What would you give to start a new career before spring arrives? Would you give a few short weeks of time and study? You can do it with ICA School’s home inspector education program, updated for 2018.
Our program offers 120 credit hours, which satisfies licensing requirements in many states. It’s self-paced. Speed up when you want to and slow down if you need to. There’s no pressure and no rush. You control when you start and how quickly you’ll earn your certification.
In many cases, students dive into the program and finish all 28 course modules in about a month. That’s with concentrated study and few other commitments. You don’t need to move that quickly if you’re not comfortable doing so. Three months affords you an attainable goal that accounts for unexpected setbacks and outside commitments.
Here’s a map to get there:
Consider How Suited You Are for the Home Inspection Industry
Are you a contractor or do you have experience with plumbing, HVAC, or roofing? Any experience will help make learning about home inspections a bit easier. But what might surprise you is that you don’t really need it.
Men and women come to the home inspection industry from project management, IT, and general office work. Parents who have never worked outside the home can thrive as home inspectors. Mechanics can, too. And so can people who recently graduated high school or college.
What’s more important than your background is your interest.
- Do you want to be a home inspector?
- Do you believe that you’re cut out for it?
- How do you know?
Spend a little time getting to know what home inspectors do. You can do general research online, but you’ll find more information at the source: a home inspector association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors, also known as ASHI.
An association gives you an authentic feel for the industry. Real estate agents may muse about inspectors and home inspection customers have opinions. But to really know what it’s like from the inside, go to where the pros hang out.
Check out the association’s Standards of Practice. They’re usually linked on their home page. Standards give you the framework for a home inspection and how to go about it. They’re considered the minimum that a certified home inspector can do to protect the customer’s interest and provide a solid report on the home’s condition.
Do you like what you learned? Then you’re ready to move ahead.
Gather Information About State Licensing Requirements
The best first step is to learn all that you can about home inspector licensing requirements in your state. About half of the states require a license, so there’s a chance you won’t need one.
There’s some variety among states that do license. For example, Pennsylvania only requires prospective home inspectors to join a nonprofit professional association. ASHI is a great and well-established choice, but there are others at the national and state level.
In contrast, here are Florida’s licensing requirements:
- 120 hours of education from an approved provider, such as ICA School
- Wind mitigation training, which is provided at no additional cost
- Home inspector certification, which is issued when you complete your training
- A passing grade on the Florida Home Inspection Exam
Some states may offer a blended approach to education with a certain number of allowable hours online and some in a brick-and-mortar classroom. A few states don’t allow online education.
The common thread from one state to the next is education. Even in states that have no licensing requirements, there’s no way to perform the work of a home inspector without it. Even for a home builder or someone else with experience in a construction-related trade, chances are you don’t know all that there is to know about every system included in a home inspection.
To find out where your state stands on licensing and education, click your state on this map. Then get registered.
Get Familiar With the Education Program
The more you know going in, the better prepared you’ll be to sail smoothly through your education. So take a while to familiarize yourself with what’s included in the program and how the interface functions. If you jump in with both feet, you might hit a preventable snag along the way.
ICA School offers a course demo that you can check out in advance. If you’ve wondered how online home inspector training could teach what you need to learn, this is where you’ll find out.
Our approach is different from some programs. We have video lessons led by an experienced home inspector. When you open a course module, you’ll find an easy-to-follow video with slides and narration that you can pause anytime you like. You can also revisit any module at any time.
There’s no script; there’s just a professional who walks you through each slide with an in-depth explanation of everything relevant to the module.
Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll learn:
- Air conditioning
- Inspecting with drones
- Commercial inspections
Because you need more than just the basics, you’ll also learn how to start and grow a home inspection business with these modules:
- Legal and business aspects of home inspecting
- Report writing
If you’re concerned about one-on-one interaction with your instructor, you shouldn’t be. The self-paced nature of ICA School home inspector training means you can study day or night, seven days a week. But if you need help with anything, you only need to email or call (during business hours). An instructor will answer your questions and help you get past any issues that pop up.
Determine Whether or Not You’re Ready to Commit
Home inspector training might not require a hefty chunk of your time, but it does take dedication. And dedication isn’t just required in school. As a self-employed home inspector, you’ll be responsible for every aspect of your business.
These are just a few of the jobs solo home inspectors handle:
- Brand building
- Appointment scheduling
- Continuing education
- Customer communication
- It’s harder than you think
- There’s no such thing as working 9-5
- It’s up to you to sell customers on your business
- You need to make money at it
- Owning a business won’t make you cool (and might make you a nerd)
With all that said, there’s a reason people still start a business; done well, the rewards outweigh the stressors.
Of course, there is no rule that says you’re required to open your own business. With a good education, you can go to work for an established home inspection company. That’s a good way to get your feet wet and learn more about the industry while getting paid for it. You can always open your own business later.
Get Registered and Check Out The Materials
In truth, the most time-consuming part of becoming a home inspector is the preparation. By now, you’ll have done a lot of soul-searching. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll be better acquainted with your strengths and weaknesses as a prospective certified home inspector and business owner. Because you’ve worked through the course demo, you’ll also be prepared for your first course module.
The next step could be the most fulfilling one: get registered.
Enrolling with ICA School is simple. Just fill out the form and make your payment. That’s all it takes to gain access to all of the course modules. Once you do, you’ll find a few perks.
Your program will cover everything outlined on the home inspector training page, but you’ll also get access to an expansive and valuable resource library.
These are just a few of the materials you’ll find:
- Mold: over 800 downloadable pages
- Radon: over 600 downloadable pages
- Indoor air quality: over 200 downloadable pages
- Energy audit ebook
- Septic inspection ebook
- Termite inspection ebook
- International Building Code: over 5,000 downloadable pages
The International Building Code would cost between $150 and $214 if you bought it separately.
Begin at the Beginning: Overview of Home Inspections
You’ve come this far, but now it’s time to really begin. The first course module is aptly titled, “Overview of Home Inspections.” That’s is where you’ll learn about the history of the home inspection industry. Did you know that it’s only a few decades old? And did you know that the industry is still evolving?
In the first module, you’ll find out why home inspections are important for every house and get a general idea about how they’re performed. It gives you a stable foundation for working through all of the modules that follow.
If you’ve never taken courses online before, here’s some advice for making the most out of the experience:
- Be self-motivated. Without any real deadlines besides the ones you impose on yourself, you’ll need it.
- Take advantage of every available resource. Even if you think you’ll never need it, it’s better to experience the whole program than to leave ebooks unread or emails not sent.
- Check your equipment before you start. ICA School is accessible using a home computer or a mobile device, but compatibility is important.
- Conquer time management. It’s easy to waste time or even move too quickly without good time management skills.
- Begin slowly. You probably want to finish as quickly as you can. But at least in the beginning, take it slow.
- Be completely convinced about your readiness to take a test. You can try more than once. But if you study well, you shouldn’t need to.
- To the extent possible, develop a routine for study time and try to work in a quiet space without distractions.
- Reach out to your instructor. Don’t let a question go unanswered or a technical problem go unresolved.
With 28 course modules, you can complete three or four per week and finish in three months with time to space for preparation on the front end.
If you want to start your own business or just want more career options, there’s no better time than now to begin. Enroll now with ICA School’s updated home inspector education program. You’ll be ready when the real estate season kicks into gear this spring.