In Hawaii, home inspectors don’t have licensure regulations. That simplifies the path between deciding to become an inspector and going to work in the field. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the job.
An education ensures you know how to perform the job correctly. Knowledge about construction, plumbing or electrical makes a good foundation, but a home has those and many other systems. Unless you’re familiar with all of them inside and out, those knowledge gaps limit your effectiveness as an inspector.
If you’ve decided to become a home inspector in Hawaii, here’s how we recommend going about it.
Begin With a Well-Rounded Education
Education is the foundation of a successful career as a certified home inspector. Because Hawaii doesn’t license inspectors, it’s also one of the best ways to help build trust with the community. An education program that offers certification gives you a credential to prove that you know your stuff.
A worthwhile education program teaches you about home systems, how they function and how defects can happen. It helps you spot common defects and those that can stay hidden to the untrained eye for years. Besides teaching you how to inspect a house, it should also offer instruction on running a home inspection business, such as marketing, advertising, and legal issues.
Look Into Home Inspector Association Membership
Although it’s not a requirement, you can join any national home inspector association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and gain another professional credential. Associations usually have state-level meetings and national meetings plus conventions or conferences where you can meet other inspectors and learn what’s trending in the industry. Here’s a list of associations that work with inspectors throughout Hawaii.
Home inspector associations help promote the industry and bring inspectors together with their peers. Each one has similar Standards of Practice, which breaks down what’s expected during a home inspection, a code of ethics and there’s usually a continuing education requirement, as well. In a way, they help regulate the industry by requiring members to uphold certain standards.
Cover All of Your Insurance Bases
If you plan to open your own home inspection business in Hawaii, you’ll need two types of insurance: liability and errors and omissions or E&O. Watch out for the newbie mistake of only getting liability. It’s important, but it can’t protect you against one of the most potentially damaging types of claim, which is overlooking a defect that endangers the customer or influences them to buy a money pit.
Liability insurance pays claims that happen as a result of damage caused on the job. If you break something, spill something or otherwise damage the property, it covers you. E&O insurance pays claims that result from inadvertently reporting inaccurate information and overlooking defects that come back to haunt the customer later.
With your education in order, association membership wrapped up and insurance acquired, you’re ready to open a home inspection business. You’ll have lots of legal issues to cover, such as obtaining a business license and a tax ID number. The SBA has a handy “10 Steps” guide that can help you pull all of the loose ends together.
If you’ve made the decision and you’re ready to get to work, you’re in the right place. ICA School prepares you for a new career in home inspecting and you can learn at your own pace. Enroll now and get started today.