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What are the steps to become a home inspector and work independently?

Home inspectors often have job security, great pay, and flexible hours, making this a great option for people seeking a career change. If you’re exploring your options, the first question you have is most likely “how to become a home inspector?” While every state has specific requirements in place, let’s walk through the minimum requirements so you know exactly what to expect.

How to become a home inspector

The first step to becoming a home inspector is to research the inspector license requirements in your state. Because there is no national standard, states can set their own requirements, and in some states, home inspectors are not regulated. For example, home inspectors aren’t regulated in Nebraska, Indiana requires a 60-hour training course while Texas requires 90 hours of coursework and passing an exam. So, before you do anything, find out exactly what you need to do in your state.

Take an approved pre-licensing home inspection course

Most states do require you to take an approved pre-licensing home inspection course, but even if they don’t, we would highly recommend it. You’ll learn how to properly inspect elements of a property, from electrical work to HVAC and structural elements to write accurate reports. Just as important, you’ll gain knowledge related to ethics, business management, and customer service so you can better serve your clients, too!

Pass the National Home Inspection Exam

A majority of states do require you to pass the National Home Inspection Exam (NHIE) prior to gaining your license. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions on three sections:

  • Property and building inspection
  • Analysis of findings and reporting
  • Professional responsibility

Apply for a home inspection license

If your state requires a license to work as a home inspector, you’ll need to apply after passing the exam. You may also need to provide proof of supervised experience with a licensed home inspector. Again, it’s very important to check your state’s licensing requirements.

Purchase liability insurance to protect yourself and your business

Once you’ve been issued your license, you should get Errors & Omissions insurance and liability insurance. This will protect you in the event that a homeowner alleges inaccuracies or mistakes in the inspection report or other issues that could result in a lawsuit. You should not inspect homes without an insurance policy in place.

Maintaining your license with continuing education for home inspectors

To maintain your license and continue to hone your knowledge and expertise, you will need to complete continuing education courses for home inspectors. If you belong to the American Society of Home Inspectors, or other professional organizations, you will need to maintain membership through continuing education. McKissock has individual courses as well as packages to ensure you can meet requirements easily while gaining the information you need to thrive in your career.

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