. A passing score is 500. It will cost around $225 to take this test.
    • Take the Online Inspector Exam, which is free and takes only about an hour to complete. There are 100 questions, and you can earn a score of 0 to 100. A passing score is 80. This test is administered by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
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    Look for as many certification opportunities as you can find. Your state might require you to pass an exam and earn a certification. You can also be certified by organizations such as ASHI and the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
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    Pay any fees associated with certification. Some states will not require certification, but will expect you to pay for a license to do home inspections.

Part 3
Finding Work

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    Join a company. You can look for property inspection companies that may be hiring or inquire about opportunities with existing businesses.
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    Start your own business. You can work on a contract or freelance basis on your own, or get together with some other inspectors to start a home inspection business.
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    Market yourself. Promote your experience, training, certifications and other abilities, such as low prices, fast turnaround and immediate appointments.
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    Utilize your membership in ASHI and other groups to conduct marketing and networking. National and local organizations can help you find opportunities and build your brand.
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    Develop good relationships with real estate agents. Their clients will often look for referrals when it comes to getting an inspection, and real estate agents can provide your name.


  • Continue your education. Many property inspectors take classes and stay current in their field so they can grow their businesses or diversify into other areas, such as construction or building inspections.

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs