Home Inspector Salary: How Much Do Home Inspectors Make?
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Average Home Inspector Salaries at a Glance
- Average U.S. national base salary: $53,225-$61,091 per year
- Average home inspector commission: $32,000 per year
- Top 5 highest-paying states: New York ($67,952 average), New Hampshire ($65,844 average), California ($65,171 average), Vermont ($62,208 average), Idaho ($61,397 average)
- Top 5 highest-paying cities: Chantilly, VA; San Juan, PR; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN
(Sources: Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com)
If you think a career as a home inspector might be in your future, you’ll probably want to know how much home inspectors can make. The average salary can vary greatly by state and city, and salaries are also affected by a home inspector’s skill level and years of experience. However, home inspectors in most areas of the United States can earn quite a good living, and there are good opportunities for advancement and increased earning power. The national average for home inspector salaries ranges from $53,225-$61,091 per year. Additionally, some home inspectors can earn extra commissions on their work, which averages around $32,000 per year.
Each state has its own set of requirements for becoming a home inspector, which can impact the supply and demand for home inspectors, and subsequently how much they can earn. Some state requirements include home inspector certification, a home inspector license, online training, and hands-on experience. Home inspector insurance may also be required for those who are self- employed. Depending on the state requirements to begin a career in home inspection, it’s important to remember that there may be some significant up-front costs to recoup first.
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It’s also worth noting that a self-employed home inspector salary will likely differ from that of an employee of a home inspection company, and can often be higher than that of an employee on a set income. Self-employed inspectors have more control over their earnings because they can set their own inspection fees and enjoy more scheduling flexibility to meet clients’ needs. However, a company or government employee might enjoy additional benefits beyond the salary such as paid time off, assistance with insurance, fuel discounts or reimbursement, and 401(k) matching.
Self-employed home inspectors earn the price of each home inspection, minus any business expenses such as travel time, gas, inspection software, marketing, and office expenses. In addition to location, the number of inspections an independent inspector performs each year largely determines an annual salary.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) offers a formula for self-employed home inspectors to use to determine how much to charge per inspection. This includes setting an hourly rate that will cover the value of the inspector’s time minus business overhead. Other factors contribute to how to set a home inspection rate is the local real estate market, demand and competition for home inspections, and general health of the economy. Based on all of these factors, most home inspections will be priced in the $300-$500 range.
Online listings for average home inspection salaries vary for a few reasons, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exact figures. Furthermore, many home inspectors work part time, so those yearly salaries would lower a median figure. The going rate for home inspections is partly tied to a fluctuating real estate market, as well. And, as noted earlier, self-employed home inspectors’ salaries differ from those of home inspectors who work for a larger home inspection company.
Show Me the Money: How Much Home Inspectors Can Make
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As of April 2021, Indeed says the nationwide median home inspection salary is $53,184, with a possible $32,000 in additional commission income per year. However, Glassdoor notes that the nationwide median salary is $48,361, and ZipRecruiter states the median home inspection income should come in at $61,091. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2020 median annual pay rate is $62,860. However, this estimate includes the construction and commercial building inspection fields, too, so it isn’t entirely accurate in regard to home inspector salaries in particular. If you average all of these estimates, the U.S. median home inspector salary is $56,374.
Average home inspector salaries can vary widely by state. The are the states with the top annual salaries are:
|State||Average Annual Salary||Average Hourly Rate|
In addition to varying by state, how much a home inspector can expect to make can vary widely by city. For example a home inspection salary in Denver, Colorado, will differ from a home inspection salary in Austin, Texas. As you can probably guess, home inspector salaries are greater in cities with robust and high-value reale estate markets, which is why home inspectors in Califoria cities earn, on average, more than other U.S. cities. The top five cities with home inspector salaries higher than the median are:
|City||Average Annual Salary||Average Hourly Rate|
|Santa Clara, CA||$73,911||$35.53|
|San Francisco, CA||$73,889||$35.52|
|San Jose, CA||$69,437||$33.38|
Of course, monetary compensation isn’t the only benefit home inspectors can enjoy. According to Indeed.com, the most common employment benefits enjoyed by home inspectors include employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs), fuel discounts, flexible schedules, and 401(k) matching.
In the home inspection field, like most other industries, salaries typically increase with an inspector’s level of experience and years in the field. A home inspector’s ability to deliver the kind of work that earns an excellent reputation and accolades on sites such as home inspectors’ reviews on Yelp can also significantly affect earning power and yearly salary. Successful home inspectors need well-honed people skills to work face-to-face with clients and to network with realtors and home builders. Self-employed home inspector also need the ability to work closely and collaborate with local realtors to build a professional network over time. High-earning home inspectors also need to invest in the right marketing materials such as websites and advertising, and they’ll need to be media savvy in order to create an online presence on social media and professional networking sites.
How much home inspectors make can vary significantly, based on a few factors. Most notably, earning power and average home inspector salaries vary by location and whether an inspector is self-employed and works independently, or is an employee for a larger home inspection company. Independent home inspectors can earn more by having more control over how much they make through business savvy and the volume and quality of their work. Potential customers prefer well-trained and well-connected home inspectors who come highly recommended over a cheap home inspection by a party they may not know and trust.
If you see a career in home inspection in your future, it’s worthwhile to research your state’s specific requirements to work in the field. Even if your state doesn’t require home inspection certification, a llicense, or completion of a specialized home inspection courses, it still makes sense to get the best training you can find. Solid industry knowledge translates to better home inspections, which in turn will contribute to a better bottom line when it comes to your salary.