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Obtaining a home inspection certification is generally the first step in starting a career as a home inspector. A home inspector is a specially-trained individual who makes detailed inspections of homes, usually as part of the home buying or selling process. A home inspection is an important part of the process of determining the value of a home, whether new or pre-owned, and requires a skillful knowledge of home construction and materials.
The certified home inspector is generally hired by individual home owners, real estate companies, relocation firms, attorneys, or mortgage lenders to perform the duties of home inspection and return a detailed report of findings. In addition, the certified home inspector is often allowed by local laws to enforce building codes and ordinances. In the US and Canada, the sale of a house is often contingent on the results of the home inspection.
There are a number of steps you can follow to get a home inspection certification. The potential home inspector should obtain some general knowledge or have an general interest in home structure, construction techniques and home building materials. This can come from previous experience or on-the-job training.
The next step is to enroll in a quality home inspection certification course and begin study. This may be conducted in a local classroom setting, a structured online program, or an independent study home correspondence course. The course may last for several weeks or up to a year, depending on the course chosen.
In most cases, a student will be required to take specific approved home inspection certification coursework. The standard home inspection course may include modules such as: mold, pest, and water damage inspection; report writing; marketing and sales training; and home inspection tools. In addition, the home inspector in training may learn about heating and ventilation, plumbing, walls and foundations, roofing and attics, or home appliance specs.
Upon completion of the required coursework, a home inspector can take a certification test. Certification tests vary by locality, and are determined by local real estate and code enforcement laws. The home inspector is often required to pay a fee to take the test, and becomes a certified home inspector upon successful completion.
Once certified, a home inspector can market his services or contracts with other home professionals to obtain work. This work is generally contract work; however, it can also involve being hired on as a permanent team member of a company that requires home inspections. The home inspector may find that work is somewhat slow at first, but over time, with experience, there should be additional opportunities to perform the detailed inspections that those involved in real estate need.