Are you thinking about starting your own home inspection business but need help determining where to begin? Starting a new business in any field can be overwhelming. But if you are eager to learn, willing to try new things, and open to educating yourself about the risks and rewards, then you’re already off to a good start. Determining how to get a home inspector license in your state is one of the first steps you’ll need to take to build a successful home inspection business. Below, we’ll cover some of the basics for getting your home inspection business off to the right start, starting with how to get a home inspector license — and what to do once you have it.
Getting a Home Inspector License
Home inspectors come from various backgrounds. Some inspection business owners find their way to the field as a new way to use their skills or interest in construction, home renovation, HVAC, plumbing, or electrical work. Others come to the home inspection business after working in real estate or property management. Still, others want to start a company where they can work for themselves and dictate their prices, hours, and workload.
There are plenty of good reasons to consider starting a home inspection business. Home inspectors are needed anywhere that people are considering buying, selling, or renovating homes, and they can earn a healthy income.
As you create a plan for your home inspection business, one of the first items to consider is getting a home inspector license.
Home Inspector Requirements
While the housing market has undergone significant changes in the past several years, the need for licensed home inspectors is one thing that has remained constant.
What are the requirements for the job? These are not set in stone and vary slightly depending on your location. In general, though, home inspectors should have the following skills and experience:
- Have familiarity with construction, plumbing, and electricity
- Undergo relevant training or education related to the field
- Have access to tools and equipment needed for the job (including, but not limited to, items like telescoping ladders, GFCI outlet testers, moisture meters, and more)
- Complete the requirements to obtain a home inspector license (if required by the state)
Home Inspector License Requirements by State
Whether or not you need a home inspector license and the requirements to obtain that license vary state by state. While more than half of the U.S. states require home inspectors to be licensed, several do not. Before getting started, we’ve compiled a resource guide for licensing requirements by state. Use that guide to find out the licensing requirements for your state.
Home Inspector License Steps
First, research your state’s home inspection license requirements. Each state has its own regulatory body that oversees the licensing of home inspectors, and these organizations have different prerequisites for licensure. Requirements for education, formal training, certification, hours, and exam scores vary on a state-by-state basis.
For example, to obtain a home inspector license in Tennessee, you must complete 90 hours of state-approved training, carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance, and pass the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE).
To become licensed in Texas, a home inspector must become an apprentice inspector, obtain an intermediate license, show proof of completing state-approved education and training, pass state-approved exams, and show evidence of meeting annual continuing education requirements.
Conversely, home inspectors do not need a license in Pennsylvania. However, they still have to meet the requirements the Attorney General’s office sets forth.
Some states require that you complete a certain number of inspections with a licensed home inspector as part of licensing. Some states are specific about the courses a home inspector must take and pass, while others simply require a certain number of hours. Some states may require little more than an application fee, a background check, and a passing score on a state-approved inspector exam.
Use our guide to find the minimum requirements for licensure set forth by your state. Use those requirements to help guide your next decisions about any necessary classes or training.
Finding Education and Training
Even if your state doesn’t require licensing or education for home inspectors, you should still enroll in training courses. The best way to be prepared to succeed as a home inspector is to stay on top of education and training in your field. It’s also a great way to build your network.
Online and in-person courses offered by American Home Inspection Training or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors can help prepare you for a successful career.
Whether you’re applying for a home inspector license in your state for the first time or seeking to renew your license, check with the state about any updated regulations.
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