How do I Obtain a Home Inspector License?
Obtaining a home inspector license can be the start of a new career or a way to earn extra money. Home inspection is a required part of today's home-buying process. The home inspection industry has experienced increased growth over the past decade. This growth has opened up a number of avenues for earning a home inspector license.
Multiple options, however, require a careful review of certification techniques. Typically, home inspectors become licensed, then affiliate with a professional association. The license may also be obtained through that association. These groups, however, vary greatly in requirements to obtain and keep a home inspector license.
Some certifications can be obtained simply by completing an application then paying a fee to a company. Other professional organizations have much more stringent requirements. Companies that offer home inspector licenses in one day or one week are most likely skimping on education quality. To obtain a home inspector license that carries credibility in the home inspection industry, count on many hours of study and field work.
In the United States, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is recognized by professionals and legislators as highly credible. Obtaining a home inspector license through ASHI involves completing a certain number of paid inspections and passing two exams. Home inspectors can also earn certification at community colleges or real estate schools. These are most beneficial for those who learn best in a classroom setting.
For learners who enjoy self-paced home study, online courses with a distance training company or career school are a better fit. Quality self-study courses may take over 400 hours to complete. Local or regional laws may require home inspectors to complete continuing education courses throughout their career.
Areas of study usually include construction methods and regulations. Communities maintain varied and ever-changing building codes that residential buildings must meet. Obtaining a home inspector license also requires knowledge of home interiors and exteriors, and a qualified home inspector should understand major home systems. Generally, courses cover electric, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing systems.
Once a home inspector earns a license and gains entrance to an association, requirements to remain a member must be considered. For example, ASHI home inspectors must complete continuing education hours every two years to keep their certification. Other associations have no membership fulfillment requirements.
Newly licensed home inspectors must weigh association membership upkeep against industry credibility and reputation. Overall, expect to study, learn by doing inspections, then continue to stay abreast of industry and state regulations. Many home inspectors work for themselves, so knowledge of local self-employment guidelines can help with running a home inspection business.
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