As of April 2005, Tennessee has required all home inspectors to hold a state-issued license. The goal was to ensure that only people who held certain standard qualifications endorsed by the state could perform inspections for the public. The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance says, “It’s our mission to protect public health, safety and welfare” through compliance with education and licensure regulations.
If you live in Tennessee and want to become a home inspector, here are the steps you need to take.
Enroll in an Approved Pre-Licensing Education Program
Before applying for a new Tennessee license, you’ll need to complete a home inspection education program. It’s important to choose your education provider wisely. Not every home inspection training program is approved by the Commissioner, but ICA School (education provider approval number 296) fulfills all of their requirements.
You’ll learn about subjects such as interiors, exteriors, roofs, electrical, plumbing and much more. Once you pass all of the coursework, you’ll have a home inspector certification issued by ICA School. Then you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage: licensure application.
Pass the National Home Inspector Examination
More and more, states are taking a consolidated approach to pre-licensing testing. While some states still have their own home inspector exam, Tennessee and many others ask applications to take the National Home Inspector Examination.
ICA School helps prepare you for the exam. Additionally, the State recommends practice tests and other preparation materials available through PSI Exams. Once you’re confident in your knowledge, head to the NHIE website and register to sit for the exam.
Create an Account and Apply for Licensure Online
As long as you’re 18 or older, hold a high school diploma or equivalent and have passed your training, you can apply for a license. Tennessee prefers that all prospective home inspectors register with the TN Department of Commerce and Insurance Online Licensing Services System and create an account. It’s a simple process that only takes a few minutes. From there, you can access the form for new home inspector licensing.
Check out this video created by the Department. It walks you through the process step by step.
You’ll need a copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate, your home inspector education certification and a nonrefundable $300 fee payable to the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Here are a few other items to have on hand:
- Color copy or original NHIE exam test score
- Valid insurance certificate (ACORD form)
- Proof of $500,000 in general liability insurance
- Proof of Errors & Omissions or E&O insurance
For additional information about home inspector licensing in Tennessee, you can contact the Department of Commerce and Insurance directly at:
500 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37243-1138
Licensure isn’t the end of the journey for home inspectors in Tennessee. It’s an ongoing process that keeps the industry safe for consumers and on an even playing field for inspectors. The state requires license renewal every other year. You’ll also need to earn continuing education credits regularly before the renewal period rolls around.
If you’ve been thinking about a career in home inspecting, ICA School is the best place to start. Our program goes well beyond the basic requirements set forth by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance so you can rest easy knowing that your certification equals preparedness for the industry. Enroll now and get started today.