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Do You Need a Home Inspection License?

Home inspection

A growing number of states have home inspection license requirements for anyone performing the service for a fee. For now, the number is a little more than half. If you’re just starting home inspection training or you’ll soon finish up, here’s what you need to know about licensing before working in the field.

Nineteen States Don’t Require a License

As of 2017, 19 states plus Washington DC have no licensing requirements, which means you can get to work right away. With ICA School training, you’ll have an edge on competitors who didn’t invest in an education.

If you live in any of these states, certification shows real estate agents and prospective customers that you know the business.

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Washington DC
  4. Georgia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Idaho
  7. Iowa
  8. Kansas (Recently deregulated)
  9. Maine
  10. Michigan
  11. Minnesota
  12. Missouri
  13. Montana
  14. Nebraska
  15. New Mexico
  16. Ohio
  17. Pennsylvania (But you must join a nonprofit home inspection association)
  18. Rhode Island
  19. Utah
  20. Wyoming

For Everyone Else, Licensing Requirements Vary by State

Just as each state has authority over whether or not to license home inspectors, they also determine licensing requirements. What applies in Virginia might not in Wisconsin. Typically, the steps to licensing cover what type of education is required, which education providers are accepted, whether field inspections are required, exceptions for people transferring in from unlicensed states and many other particulars. Here’s where to find the information you need if you live in a licensing state.

Alabama: Regulated by the State of Alabama Building Commission

Alabama residents should complete a home inspection training program. After earning the certification, the next requirement is joining either the American Society of Home Inspectors or another major membership-based organization. Obtain liability insurance, pass the National Home Inspector Exam, submit the licensing application form and you’re all set.

Alaska: Regulated by The Division of Corporation and Professional Licensing

In Alaska, you’ll need home inspection training plus certification. Once you pass the National exam, you’ll need an Alaska Business License and a $10,000 surety bond.  Submit the online application for an associate home inspector or the home inspector application.

Arkansas: Regulated by the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board

Home inspectors in Arkansas are required to obtain 80 hours of training in a brick-and-mortar classroom environment. You’ll be expected to know Arkansas code that regulates the industry, have a good grasp on the Arkansas Standards and Code of Ethics,  and pass both the national exam and the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics exam.  Submit your application with proof of liability insurance and the nonrefundable fee of either $250 or $375, depending on the month when you register.

Connecticut: Regulated by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection 

New home inspectors in Connecticut need 40 hours of home inspection training, 100 supervised inspections and they must pass the national exam. Submit the appropriate application, either for a home inspector or home inspector intern.

Delaware: Regulated by the Division of Professional Regulation

In Delaware, prospective home inspectors must first register with the state as a Home Inspector Trainee. The State doesn’t list any education requirements. Instead, they require a minimum of 75 supervised inspections and an examination.

Illinois: Regulated by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

In Illinois, you need 60 hours of home inspector education, such as ICA School, plus a minimum of 5 supervised inspections. After submitting the application and passing the Illinois State Home Inspector’s Exam, you’ll have a new license and be ready for work.

Indiana: Regulated by the Professional Licensing Agency 

Indiana has a streamlined process for becoming a new home inspector. The state requires 60 hours of education from an approved provider, an application and a passing grade on the National Home Inspector Exam.

Kentucky: Regulated by the Board of Home Inspectors 

Kentucky has a regulatory body especially for home inspectors. They require 64 hours of education in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting. You’ll need to register with the Board to access their web portal, where you’ll find the information you need for registration and any other requirements.

Home inspection

Field inspections with a supervisor let you learn hands-on before starting your own business.

Louisiana: Regulated by the State Board of Home Inspectors 

Louisiana has rigorous home inspector requirements. You’ll need a completed application, 90 hours of training from a provider such as ICA School and 30 supervised hours in the field. Pass the national exam and you’re all set.

Maryland: Regulated by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation 

In Maryland, you’ll need a minimum of 72 hours of training in a physical classroom environment plus a passing grade on the national exam. Submit the Application for Original Home Inspector License with a nonrefundable $50 fee after completing the educational and testing requirements.

Massachusetts: Regulated by the Board of Registration of Home Inspectors 

Massachusetts also requires in-classroom home inspector education. You’ll need 80 hours of training. Alternatively, you can perform 100 supervised home inspections to qualify for licensure. Sit for and pass the national exam and submit your application to the Board.

Mississippi: Regulated by the Home Inspection Division of the Real Estate Commission 

Residents of Mississippi need 60 hours of home inspection training plus a passing score on the national exam. Obtain both general liability and errors and omissions insurance then submit the licensing application with two fees: $175 for the application and $325 for licensing, both nonrefundable. If you want the state’s “New Home” inspector designation, you’ll also need proof of a current builder’s license and a current International Code Council Certification.

Nevada: Regulated by the Department of Business and Industry

In Nevada, home inspectors are called Inspectors of Structures. The state requires 40 hours of in-person, classroom-style education. The application form is lengthy with numerous requirements, including a fingerprint card, insurance, fees, examination guidelines, work history and more.

New Hampshire: Regulated by the Board of Home Inspectors 

Prospective inspectors in New Hampshire have a few basic requirements. Pass an education course, such as ICA School, that offers at least 90 hours of material, pass the National Home Inspection Exam and submit the board’s application form. If you’ll perform mold inspections, you’ll need an additional certification. Fortunately, ICA School includes training for mold and other hazards in the course package.

New Jersey: Regulated by the Home Inspection Advisory Committee 

You’ll need a substantial amount of brick-and-mortar classroom training to become a home inspector in New Jersey. After passing 140 hours in a classroom, you’ll also need 40 hours of field inspection training. Pass the exam, submit the Application for Licensure as a Home Inspector with the $125 filing fee.

New York: Regulated by the Division of Licensing Services 

New York requires 100 hours of home inspector training in a classroom plus 40 hours in field inspections and a passing grade on the New York written examination for home inspectors. You’ll need application form DOS-1694, which is available in several different languages, and the nonrefundable $250 fee.

North Carolina: Regulated by the Home Inspector Licensure Board 

North Carolina also requires home inspector training in a classroom. Prospective inspectors need 120 hours of education and 80 hours of home inspection training in the field. The state requires an examination and a license application plus three fees including license application ($35), license examination ($80) and license issuance ($160).

Home inspection

Even in states without education requirements, programs such as ICA School give you the tools you need to pass the national exam.

North Dakota: Regulated by the Secretary of State

North Dakota has no educational requirements, but it does require a passing grade on the National Home Inspectors Exam. ICA School training prepares you for that. Submit the license application with a nonrefundable fee of $200 and you’ll be ready to go to work.

Oklahoma: Regulated by the Construction Industries Board 

In Oklahoma, you’ll need 90 hours of education, such as ICA School training, and a passing grade on the Oklahoma Home Inspectors Exam. Submit your application with the nonrefundable application fee of $30 and initial license fee of $250 to the Board for processing and approval.

Oregon: Regulated by the Construction Contractors Board 

Oregon requires experience points to qualify for a home inspector license. After acquiring 20 experience points, you can sit for the national exam and apply for licensure. Training such as ICA School fulfills all of the experience points requirements. Check out the Home Inspector Packet for additional information.

South Carolina: Regulated by the Residential Builders Commission 

In South Carolina, you need 50 hours of home inspection training. ICA School meets the state requirements. Alternatively, you can perform 50 paid home inspections and skip the education, but you’ll still need to sit for the state exam. A passing exam grade allows you to apply for licensure and go to work for yourself or for another company.

South Dakota: Regulated by the Real Estate Commission

South Dakota has a clear-cut process for home inspector licensing. Obtain a minimum of 40 hours in pre-licensing education through a provider such as ICA School, sit for the South Dakota home inspector exam and apply for approval as a registered home inspector. After working in the field for a minimum of one year, you can apply for a full license.

Tennessee Regulated by the Department of Commerce and Insurance 

In Tennessee, you’ll need 90 hours of online or in-class training that ends with certification and a passing grade on the National Home Inspectors Exam. Submit your license application with proof of certification, exam score, proof of insurance, proof of high school graduation or GED and a $300 nonrefundable new license fee.

Texas: Regulated by the Real Estate Commission

Texas has by far the most stringent training requirements of any state. You’ll need 448 hours of education and 250 supervised inspections in the field. Texas has three levels of licensure, as well. Level one is the Apprentice Inspector, which is a necessary step before sitting for the inspector exam. Next comes the Real Estate Inspector, which allows you to work independently but under indirect supervision. The Professional Real Estate Inspector license is the top rung, which allows you to work without supervision.

Vermont: Regulated by the Secretary of State

New to licensing, Vermont requires 80 hours of education, either online or in a classroom, and a passing score on the national exam. Submit the application with a nonrefundable fee of $100 and proof of a passing exam grade.

Virginia: Regulated by the Board for Asbestos, Lead and Home Inspectors 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is also new to licensure, with regulations going into effect this year. You’ll need an approved training course, such as ICA School, 10 supervised field inspections and a passing grade on the National Home Inspector Exam. As requirements are still being added online, check the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for updated information as it’s uploaded.

Washington State: Regulated by the Department of Licensing 

Washington requires 120 hours of in-person classroom training for new home inspectors. Additionally, you’ll need 40 hours of field training. After training, submit your exam application to the Department and earn a passing grade, then apply for licensing. Check the Department website for a breakdown of the numerous related fees.

West Virginia: Regulated by the State Fire Marshal 

In West Virginia, you’ll need 80 hours of education in a classroom setting and a passing grade on either the national exam or the National Association of Home Inspectors exam. Submit your application with a nonrefundable $150 fee and other documentation for approval.

Wisconsin: Regulated by the Department of Safety and Professional Services

Wisconsin doesn’t require pre-licensing education, but it’s a good idea. They do require a passing grade on the Wisconsin Home Inspection Statutes Exam as well as the National Home Inspectors Exam and training prepares you for them. Check out the step-by-step licensing process in a Department flowchart.

There are still a few states that accept no form of online education. Those numbers are changing quickly, as more states learn what’s possible through an online program. Unless your state prohibits online education, ICA School is a great choice. Our education prepares you for the national exam and it includes numerous resources, such as drones and mold inspections, that many competing programs can’t touch.

Don’t put off your new career. Enroll now and start changing your life today.

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