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Training to Be a Home Inspector

Home inspection training can provide the basis for a career as a home inspector. Certification allows some inspectors to enforce local codes and ordinances, provide home inspection reports to various parties, and approve sales contracts for homes. A home inspection is an important part of property transactions and requires a thorough knowledge of property construction. A qualified home inspection professional may work with mortgage lenders, real estate appraisers, relocation companies, and attorneys.

Job Description and Responsibilities after Home Inspection Training

Home inspector training can take place in a formal setting at various schools, or independently in a home study format or online course. Upon completion of certification, candidates are expected to:

  • Communicate with local officials and the general public
  • Work with attorneys, real estate professionals, and mortgage lenders on a regular basis
  • Provide accurate and relevant information upon each inspection
  • Understand the language of sales contracts and provide appropriate information
  • Learn about hazards and code violations
  • Understand both national and local codes
  • Determine the physical condition and value of a home
  • Refer clients to appropriate specialists for evaluation
  • Comply with codes administered by the International Code Council

Career Options After a Home Inspection Course

A home inspection education can offer one the opportunity to work in a variety of fields. It allows candidates to pursue a career as:

  • Independent contractors

  • A part of a firm or business in real estate

  • Partners with real estate appraisers and companies

  • Workers in construction trades

  • Building inspectors who are involved with structural quality

  • Plan examiners who determine structure compliance

  • Electrical inspectors to install and examine electrical systems

  • Mechanical inspectors for the installation and operation of commercial equipment

Home Inspection Certification and Training

In order to obtain certification, prospective candidates will need to enroll in a home inspection course program. The standard course will include segments such as:

  • Mold inspection procedures
  • Report writing techniques
  • Professional membership information
  • Marketing and sales opportunities
  • Home inspection tools

The focus of study for many training programs includes:

  • Heating and Ventilation
  • Inspection Report Writing
  • Plumbing
  • Foundations and Soils
  • Roofs and Attics
  • Appliances

Licensing After Home Inspection Training

Each state coordinates various home inspection certification and licensing requirements to comply with real estate property law, although licensure is not required in every state. The Division of Licensing Services from the Department of State offers applications under The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act. Every licensed home inspection school graduate is also required to obtain liability insurance, and a certificate of liability coverage is available through the state secretary.

All new inspectors must have completed high school or its equivalent, and successfully completed a course of study comprised of at least 140 hours. Forty hours must be completed out on the field in an unpaid position. In lieu of this condition, home inspection education can be completed with 100 home inspections and successful completion of a written examination.

The majority of home inspections are visual, and an inspector can use a variety of survey instruments to create their written reports. Direct violations of codes must be reported according to state and national procedures, and not every training program allows graduates to enforce codes themselves.

The International Code Council (ICC) and other professional associations offer various home inspection certifications. The Certified Building Official certification (CBO) and Residential Building Inspector (RBI) are other opportunities available.

Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

Job opportunities and employment prospects look promising for home inspection careers, and the field is projected to grow faster than average through 2014. Many firms specializing in engineering and architecture are searching for qualified home inspectors, and certification can provide a competitive edge. State regulations offer limited entry for a career in this field, and earnings vary by experience and certification. Median earnings for home inspectors were $43,670 in 2004. Related occupations include:

  • Appraisers

  • Construction managers

  • Engineers

  • Surveyors

  • Cartographers

  • Cost estimators

Back to Training to be a Home Inspector



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