How to Become a Home Inspector in California

Home inspector

ICA School can help show you the way to a rewarding career.


Home inspection is one of the fastest growing professions in America. And in California, prospective inspectors have a few choices to make. The problem is that you won’t find a state-run governing body who can tell you what it takes. That part is up to you.

There’s more to it than going to school, but education is a critical first step for the success of your business. So if you’re ready to learn more about it, here’s what’s on the road ahead of you:

Home inspector

Online training doesn’t have to be an isolating experience.

Find Your Best Education Path

Many of the men and women who decide to train as a home inspector do so as a second career. So while there likely are brick-and-mortar training programs throughout California, such as independent schools, trade schools, and community colleges, online training is a widely accepted and popular choice.

Training online lets you keep your day job while you learn the skills necessary for home inspections. And when you choose a paced program, which is what ICA School offers, you can take it as fast or as slow as you like. You can finish in a few weeks, or longer if you need more time.

Training should cover in-depth the systems that home inspectors encounter every day. Exteriors, interiors, electrical systems and plumbing are part of a comprehensive program. If training on your own makes you uncomfortable, remember that a good school not only has a wealth of instructional materials, but also support from professional inspectors. If you have questions about a topic you’re studying, you should have a way to contact and speak with an instructor directly.

Decide Whether Certification is Right for You

California is one of a few states that has no certification or licensing requirements for home inspectors. So in reality, a person could perform inspections without any training whatsoever. But without the knowledge that’s gained from training, the integrity of those inspections might not be ideal. And membership in any of the state or national organizations might not be possible.

Because there are no requirements in California, no state agency will certify or license you. But you can become certified through some schools, such as ICA School. A certification gives your potential clients more peace of mind that you understand the work and are trained to do it properly.

Certification is also available through the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). After joining CREIA as a Candidate Member and fulfilling all of their requirements, you can apply for status as a CREIA certified home inspector. You can also join InterNACHI, which offers certifications to California inspectors. The important thing is that you aren’t limited to one certification. Certification through your school and through professional organizations serves to build your business and integrity as an inspector.

Home inspector

A construction background is good, but training and certification are important pieces to the puzzle.

Go to Work!

It doesn’t take a lot of time to train and become certified as a home inspector in California. But it does require commitment. In just a few months, you could be well on your way, taking appointments, expanding your professional network, and helping your business grow.

Here is where the difference between a well educated and certified inspector, and one who just put out a shingle with no education, can become apparent. Think about it from the perspective of a customer.

If you were hiring an inspector, which would you prefer? Would it be one who had no professional credentials, or one whose certifications were listed on his business card and backed up in writing? And when one customer is happy, he’ll tell someone else.

With the real estate market in California finally moving in an upward trend again and plenty of homes for sale, the need for inspectors has never been greater. So if you’re ready for a second career or thinking about a first one, home inspecting is a viable option where you have plenty of control.

ICA School is one of the top-rated home inspection training courses in the country. With instructor-led video lessons, an expansive library of reference materials, instructors ready to help, and certification after you pass, it’s also one of the best training values that you can get. Still not sure? Get a free demo and see what makes ICA School training so different.

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