How to become a home inspector

If you have ever purchased a home, you probably hired an inspector to look it over before you completed the transaction. As a savvy homebuyer, you likely followed the inspector throughout the home asking questions, or you at least carefully reviewed the final report. Perhaps it was then that you considered exploring the idea of becoming a home inspector yourself. 

No matter where the spark came from, your goal of having a career as a home inspector is a noble one. Inspectors often save potential buyers thousands of dollars by finding problems in a structure that can justifiably break a deal. They also help ensure the homes people buy are safe and functional. If this sounds appealing, you may be wondering how to begin your path toward a career as a home inspector. 

Taking your first steps 

You do not need a college degree to become an inspector, but you do need certain skills, such as attention to detail and impeccable customer service. It also helps if you have a basic knowledge of construction and an interest in the real estate industry. On the job, you will be taking notes about what you observe, and you will need to transcribe those notes into a format your customers can understand. You may also sit with your clients to discuss your findings, so communication skills are key.  

To get started in your career as a home inspector, you will need to take the following steps: 

  • Learn what your state requires to obtain your license, which may be slightly different from other states. 
  • Enroll in state-approved courses to prepare for your licensing exam. 
  • Consider expanding your education by taking other related courses, such as electrical engineering, construction basics or even business management. 
  • Complete any additional training your state requires for an inspection license. 
  • Apply to take the exam with the real estate or home inspector commission in your state. 
  • Pass the exam. 
  • Prepare a business plan to start your new career. 

You will also need to renew your license periodically by taking continuing education courses and other training. Many schools offer these courses online, which makes it convenient to fit into your busy schedule. Some home inspectors work independently, and others work for a company. Depending on where in the country you live, you may find your job as a home inspector can produce a comfortable salary and plenty of potential to expand and grow. 

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