Tap to Read ➤

How to Become a Home Inspector

Stephen Rampur
Becoming a home inspector is easy, but one certainly needs to meet some prerequisites.
A career as a home inspector involves climbing over, going underneath, and through houses, for examining any flaws or defects which can possibly cause problems to the possessor of the house.
It includes a physical examination of the complete apartment, building, or row house; and drafting an elaborate report on the condition of all parts, mechanical systems, and the overall structure.
The information contained in the report is referred to for taking significant decisions regarding the purchase of that particular property. Home inspectors generally particularize in determining unobserved problems like 'white ants' or 'mold'.
They are mostly employed by insurance firms and financial companies. Nowadays, they have also started using technology such as laptops and digital photography to help them carry out their work in an effective manner.
House owners and prospective home buyers largely depend on these professionals to assist them in providing recommendations regarding their investment.
Home inspectors need to be proficient in examining and scrutinizing the house components and systems, and must know where potential problems could exist. They should have the required knowledge and ability to describe the exact condition of the property in a concise and instructive manner.
If one wants to get into this field, he must undergo training in areas such as house foundation; drainage systems; roofing; plumbing; writing reports; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC); electrical systems; and environmental issues.

Education and Training

In a majority of the states, one is required to complete a certified home inspection course along with a General Educational Development (GED) diploma, or a diploma from high school. Moreover, possessing a college degree in engineering, construction management, or architecture can be advantageous.
If you have done some field work or have hands-on experience in house construction and redevelopment, it is a big plus. Other prerequisites include excellent verbal and written communication, computer awareness, acquaintance with property sales, knowledge of property management, and all legalities of real estate and housing.
You can select a related course from several technical schools, which would facilitate you to gain a certification. There are various related organizations in the US, which also provide online preparation courses.
Such courses include topics like checking gas lines and systems, examining doors and roofs, assessing the house structure, ensuring safety in electrical systems, and evaluating the plumbing and water supply network.

Gain Work Experience

Next, you can search for an opportunity to work under the supervision of a certified professional. Observe what he does and make a note of the duties he performs. You may also work as a trainee or an intern in a home inspection company. This would enable you to understand the job in-depth. In most states, you need to get permission to work as a trainee.

Get Certified

To be eligible to work as a certified practitioner, you need to be accredited by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). For this, you should have passed the National Home Inspector Examination. Other requirements are work experience (at least 250 home inspections), completing suitable training and the inspection reports verified as ASHI-compliant.

Career Prospects

The ASHI estimates that only 77% of homes sold in the US and Canada today are inspected prior to purchase. Which means that the market is still under-served, and there is ample scope for growth in this field. Generally, these professionals earn an average revenue of USD 47,300 per annum, but this figure can vary with the size of the client base one has.