Home Inspection Certification: A Valuable Asset for Firefighters
Firefighters have unique insight into home safety. They witness the results of residential hazards firsthand, from faulty wiring to improperly installed electrical devices. Perhaps more than any other vocation, firefighters are familiar with the fallout from seemingly benign home design choices.
A home inspection certification provides a solid foundation for firefighters hoping to level up their insider knowledge or branch out into a new field. As trusted public servants who regularly enter private residences, firefighters are in a unique position to identify potential fire and safety hazards in homes. A home inspection certification for firefighters allows them to conduct more thorough assessments during routine visits and provide homeowners with professional advice for mitigating risks. Whether volunteering to inspect homes in their neighborhoods or offering low-cost inspections to elderly and disadvantaged residents, certified firefighters can leverage their skills and trusted status in the community to make a real difference in public safety.
Why Firefighters Would Benefit From a Home Inspection Certification
Have you ever wondered why firefighters would benefit from a home inspection certification, anyway? As first responders who enter private homes after something has gone wrong, firefighters are uniquely well-positioned to identify safety hazards through professional home inspections. Earning a certification enables former and current firefighters to conduct more comprehensive risk assessments during routine visits, spotting issues that endanger residents like faulty electrical wiring, lack of smoke alarms and the absence of escape ladders. Their training in fire codes and building construction lends unique insight into which home features may accelerate fires or hinder evacuation.
Certified inspections can also aid firefighters’ efforts to educate the public on fire prevention and emergency preparedness. Local fire departments can offer free or discounted inspections to high-risk groups like the elderly or disadvantaged. Off-duty firefighters may offer to inspect homes in their communities as a public service or for a bit of extra income while off-duty. Given the high level of respect they enjoy and firsthand experiences they can draw on, firefighters who are also certified home inspectors can persuade residents to remedy issues that they may have ignored otherwise. A home inspection certification for firefighters allows these men and women to become proactive stewards of local safety.
How to Become a Home Inspector
Learning how to become a home inspector is easier than you might expect. Start by enrolling in ICA School’s trusted home inspection training course. Our comprehensive online training covers the fundamentals of building systems, home inspection and hazard reduction. Onsite training shadowing a certified inspector is also highly recommended (and, in some states, required). This allows new inspectors to learn what an inspection entails and observe the process in action.
After completing the initial classroom and field training, firefighters can take a licensing exam through a professional home inspector association to earn their certification. Some states also require inspectors to pass an exam or register with the state. New home inspectors should focus on continually developing their expertise in both the basics (heating, cooling, plumbing, roofing, etc.) and more specialized techniques like mold detection through regular inspections, research and training courses.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Home Inspector?
Curious about how long it takes to become a home inspector? The answer might surprise you. In most cases, ICA School students complete our self-paced online coursework in only a few weeks. From there, you’ll need to fulfill any specific requirements your state has laid out for certification. In some states, you’ll need to pass home inspection exams and conduct multiple home inspections alongside a certified mentor. In others, taking an online course is all that’s necessary to start a career in home inspection. For more guidance on your state’s home inspection certification requirements, visit our state licensing page.
How Much Does a Home Inspector Make?
So, how much does a home inspector make, anyway? A home inspector’s salary can vary substantially depending on their experience, location and workload. On average, home inspectors in the United States earn around $59,000 annually. Those just starting out in the profession may only make around $30,000 to $40,000 in their first few years as they build up their clientele. But with time, talented home inspectors can earn over $80,000 per year at the high end, especially in busier metro areas. The most successful home inspection businesses can generate over $100,000 in gross annual revenue.
Home inspectors are typically self-employed and set their own rates. Average fees range from $300 to $500 for a standard single-family home inspection, although those certified in multiple specialties like mold or septic systems can charge more. Home inspectors also benefit from referral networks and increasing demand for home purchases. Overall, home inspection provides stable income potential with the option to scale a personally-owned business over time.
Earn Your Home Inspection Certification Online
For first responders seeking to expand their skill set, earn extra income or stay busy during retirement, a home inspection certification for firefighters is a logical next step. Their professional insight into building safety paired with public trust makes firefighter inspectors invaluable community assets. Online certification courses allow firefighters to gain the training needed to conduct comprehensive risk assessments in minimal time. State licensing exams and mentored field training prepare firefighter trainees to begin offering professional home inspections.
Whether providing safety education, volunteering their services, or building an inspection business, certified firefighter inspectors use their expertise to protect lives. Home inspection also offers firefighters a viable career pivot when transitioning from active firefighting roles. With diligent study, licensing and marketing, home inspection can become a rewarding long-term endeavor for those dedicated to public safety. If you’re ready to take your experience to the next level through home inspection certification, enroll now with ICA School.