National Home Inspector Exam
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What to Know About the National Home Inspector Exam®

The National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) ® is the only home inspector exam with independent accreditation in the U.S. Not all states require home inspectors to take this exam, but home inspectors who have completed the NHIE® can win business from buyers, sellers, developers, and real estate agents.

What is the National Home Inspector Exam®

The NHIE evaluates the competency of home inspection professionals. It verifies the knowledge and understanding necessary to provide valid home inspections. The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors administers the exam.

Thirty-five states in the U.S. and several Canadian provinces use the NHIE for home inspector regulation. It is also a membership requirement for organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors, the American Institute of Inspectors, the Hawaii Association of Home Inspectors, and the California Real Estate Inspection Association.

What states do not regulate home inspections?

The states that don’t require home inspectors to be certified by the NHIE exam are:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

North Carolina is an outlier with its own state-created exam.

Home inspectors in non-regulated states are encouraged to take the exam. The passage of the NHIE can help you market your home inspection business and stand out from the competition.

the National Home Inspector Exam

What is the National Home Inspector Exam® fee?

The NHIE fee is $225 in most states. You must pay for it when you register for the exam. 

If you take a re-examination, you must pay the original examination fee for each test. There are no limits to the number of times an individual may test.

The NHIE® specifications

You will have four hours to complete the exam. There are 200 questions though the first 25 questions are ‘pretest’ and not scored. It is scored on a scale from 200 to 800, and the passing score is 500. You will receive a passing grade if you answer enough questions to meet or exceed the passing score. If you fail the exam, you must wait 30 days before retaking it.

Who is eligible to take the NHIE®?

Anyone interested in becoming a home inspector in the US can take the exam. Submit an application, pay the fees, pass the exam, and undergo a background check. You may need to undergo further requirements depending on the state. Check online for your state to determine your specific requirements.

How do I register for the exam?

If you want to take the NHIE, you must attend testing locations in your state. You can check the NHIE website for more information about the exam.

There are more than 300 testing centers in North America. The NHIE is available at any testing center during business hours. 

Advance registration is required. Examinees can register online.

What if I need to reschedule the exam?

You may reschedule or cancel your exam with no penalty at least four business days before the exam date. You will have to pay the full fee if you cancel the exam less than four business days before the scheduled date.

What does the NHIE® cover?

Before taking the NHIE, review the exam content outline. The NHIE® exam covers professional practices, inspection methods, reporting, and building systems. Examinees must know how to examine the property’s exterior and interior. Other areas that home inspectors check are also included in the exam.

Here are the aspects of the home inspection business that are covered in the exam:

  • Inspection methods
  • Reporting
  • Exterior and interior. Electrical, heating, and cooling systems, plumbing systems, fireplace, chimney, and roofing.
  • Professional practice
the National Home Inspector Exam

Registration requirements in different states

Tennessee and Oklahoma

The states of Tennessee and Oklahoma have contracted with PSI, Inc. to administer the National Home Inspector Examination.

Illinois, South Dakota, and Washington

Illinois, South Dakota, and Washington add state-specific questions to the exam. Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) administer the NHIE in Illinois, South Dakota, and Washington.


Florida has elected to add state-specific questions to the National Home Inspector Examination. PearsonVUE administers the National Home Inspector Examination in Florida.

Texas and Nevada

Texas and Nevada have a contract with PearsonVUE to administer the NHIE.

Other states

EBPHI contracts with PSI, Inc. to administer the NHIE at more than 220 proctored test centers.

How is the test scored?

The NHIE scores an exam from 200 to 800, with 500 as the passing score. How many questions you answer correctly determines whether you fail or pass. 

Using your score report

If you take this exam to qualify for licensing, contact the regulating agency to ask how to submit your passing score report. At PSI, Inc. test centers, you will receive an original copy of your score report. Contact them if you are taking the exam through a different test administrator.

Upon passing the NHIE, you can also add your credentials to the Home Inspector Database on its website. When you enter your name into the Inspector Database, you will receive a communications toolkit. Submit your information online.

the National Home Inspector Exam

How to prepare for the National Home Inspector Exam®

NHIE® practice test

You can purchase one or all online practice exams the NHIE website offers. Practice the exam from the comfort of your home or anywhere you can access the internet. 

Download an outline of the content to get ready for the exam.

NHIE® study guide

The Mechanical and Content Manual and Structural and Business Manuals are available on the NHIE website individually or as a set. 

You can get the “Mechanical and Content Manual” and the “Structural and Business Manual” to prepare for the exam. Each question on the NHIE is referenced from an authoritative source or based on the consensus of the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s).

Starting a new career and small business can be exciting but also scary. If you are considering a home inspector career, the NHIE® website offers step-by-step instructions and manuals to study for the exam. Contact the NHIE® today and get a jump on your career as a home inspector.