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How to Become a Certified Home Inspector in Alabama

Home inspector

Alabama residents have a straightforward path to home inspector certification and licensing. It all begins with a great education, which is what ICA School does best. Unlike many other states that have exhaustive licensing requirements, Alabama helps new inspectors get to work quickly.

Here’s what you need to know about compliance in the Cotton State.

Get an Education Through a Reputable Home Inspection Certification Program

Although Alabama doesn’t explicitly require home inspector education, it does require a passing grade on the National Home Inspector Exam. Without substantial inspection industry experience, passing the exam, which isn’t cheap, is a real challenge.

If you enroll in a reputable education program, you’ll learn about home systems, defects to look for and how to perform an inspection. If you train with ICA School, you’ll also get valuable business and marketing education and over 20 downloadable supplementary materials, such as termite inspections and inspecting for radon. After you’re certified, you’ll be ready for the next stage: passing the exam.

Obtain Membership in a Nationally Recognized Home Inspector Association

Alabama is forward-thinking in that it requires membership in one of the nationally recognized home inspector associations, such as ASHI. Instead of heavy-handed regulation at the state level by committees that might know little or nothing about the industry, Alabama lets inspectors be responsible for each other through association membership.

While this might seem like an unnecessary burden, membership actually a useful business tool. You’ll have access to continuing education, national and local meetings and a network of other inspectors. You’ll also have a code of ethics and industry Standards of Practice to adhere to.

Home inspector

Shop around for insurance before committing to a policy. Rates vary and so does coverage.

Get E&O and Liability Insurance in Order

Licensed home inspectors in Alabama need two type of insurance: errors and omissions plus liability. Errors and Omissions, more commonly known as E&O, is sometimes overlooked in states that don’t require it. But this type of insurance protects you and your personal assets in case you make an error on a report that causes a customer health, safety or financial loss.

Liability is the more common of the two types of insurance. It covers any damage that you might cause on the job. If you drop your flashlight off a balcony and is smashes through a glass coffee table, liability covers it. If you fail to spot a hole in the roof or another defect that costs the customer, E&O covers that.

Submit a Notarized Alabama Home Inspector License Application

The last step is the Alabama home inspector license application. You’ll need a notarized copy plus the $300 licensing fee, explains the Alabama Building Commission, and all of the application requirements must be fulfilled before it’s submitted.

Although many inspectors qualify for licensing through association membership, Alabama makes exceptions for certain people. If you hold one of these certifications, approvals or licenses, you can skip the association:

  • International Code of Congress
  • U.S. Veterans Administration
  • Council of American Building Officials
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • General contractor
  • Registered professional architect
  • Registered professional engineer
  • Residential home builder

In the absence of any requirement, Alabama makes one more exception. As long as you have a diploma or GED, you can become licensed after working for one year as an inspector and completing 100 inspections. This is obviously difficult to do if you can’t legally work without a license. The provision exists to fast-track licensing for people who have worked elsewhere before applying for an Alabama license.

If you’re in Alabama and you want a new career, home inspecting is worth more than a passing glance. You’ll have the freedom to build a business on your own terms and grow it at a pace that you’re comfortable with. If that sounds like the path for you, ICA School can help make it a reality. Enroll now and learn at your own pace.

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