Every year, natural disasters leave many people in America with severely damaged homes. If the situation is declared an official disaster, that’s when FEMA steps in to offer assistance. FEMA has the authority to perform a damage inspection and help victims of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other events find the help they need to repair their homes and get their lives back together.
Here’s why you should think about joining the ranks and becoming a FEMA field inspector.
#1: FEMA Field Inspectors Work As Needed
You don’t have to choose between traveling around the country to perform damage inspections and staying close to home. FEMA inspectors are called up when there’s an emergency. The rest of the time, they work their usual jobs.
FEMA inspectors don’t work directly for the government. The agency contracts with two companies: Vanguard Emergency Management and PB Disaster Services. These contractors deploy damage inspectors to the disaster location, where they perform interior and exterior inspections until FEMA has the information they need to determine how much aid the property owner should receive.
Vanguard says they don’t employ FEMA inspectors. You would perform work for them as an independent contractor. PB Disaster Services employs inspectors as part-time temporary employees, and they offer benefits.
#2: FEMA Field Inspector Pay is Competitive
On the surface, damage inspection pay might not seem like it’s worth the effort. They don’t usually publish their rates, but in 2014, Vanguard used their Facebook account to explain a new rate schedule.
- Entry level: $35 per inspection
- Intermediate level: $39 per inspection
- Advanced level: $45 per inspection
People who have performed 500 inspections or fewer make entry level pay. Intermediate pay begins at 501 inspections, and advanced level pay begins as 2,500 inspections.
PB Disaster Services pay inspectors an hourly rate that’s based on experience. New inspectors earn an apprentice rate, and experienced inspectors earn more. They also pay overtime.
The pay rates seem much thinner than you probably earn in your own home inspection business. But FEMA inspections are different. They aren’t as comprehensive, so you could perform several each day of the deployment.
#3: Travel Expenses are Reimbursed
Travel can be costly, and FEMA inspectors pay many of their expenses up front. But both PB Disaster Services and Vanguard Emergency Management offer expense reimbursement.
Covered expenses typically include:
- Personal vehicle mileage
- Rental cars
- Airline tickets
- Laundry services
Vanguard says inspectors should have enough money on hand to cover expenses until the first reimbursement comes through. They explain, “You should expect to sustain yourself financially for at least two weeks until you are able to receive payment from your first approved expense report.”
#4: Both Companies Offer Training
FEMA disaster inspectors come from different walks of life. Some own their own home inspection businesses. Some are construction workers. And some come from completely unrelated industries. To help ensure more consistency in disaster inspections, PB Disaster Services and Vanguard Emergency Management offer training.
PB Disaster Services says they offer training throughout the year, both online and at workshops around the country. Training is required, and they won’t deploy inspectors until it’s complete.
Vanguard Emergency Management training is also offered online and in person.
When a disaster hits a community, the people may be left with mild or serious damage. Some families lose everything. But FEMA can help them rebuild. Through good work of home inspectors like you, people who need help the most get the assistance that lets them start over.
Are you ready to make a difference? Enroll now with ICA School to earn your home inspector certification. From there, you can start your own business and branch out into disaster inspections whenever nature strikes.