It’s no secret that home inspectors play a crucial role in the home-buying process, providing professional assessments and guidance to help buyers make educated decisions. Now, as would-be homebuyers look toward a promising economy in 2024, inspectors may be busier than ever before. In fact, some studies suggest that the United States home inspection sector could produce $5 billion in revenue this year alone. This growing career field is a great option for professionals seeking career growth and flexibility. If you’d like to learn how to train to be a home inspector, start by following these steps.
Training to Be a Home Inspector: Education
Before you can train to be a home inspector, you’ll need to check your state’s requirements for the field. Some states have more stringent requirements than others; for example, Illinois requires that future home inspectors complete a 60-hour course to prepare for the Illinois Home Inspector Exam, while New York requires 140 hours of total pre-licensing experience. While state requirements vary, most preliminary home inspector education courses include the following:
- Exterior and roof inspection standards
- Interior and appliance inspection standards
- Basic structural inspection guidance
- Attic, insulation, and ventilation guidance
- Residential guidance, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC inspection standards
After completing your preliminary education requirements, you’re ready to move on to supervised field inspections.
Perform Supervised Field Inspections
Most states require that future home inspectors complete a series of supervised field inspections. These inspections usually involve evaluating actual residential properties inside and out. During the inspection, trainees will receive guidance and feedback from trained home inspectors with years of experience in the field. Most states require multiple supervised inspections before trainees are allowed to sit for their certification exams.
Pass National and State Home Inspector Exams
After completing your preliminary education and supervised field inspections, you’re ready to sit for your certification exams. Some states only require one exam: the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE). This exam is generally considered the national standard for professional home inspectors, though some states may require additional testing. Prior to sitting for the exam, trainees can review online study materials and take practice quizzes to test their knowledge. To bolster your knowledge, you can also register for online and in-person courses offered by American Home Inspection Training or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
On the day of your exam, you’ll arrive at a designated proctoring facility to take the test in person. Some states work with different proctors, so be sure to double-check your state’s requirements and find a facility near you.
Complete Training and Get Your License
After passing your required exams, you’ll be eligible to become a licensed home inspector. That process generally includes undergoing a background check, submitting your license application and paying the associated fees, and purchasing insurance. To see the full list of steps per state, visit the NHIE website.
After receiving your license, be sure to keep up with your state’s renewal requirements. For example, the state of New York requires that inspectors undergo a license renewal cycle every two years, which sometimes includes additional certifications or testing.
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