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How do I Become a Home Inspector?

Article Details
  • Written By: Merrilee Willoughby
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A home inspector is a licensed professional who is qualified to inspect the condition of a home prior to its sale and to provide a thorough report to the homebuyer. Many home inspectors have some hands-on experience in the field of home maintenance or construction prior to pursuing a career as an inspector. While this experience is not necessary, it is certainly helpful to have a solid background and a broad range of knowledge because such inspectors must be familiar with all aspects of home construction. In most jurisdictions, one must pass a licensing exam and possibly complete continuing education credits to become a home inspector. In the United States, exams and requirements vary by state so it is best to research the local regulations before pursuing additional education.

Some individuals obtain a college-level degree in a related field such as architecture or engineering before taking a local exam to become a home inspector. Others choose to take a correspondence course by Internet or mail. These types of correspondence courses can be found through local or national associations and organizations and often will include information about how to start a business and provide customer service.

Regardless of the precise type of education, most jurisdictions require some kind of certification to be able to work as a home inspector. The time required to prepare for such a licensing exam will vary depending on how much time and training has already been spent in the field. Some community colleges and universities also offer related courses that can help with getting a license. There are also schools that specialize in home inspection, but many in the field find these to be expensive and unnecessary.

There are certain traits and skills that are helpful to have to become a home inspector. Since inspectors spend a great deal of time communicating with a wide range of clients, good people skills are invaluable. Flexibility is also important because many inspectors do not work a regular schedule; rather, they tend to perform inspections at times that are most convenient for clients. Most importantly, a successful home inspector will have great attention to detail and be able to work methodically and accurately.

Licensed home inspectors can work independently as professional consultants or as part of a larger firm of inspectors. When considering the firm route, it is always best to check if a specific firm has its own requirements for employment so that you can proactively meet those. It is also possible to become a home inspector that specializes in a particular service or area such as septic systems or lead-based paint. Some inspectors, sometimes known as building inspectors, also offer inspections for commercial properties. They can also expert witness testimony when requested. After meeting the requirements to become a home inspector, it is essential to continue taking coursework to keep up with current construction practices and regulations. Some jurisdictions, in fact, require such continuing education.

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