There are few careers as interesting, challenging, or rewarding as home inspection. While you might expect these experts to have backgrounds in construction, architecture, or related fields, the barrier of entry is far lower. So long as you complete the required training, learning how to become a certified home inspector is fairly straightforward. If you’ve been considering changing careers, this exciting field is sure to be rewarding in many ways. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to a new, thriving career as a home inspector in no time.
1. Check the Home Inspector Requirements in Your State
The requirements for becoming a home inspector can vary depending on where you plan to start your career. Florida and North Carolina, for instance, require more than 100 hours of training. Aspiring home inspectors must also pass a state exam before they begin practicing. Other states, like Illinois, Virginia, and Connecticut, require students to have “hands-on” field training under the supervision of a certified home inspector before passing an exam and receiving their licenses. Click over to our state licensing guidelines page to see your state’s requirements.
2. Register for ICA’s Online Home Inspection Training
Learning how to become a home inspector takes less time than you might expect. ICA’s online Home Inspection Training is self-paced. That means in states where online courses are approved, you can complete the course as quickly or as leisurely as you’d like. How long it takes depends upon each individual student’s situation and the amount of time they can dedicate to the training.
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 and how motivated you are. Training materials are available online 24/7, and 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.
3. Take Your State’s Home Inspection Licensing Exam (Where Required)
How long does it take to become a home inspector, exactly? The answer depends on whether you’re required to take a licensing exam. Some states require you to take and pass licensing exams like the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) or similar. It’s best to take these tests while your training is still fresh on your mind.
ICA has helped countless students pass these exams on their first attempt. Our Home Inspector Exam Prep Course features 700 questions to prepare you for your test. Take the practice exam as many times as you want. There’s no additional fee for this test course, so there’s nothing stopping you from preparing as thoroughly as possible.
4. Look for Home Inspector Job Opportunities
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. Many home inspector jobs are contractor positions – these professionals don’t have to work for a dedicated business or organization. Instead, they work with realtors for referrals and schedule their own home inspections. Being proactive is the best way to become a home inspector.
5. Keep Your Home Inspection Career Skills Fresh
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 some 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, as well as 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.
Select your state below.
Home Inspector Career FAQs
We often find that people have questions about how to become a certified home inspector. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions, along with the answers:
What are the Career Prospects for Home Inspectors?
In times of uncertainty, as well as times of prosperity, learning how to become a home inspector is always a good idea. People will always buy and sell homes, regardless of the market. They’ll always turn to expert home inspectors to ensure they thoroughly understand the condition of the property they hope to buy.
To maximize your odds of success, you may want to get certified and work in a state that requires home inspections before the sale of a home. Not every state has such requirements, so it’s essential to understand whether home inspections are legally required or just recommended in your area.
What Skills Do You Learn When You Become a Home Inspector?
Learning how to become a home inspector starts with a thorough understanding of every part of a home. Quality inspectors can identify problems within each system and component of a property. It’s one thing to be able to see that a furnace is more than a few years old. It’s another to be able to tell someone if it’s malfunctioning and whether it needs to be replaced. No matter how much (or little) you know today, you’ll learn what you need to know to be successful from ICA’s instructors, all of whom are experienced, licensed inspectors.
In addition to the technical aspects of the job, you’ll also learn the importance of clear communication with clients. You can be the most thorough inspector in the world, but if you can’t clearly convey your concerns to homebuyers, you may struggle in this field.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Certified Home Inspector?
Versatility is perhaps the biggest benefit of becoming a home inspector. Once trained, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and inspect homes of all sizes, ages, and types. If you opt to go the self-employed route, you can begin searching for opportunities right away. The freedom that comes with a career as a home inspector is unmatched.
Why is ICA’s Tuition So Affordable When Compared to Some Home Inspection Training Schools?
Our goal is to reach as many aspiring home inspectors as possible. We know that not everyone in this line of work has thousands of dollars to spend on training. By offering affordable tuition rates, we enroll more students. This is why ICA is one of the leaders in home inspection training. You’ll receive thorough training at an amazing price – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Can I Preview ICA’s Online Home Inspection Course Content Before Enrolling?
Of course! There is an approximately eight-minute online video that will give you a good idea of what it takes to become a home inspector. 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! We have a group of very experienced instructors as well as our industry experts that are willing to help you every step of the way. You can view their bios on our instructors page.
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.
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 the best way to become a home inspector. 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.
Does the ICA Course Include Training on Mold Detection?
Yes. Learning how to become a certified home inspector is just the beginning. Our training includes a special introductory 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 becoming home inspectors 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 passing the class and becoming a home inspector, each student will be emailed a certificate of completion. 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 Training?
Yes. An introductory Radon Course is included with our training. Many becoming a home inspector training courses charge extra for radon training, it’s free to ICA students.
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 Job Training – What Is It For and How Do I Use It?
We have an arrangement with http://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.
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 career schools may offer to sell you an inspection tool kit or various marketing supplies such as business cards and letterhead, but they might be 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, becoming a home inspector 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 becoming a home inspector 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 becoming a home inspector 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.
Ready to Begin Your Home Inspection Career?
Learning how to become a home inspector is as easy as getting started now. Get the ball moving by enrolling in Inspection Certification Associates’ Home Inspection Online Training and Certification Course. We’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the fastest, most convenient, and most affordable ways to receive your certification. Don’t take our word for it, though – check out what ICA graduates have to say about their experiences.
OK! I’m Ready to Enroll and Begin My Home Inspector Training. Where Do I Start?
It’s really simple to learn how to become a certified home inspector. Enroll online or call us toll-free at (888) 374-4096 to enroll over the phone. Whichever method you choose, once enrolled, 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!