Pursuing a career as a certified home inspector is a choice that’s an interesting, challenging and rewarding way to make a good living. 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.
3 Steps To Become A Licensed Home Inspector
Step 1: Determine Your State’s Licensing Requirements
Once you’ve decided to become a home inspector, the first step is to determine what’s required in the state you live or plan to work in. Licensing requirements vary widely from state to state.
Some states, including Florida and North Carolina, require more than 100 hours of training, plus passing a state exam, in order to receive a home inspector’s license. Other states, like Illinois, Virginia, and Connecticut, require students to have “hands-on” field training under the supervision of a certified home inspector before receiving their licenses in addition to passing the exam.
Step 2: Complete training, pass the exam, and receive your home inspector certification.
Many states require you to complete pre-licensing training and pass the national or state home inspection exam to receive your license. Some states allow you to complete the training online, while others require you to take a classroom course. ICA offers both online and classroom courses to meet your state requirements. We also include an exam prep course in your training to get your ready for your home inspector exam.
Our Online Home Inspection Course is the most comprehensive and convenient home inspection training available. 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.
ICA also holds classroom courses in many cities across the United States where classroom is required. These courses are led by instructors that have performed thousands of home inspections.
No matter which course you attend, you will also receive our Home Inspector Exam Prep Course free of charge. ICA has helped thousands of students pass their state exam on the first try.
Step 3: Start your own business or go to work for an existing company!
People of all ages and backgrounds have trained with ICA 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 supplement your income as you build up your business.
The Basics of Becoming a Home Inspector
Over the years we have helped thousands of people start a new career.
Here are some basic questions people have about becoming a home inspector.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Home Inspector?
ICA’s 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 – it all depends on your current commitments. 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.
Can I Be a Part-Time Home Inspector?
Absolutely! Many of our graduates conduct home inspections on a part time basis. According to ZipRecruiter, the salary range for part-time home inspectors ranges from $12,500 to $100,000+ annually.
The average cost for a home inspection is around $400. Therefore, if you do 3 inspections per week, you will gross $62,400 for the year. Your earnings and success as a part-time home inspector will be in proportion 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 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.
How Much Does Getting a Home Inspector’s License Cost?
ICA’s Online home Inspector Training and Certification Course costs $695, including all training modules and materials. 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 for life.
Included in your ICA tuition cost is the Report Form Nitro home inspection reporting software valued at $399. Inspectors input their findings while conducting inspections into this program and, upon inspection compilation, inspectors can issue a report of their findings on the spot using a smartphone, tablet or other digital device.
Considerations for Home Inspection Courses
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 an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau? Does it have an A+ rating with the BBB?
- 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 Licensing Exam
35 states and several Canadian provinces require that you pass the National Home Inspectors Exam (NHIE) and/or a state exam as part of your home inspector licensing requirements.
ICA has helped thousands of students pass these exams on the first attempt. In addition to the core material in our online or classroom course, we also provide you with our Home Inspector Exam Prep Course. This course contains 700 practice questions for you to prepare for your exam. You can take the practice exams as many times as needed. Unlike most schools, there is no additional fee for this course!
Learn more about your state’s requirements.
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 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: learn to detect mold in both commercial and residential buildings.
- Radon Inspection: self-paced, four-part course where you learn to perform radon inspections for your commercial and residential clients.
- Pool and Spa Inspection: home inspectors are taught to inspect swimming pools and spas, including understanding their mechanical components.
- Septic System Inspection: septic systems are most common in outlying and rural areas. Graduates will understand septic systems, their components and how they work.
- Thermal Imaging: learn how thermal imaging can increase the scope and accuracy of home inspections, alongside what special equipment is needed and how it is used.
- Irrigation and Sprinkler System Inspection: created by ICA, this course familiarizes home inspectors with lawn sprinkler and irrigation systems and how to include them in the home inspection process.
- Commercial Property Inspection: this course will help expand your business to offer commercial property inspections as well.
- Mobile, Manufactured, Tiny and Log Home Inspection: over 25 million Americans live in alternative housing. This course will teach you how to inspect the unique aspects of these types of homes.
- Lead Paint Inspection: this course will teach you the health, safety and welfare issues surrounding lead paint.
- Well Water Testing and Inspection: learn how to perform well water testing, including details surrounding the testing procedures, and what to do if you detect the presence of bacteria or pollutants.
- Wood Destroying Organisms: This online course will teach you what you need to know in order to perform a wood destroying organism inspection (e.g., termites) in addition to your typical home inspection.
- Asbestos Inspection: learn how to identify asbestos during a home inspection and also the details surrounding asbestos mitigation procedures.
- Building a Multi-Inspector Business: learn how to build and grow your business from a sole proprietor to a firm with multiple inspectors.
- Marketing for Home Inspectors: learn how to successfully market and build your business.
- Home Inspector Exam Prep Course: pass the National Home Inspectors Exam (NHIE) on the first try. This course contains 700 practice questions to get you ready for the exam.
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 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.
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.
Ready to Become a Home Inspector?
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.
Find more detailed information on how to become a home inspector in your state through the list below.
Select your state below.
ICA Home Inspection Course Frequently Asked Questions
Selecting the right home inspection course depends on many factors and we received a fair amount of questions regarding how ICA compares to other home inspection courses. Below are some common questions people have about becoming a home inspector through ICA.
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.
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.
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.
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 also the exam in your home state.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 with 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.
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!