Pursuing a career as a certified home inspector is a choice that’s an interesting, challenging and rewarding way to make a good living. Despite what many people think, it doesn’t take a background in architecture, construction, engineering or related fields to become a home inspector. It’s a field that’s open to anyone. Here’s how to get a home inspector license:
3 Steps To Become A Licensed Home Inspector
Step 1: Determine what’s required in the state where you live or plan to work.
Step 2: Complete training, pass the exam, and receive your home inspector certification.
Step 3: Start your own business or go to work for an existing company!
People of all ages and backgrounds have trained with us to start their own successful home inspection businesses or take a job with an existing home inspection company. Inspecting homes on a part-time basis can also be a great way to bring in some extra money.
Becoming a Home Inspector: Where to Begin
Once you’ve decided to become a home inspector, the first step is to determine what’s required in the state where you live or plan to work, since licensing requirements vary widely from state to state. Some states, including Texas and New York require more than 100 hours of classroom training, plus passing a state exam in order to receive a home inspector’s license. Illinois, Virginia and Connecticut are among the states that also require students to have “hands on” field training under the supervision of a certified home inspector before receiving their licenses. California, Wyoming and Colorado are among the states that don’t require home inspectors to be licensed. Regardless of where you live, Inspection Certification Associates’ Home Inspector Training will prepare you to become a professional home inspector.
Increase Your Knowledge of Home Inspections
After you’ve completed your training, received your certification and are actively working either as a self-employed home inspector or employed by a home inspection company, you’ll want to consider taking advantage of ICA’s Bonus Inspection Courses.
Although most training schools charge extra for these additional credentials, they’re completely free to graduates of ICA’s Home Inspector Training and Certification Course. Being qualified to provide clients with services beyond basic home inspections will help to both expand your client base and increase your income, since you’ll be paid for most, if not all of these specialized inspections. If you’re working for an established home inspection company, the additional certifications will make you more valuable to your employer and help advance your career.
Below are the online courses available to you free of charge as an ICA graduate:
- Mold Inspection. You’ll learn everything you need to know about detecting mold in both commercial and residential buildings.
- Radon Inspection. This is a four-part, self-paced course that covers everything you need to know about performing radon inspections for your commercial and residential clients.
- Pool and Spa Inspection. After completing this course, home inspectors will know how to inspect swimming pools and spas, including understanding their mechanical components.
- Septic System Inspection. Although septic systems can be found just about everywhere, they’re most common in outlying and rural areas. Graduates of this course will understand septic systems, their components and how they work.
- Thermal Imaging. The objective of this course is for inspectors to understand thermal imaging, how it can increase the scope and accuracy of their home inspections, what special equipment is needed and how it is.
- Irrigation and Sprinkler System Inspection. ICA created this course to familiarize home inspectors with lawn sprinkler and irrigation systems and how to include them in the home inspection process.
- Wind Mitigation Inspection. This course was designed for home inspectors in Florida to inspect and report wind damage, which Florida insurance companies need to settle claims.
Sharpen Your People Skills
Beyond technical knowledge, much of your success as a professional home inspector will depend upon your ability to establish and maintain relationships with real estate agents and others associated with the real estate industry. These people are in a position to send business your way on a regular basis.
Repeat business is crucial to your success as a self-employed home inspector. Maintaining positive relationships with homeowners and real estate agents will help stabilize your cash flow. When a home is being sold, realtors sometimes have months of work and thousands of commission dollars at stake, which means having all contingencies removed on time, including the buyer’s approval of a home inspection report. Agents will often continue to use the same home inspector once they’re comfortable that he or she is capable of conducting thorough and accurate inspections and submitting their findings on or before the deadline. After they know you’re a reliable professional, realtors and others will refer friends, family members and coworkers to you for their home inspection needs.
Find Courses and Training that Fit Your Needs
The type of home inspector training you receive is crucial to both passing your state’s licensing exam and your success as a practicing home inspector. There are lots of places that offer home inspector license training, but not all of them offer the same level of instruction, and none can compare with ICA in terms of quality, cost, content and convenience.
When selecting a home inspection training program, here are some things to consider:
- Are the instructors certified home inspectors with “hands on” field experience?
- Are all training materials up to date and available online 24/7?
- Does the tuition include free training beyond the basics, such as mold and radon inspection?
- Can students complete the program working at their own pace?
- Is the school endorsed by or otherwise affiliated with professional organizations like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?
- Does the training also cover the inspection of commercial buildings?
- Is free instructor support available when you have questions during training or while conducting actual inspections following graduation?
- Is free professional-grade software for generating inspection reports included in the tuition?
Your home inspector training should also include how to write pre-inspection agreements, issue inspection reports, use drones to inspect rooftops and starting and marketing a home inspection business.
Passing Your State’s Home Inspector Exam
State home inspector examinations and the National Home Inspectors 200 question test are based largely on the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. If you live in or plan to work in a nearby state that requires home inspectors to pass their state exam and/or NAHI exam before being licensed, you’ll need adequate preparation. This is true even if you have building and construction industry experience. ICA’s online and classroom home inspector training programs are based on those same ASHI Standards, which means you can be assured your Inspection Certification Associates training will prepare you to pass both exams.
Our Home Inspector Certification Program is the most comprehensive and convenient home inspection training available anywhere. Using a smartphone, PC, laptop, tablet or another digital device, you’ll train at your own pace. Since all course materials are available online 24/7, training can be completed any time that’s convenient and anywhere there’s access to the Internet. After passing the exam, you’ll receive a certificate of completion evidencing your successful completion of home inspector training, which means you’re ready to begin your new career as a professional home inspector. ICA’s student pass rate is 100%. Learn more about your state’s requirements.
Join Professional Home Inspector Organizations
After you’ve received your certification, you’ll need to market your services. A good way to start is by joining professional organizations such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Home inspector certification through ICA’s online training includes a free, one-month InterNACHI membership. Being an InterNACHI member is a great way to keep up with the latest trends and techniques in home inspection, as well as getting helpful tips from industry experts. You’ll also be able to use the InterNACHI logo on your business cards, which will add to your credibility as a home inspector.
Another way to generate business is to be listed in a home inspection directory such as Hire An Inspector, which is a resource for people seeking home inspection assistance, including homebuyers, real estate agents and lenders. Being listed in a Hire An Inspector directory normally costs $200 per year, but ICA graduates receive free lifetime listings.
Other organizations for professional home inspectors include the National Association of Home Inspectors, the National Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspections, as well as state and local home inspector groups.
Choose a Career Path
After receiving your home inspector training and certification, there are lots of opportunities, but you’ll need to make some decisions as to the direction of your new career. Here are some of the options available to you:
- Be a Self-Employed Inspector and Start Your Own Home Inspector Business
- Work for an Established Home Inspection Company
- Work Either Part Time or Full Time
- Purchase a Home Inspection Franchise
- Take a Job as a FEMA Inspector
- Specialize in Commercial Property Inspections
- Apply with a Municipality to Become a Local Building Code or New Construction Inspector
The pros and cons of each of these and more will be covered in your ICA online training and certification classes.
Never Stop Learning
Just because you’ve completed your training, received your license and are being paid to conduct home inspections, doesn’t mean that your education is over, nor should it. Even in states where continuing education isn’t mandatory, taking classes is a good idea. Continuing education (CE) will keep you up to date with the latest industry trends and techniques and generally make you a better, more qualified home inspector.
Several states require home inspectors to take continuing education classes as a condition of renewing their licenses. These requirements range from as little as four hours annually in Alaska and Arkansas to 40 hours every two years in Wisconsin and Delaware.
Even if continuing education isn’t required in your area, regularly taking classes is still a good idea. Some professional associations, including ASHI and InterNACHI require CE as a condition of maintaining memberships.
InterNACHI, in which ICA graduates receive a free-one-month membership offers an assortment of online continuing education classes that are available to both members and non-members. Maintaining your InterNACHI membership is a good idea, since ICA graduates are eligible for free continuing education training, which more than offsets the annual membership fee. ASHI also offers its members free continuing education classes.
Our graduates have free lifetime access to all ICA training modules and refresher training materials, along with access to our extensive online library of downloadable inspection e-books and other reference materials. Both refresher training, which is free for life to ICA graduates, and continuing education classes are strongly recommended regardless of whether they’re required in your state.
Become a Home Inspector Today
Take the next step on the road to a new and rewarding career as a full or part-time home inspector by enrolling in Certification Associates’ Home Inspection Online Training and Certification Program. Our Online Home Inspection Training is the fastest, most convenient and affordable way to receive your home inspector certification, but don’t just take our word for it – here’s what ICA graduates say about ICA online home inspection training.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Home Inspector?
ICA’s 120 hour online Home Inspection Training is self-paced. There’s no time limit for completing the program. It depends upon each individual student’s situation and the amount of time he or she can dedicate to the training. It also depends upon the home inspector educational and licensing requirements in your state.
Most of our students complete the Home Inspector Training Course in three to four weeks, although there are some who have finished in as little as ten days. Some students may take longer due to their current job or other commitments. Since all training materials are available online 24/7, students can complete their training using a smartphone tablet, laptop or other digital device anytime that’s convenient and anywhere there’s an Internet connection. There’s no need to take time away from your present job or missing a class or classes due to unforeseen events such as illness or a scheduling conflict.
Can I Be a Part-Time Home Inspector?
Absolutely! Many of our graduates conduct home inspections on a part time basis. Some are semi-retired and others become part-time house inspectors to supplement the income from their full-time jobs by inspecting homes during evenings and weekends. According to online placement agency ZipRecruiter, the salary range for part-time home inspectors is from $12,500 to slightly more than $100,000 annually. The majority of these part-time home inspectors bring in between $26,500 and $56,000 annually, with the average being around $46,000 per year. Work as little or as often as you like. If you need to earn more money, schedule more inspections. Your earnings and success as a part-time home inspector will be in proportion to to the amount of time and effort you’re willing to dedicate to your home inspection business.
Do You Need a License to Conduct Home Inspections?
It depends where you live. With a few exceptions, each state has its own set of requirements for becoming a home inspector. Some states, such as California, Colorado and Wyoming don’t require home inspectors to be licensed. Chances are, however, that clients in these and other states without licensing requirements will want to know the inspector they select has been properly trained and certified.
There are also states that require classroom training. An example is New York, where home inspectors are required to complete 100 hours of classroom training plus 40 hours of supervised fieldwork before receiving their licenses. In several regions of the country, Inspection Certification Associates offers both classroom and field training. Whether you take ICA’s Home Inspector training online or in a classroom , you’ll be fully prepared to take and pass both the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) and your state’s licensing exam when you complete our program.
How Much Does Getting a Home Inspector’s License Cost?
ICA’s Online home Inspector Training and Certification Course costs just $695, including all training modules and materials. You’ll also receive Report Form Nitro home inspection reporting software that allows inspectors to input their findings while conducting inspections. Once the inspection is completed, the inspectors can issue a report of their findings on the spot using a smartphone, tablet of other digital device. It’s sells for $399, but it’s included in your ICA tuition. Unlike most other home inspection training schools, ICA provides access to Radon and Mold Detection Training and Certification Courses, which are a $200 value if purchased separately. Also unlike most other schools, ICA graduates are entitled to receive free home inspection refresher training is for life.
Once you see everything that’s included in ICA’s Home Inspector Training and Certification program when compared to other inspection trainers, you’ll understand why so many certified home inspectors throughout the country choose ICA for their online and classroom training.
Why is ICA’s tuition so affordable when compared to some other home inspection training schools?
That’s easy—it’s just a good business decision. Given the number of topics our training covers and the quality of our instructors and training programs, we could easily charge more for our classes, but that would probably reduce the number of students that enroll in our classes. Not everyone who is considering becoming a home inspector is able or willing to spend a thousand dollars or more for home inspection training, so by offering tuition that’s affordable, we end up enrolling considerably more students. Since our students receive a quality home inspection education at a price that’s reasonable, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Is it possible to see an example of ICA’s online home inspection course content before I enroll in the program?
Of course! There is an approximately eight minute online video that will give you a good idea of how our home inspection training classes are taught. You can view the demo video or access it by clicking on the “Watch Demo” tab at the top of this page.
Will there be an instructor for the home inspection training, or is all course material written?
Absolutely! Our head instructor is Steve Preins, who is also ICA’s Director of Education. Steve has more than 20 years’ experience training both new and veteran home inspectors, and is the recipient of numerous home inspection industry awards. Under his leadership, ICA has grown to become North America’s foremost provider of home inspection training and certification.
How many hours of training are there in the ICA Home Inspection course?
Our online Home Inspection Course, which is updated annually, contains 120 hours of class training. Students complete the course working at their own pace.
How long does it take to complete the home inspection training course?
It varies among individual students. Most of them finish in three to four weeks. Since the course is self-paced, it depends upon the amount of time available that can be dedicated to completing the training. Some may take longer than the three to four week average, and others have finished in as little as a week to ten days.
Why is the course called a “Real Estate Inspection Certification Program”?
We use the term “Real Estate Inspection Certification” because our students are trained and certified to perform both residential and commercial property inspections. The course title is intended to show that ICA’s inspection and certification training is all-encompassing. Our residential inspection training conforms to the American Society of Home Inspector (ASHI) standards, while commercial inspection construction is taught to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) international standards.
Will this training prepare me to take the home inspector exam in my state?
Yes. Home inspection exams in every state, as well as the National Home Inspectors’ 200 question exam, are based in large part on the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. These are also the basis for ICA’s home inspector training. Our course comes with an online study guide that contains more than 700 practice questions. When you complete ICA’s pre-licensing training, you’ll be fully prepared to take and pass both the NHIE exam and the exam in your home state.
Does the ICA course include training on mold detection?
Yes. Our home inspector training includes a special four module Mold Inspection Certification Course. If purchased separately, the mold certification course would cost $100, but unlike most other home inspector trainers, we include it in your ICA course tuition.
Does ICA offer continuing education?
We do. Continuing education for home inspectors is available through our affiliate company Quality Education Group.
Am I eligible to join ASHI, InterNACHI or similar professional home inspection organizations after I complete ICA training?
Absolutely. Inspection Certification Associates ICA is a Gold Level Affiliate Member with ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and we work very closely with ASHI. ICA trains all students to the ASHI standards of practice.
We also work very closely with InterNACHI and all graduates of the ICA home inspection training course are eligible for a free one month membership with InterNACHI.
ICA is also an affiliate member of the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) and the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA), along with several other professional organizations. Membership in these and similar organizations isn’t mandatory, but something you might consider to enhance your professional image. Regardless of your decision, you’ll have free access to the standards of practice for each of these organizations through our extensive online reference library.
Will I receive a certificate of completion after I finish my ICA Home Inspector Training Course?
Yes. After you complete your home inspector training, you’ll receive a copy of your certification by mail. The certificate will include the certification number assigned to you that can be used on your business cards, marketing materials, pre-inspection agreements and home inspection reports.
Does the ICA training course include radon certification?
Yes. A Radon Certification Course is included with our training. Although most home inspector training courses charge extra for radon training, it’s free to ICA students.
If I request information from ICA and it’s necessary to enter my email address or phone number, will you be calling me non-stop or sending unwanted email?
Absolutely not! Unlike some other home inspection schools, we respect our students’ privacy. We may give you a quick call or send you a short email to introduce ourselves, welcome you to the ICA training program and check to see if you have questions on home inspection regulations in your state. Rest assured, you won’t be receiving unnecessary follow-up calls or emails. ICA doesn’t use high-pressure selling tactics. At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you as to which of our training courses you choose to enroll in, and we respect that.
Can I download the e-books and other materials in ICA’s online reference library so that I can refer to them later?
Sure. All e-books and other training materials in our online reference library can be downloaded to your computer free of charge. This means you’ll always have access to them, both during and after your online home inspection training.
If I have questions or need more information while I’m taking the course on how to become a home inspector, is there someone at ICA I can speak with?
Of course. We provide unlimited support both for our students and graduates. Feel free to call us at 888-374-4096 with any questions or concerns, both during your training and after you graduate.
I understand reporting software is included with my home inspector training—what is it for and how do I use it?
At the end of the day, the quality and content of the home inspection report establishes how you will ultimately be judged by your clients. Clients expect and are entitled to a thorough and accurate report delivered to them in a timely manner, which should be within 24 hours.
We have an arrangement with www.HomeInspectionForm.com that provides all our graduates with a free copy of their Report Form Pro Nitro inspection report software. Because it’s so easy to use, and works offline, most of our graduates prepare their reports following completion of their inspections with Report Form Pro Nitro.
Report Form Pro lets inspectors generate reports for their clients directly from iOS or Android smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers. Report Form Pro includes pre-inspection agreements between the client and the inspector, which are used to establish the scope of the work, cost of the inspection and any other agreements between the parties.
The Report Form Pro Nitro app is the very best all-in-one home inspection reporting software package available for mobile devices and desktop computer. Among Report Form Pro Nitro’s many unique features is that it lets the inspector use his or her mobile phone or tablet to insert digital images directly into the report during the actual inspection. Although Report Form Pro Nitro retails for $400 if purchased separately, it’s included free of charge in your ICA training on how to become a home inspector.
Another home inspection report software program that’s used by some of our graduates is Horizon Home Inspection Software, which was developed by our colleagues at Carson Dunlop, who literally have decades of experience in the home inspection industry. As with Report Form Pro Nitro, Horizon Home Inspection Software is very user friendly, and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Does ICA sell the tools I’ll need to use when I become a home inspector?
We provide all our students with a list of the tools recommended for a home inspector to carry in his or her toolbox. It’s suggested that after reviewing the list, students do Google searches for each of the items. Home Depot and other big box retailers are also a good source of quality tools and equipment at reasonable prices. An adequate home inspector’s basic tool kit will probably cost around $200, although chances are you may already have some of the items, such as flashlights, screwdrivers and other small tools
When all is said and done, there are only a handful of items that are absolutely necessary. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Standards of Practice recommends that at a minimum, home inspectors carry a flashlight and a circuit tester for testing ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices. In theory, that’s all that’s needed to conduct home inspections, but in practicality, there’s other equipment home inspectors need in order to thoroughly and safely carry out home inspections. These additional items are included on the list of recommended tools given to ICA students.
Some home inspection schools may offer to sell you an inspection tool kit or various marketing supplies such as business cards and letterhead, but they’re usually much more expensive than the same or equivalent items you can find elsewhere.
The bottom line is that starting a new business can be expensive, which is why Inspection Certification Associates will always try to save you money whenever and wherever possible.
Is it worthwhile to look into a home inspection franchise as a good way to get started in the home inspection industry in my area?
The short answer is no. Unlike opening a fast food franchise where you’ll be generating revenue from day one, getting started in the home inspection industry will require you to aggressively market yourself to lenders, agents and estate brokers before money starts coming in. Aggressive marketing will be required regardless of whether you spend $25,000 or more on a franchise or start out as John Smith’s Home Inspection Services. Since you’ll need to do the legwork under either scenario, you’re probably better off saving the cost of the franchise fee and avoiding those ongoing royalty fees.
Learning how to market yourself and build your business is included as a part of ICA’s home inspector training. In addition, we’ll be here to help you both during and after your training if you have questions or need assistance along the way.
Does ICA’s Home Inspection Training Course cover how to use drones to inspect roofs when conducting a home inspection?
Yes, ICA’s training package includes a bonus module that will teach you how to use drones to inspect rooftops without having to climb up a ladder or go through a roof hatch. Drones are especially useful when inspecting a steep-roofed home or a multi-story commercial building.
Do you have insurance companies that you work in case I want to have insurance for my home inspection business?
Yes. We provide all students with recommended insurance companies that offer insurance for home inspectors. Most home inspectors use OREP for their home inspection insurance needs. OREP is a mainstay in the home inspection industry and provides both E&O and General Liability policies for new inspectors at competitive rates. You can get a premium indication in less than 5 minutes on their website here.
I’ve come across a few home inspector website directories online where home inspectors can pay to advertise. Are they worth it?
There are some home inspector directories that are great for generating leads for home inspections. The biggest of these is HireAnInspector.com. Normally, the cost to be listed in the HireAnInspector.com directory is $200 per year. As an ICA Home Inspection Training Program graduate, however, you’ll receive a free lifetime listing in their directory.
Is there a time limit to complete the ICA online home inspection course?
No, there’s no time limit. Although most people finish the course in three to four weeks, each student completes the studies at his or her own pace by working whenever it’s convenient.
OK! I’m ready to enroll and begin my home inspector training. Where do I start?
It’s really simple. Enroll online or call us toll-free at (888) 374-4096 to enroll over the phone. Whichever method you choose, you’ll automatically receive an email from us with your online home inspection course login information, which means you can get started immediately on your way to a new and exciting career as a certified home inspector!