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How To Become a Home Inspector in 5 Simple Steps

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Are you looking for a job that pays well and doesn’t require many higher degrees? You’re not alone

Many people consider doing a career shift at some point in their lives but don’t know which job is suitable for them.

Luckily, you have a few options. Among the best jobs is being a home inspector, but which way should you go to pursue such a career? How to become a home inspector?

This article provides all the details regarding doing home inspections for a living and how good this job can be.

An Overview of Home Inspectors: A Primer

Home inspectors help potential buyers discover any underlying problem with a given house before purchasing it. They also aid house sellers to figure out defective parts and address them before selling the house.

As a home inspector, you get to examine houses for issues and provide a written report on the building’s status. These problems can be on the inside or the outside, whether mechanical or structural.

The list of some of the areas and systems that home inspectors examine includes:

  • Foundation and structural components
  • Roof, windows, and doors
  • Basement and attic
  • Floors and walls
  • Electrical systems
  • HVAC systems
  • Plumbing

How Much Do Home Inspectors Make?

A home inspector is a job with high potential, securing you earning between $30,000 and $90,000 per year. The exact number depends on many factors, with the location being top of the list of reasons.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a home inspector in 2021 was a bit over $60,000 per year.

Among the highest-paying states for a registered home inspector job are New York, Idaho, and California, with an hourly rate of over $30. As for the lowest paying states, Louisiana, South, and North Carolina pay below $22 per hour with a staggering $8 per hour difference.

Aside from the location, many other factors can play a part in a home inspector’s salary, including:

  • The number of home inspections you can fit into your busy schedule
  • The experience you possess
  • The amount of money you charge for an inspection
  • The number of additional services you offer, such as thermal imaging, radon testing, and mold inspection
  • The career path you choose to follow

What You Will Need To Become a Home Inspector [& Associated Costs]

A smiling Home Inspector standing on a ladder and providing inspection to the roof of a house

Before you think about making money, you should consider how much you need to spend to become a home inspector.

Here’s an overall idea about what you should expect to spend to become a licensed home inspector.

  • Education: While some states require only 60 hours of education, others mandate a whopping 400 hours. The cost of attending such schools varies between $400 and $1000, sometimes more.
  • Licenses: The licenses you need also vary from one state to the other. In most cases, the national home inspector exam is included in the tuition fees you pay for education.
  • Maintaining License: In states requiring licenses, you must pay renewal fees once every year or two. You also may need extra hours of continuing education classes.

How Much Does It Cost To Become a Home Inspector?

Getting the needed home inspector training and licensing shouldn’t cost you much. On average, you only need to pay around $1,000 in addition to some of your time.

Any additional charges depend on whether you choose to work for a home inspection firm or start your business.

Starting a home inspection business with quality equipment, software, and licensing costs between $3,000 to over $5,000.

Starting your business, you should keep in mind some additional costs, including:

  • Basic Equipment: A ladder, dust mask, flashlight, moisture meter, etc. cost a minimum of $500, depending on the equipment type.
  • Specialized Tools: As your business grows, you need to invest money in some specialized tools. This should cost between $300 and $1,000 worth of equipment.
  • Software: Home inspection software helps make your job easier. With such programs, you often get what you pay for. So, it’s best to invest in decent software, expecting to pay a minimum of $800 per year.
  • Marketing: This is one of the careers where you can market your business face-to-face for free. A more costly yet effective alternative is having a website and online marketing campaigns, costing over $1,000.
  • Insurance: Having insurance is essential, as it protects you and your assets from liability in case of accidents. Getting business insurance can cost you between $600 and $1,200 per year.

Is It Hard To Become a Home Inspector?

Becoming a home inspector doesn’t happen overnight. It requires hard work and dedication, even for those who have experience in similar jobs.

To get a home inspector certification, you need to get plenty of education, extensive home inspection training, and many tests.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard process. It just takes a lot of time and training to gain the proper experience.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Home Inspector?

You only need a few days to take the exam and become a certified home inspector. However, before being able to pass that exam, you need proper education and training.

Most of the U.S. states require the completion of 60–140 hours of courses. The time you dedicate for such education depends on your free time and the pace you’re moving at.

On average, most individuals take three to four weeks to finish.

How To Become a Home Inspector in 5 Simple Steps

image showing how to become a home inspector post on gigworker.com

While many people now are leaning more towards some fairly uncommon side hustles, others still prefer hands-on experiences. Working in the field and coming to contact with people is an advantage for many individuals.

Home inspectors get to have such experience. That’s why we brought you a step-by-step guide on how to become one. Check it out.

Step #1: Check Your State’s Requirements

There are no nationwide standards for the home inspector job. That’s why you need to start by checking the requirements of the state you plan to work in.

The education duration varies widely from one location to the other. Some states mandate as little as 60 hours of courses. Yet, other states require up to 400 hours.

Step #2: Enroll in a Course

A home inspection doesn’t require a specific degree, but the courses help you a long way through your career. According to the state’s education requirements, you may need to enroll in an online course or in-person class.

You can easily find a suitable course to fit your schedule, even if you have a gig-based job on the side.

It can also be great if you enroll in a continuing education course, especially if you plan to start your home inspection business.

Step #3: Complete the Required Home Inspection Training Hours

If your state requires fulfilling some training hours, it can take you up to three months to complete this step. Whether you shadow a home inspector or work under supervision, it’s always a helpful step.

Step #4: Pass Your State’s Licensing Exam

You may find that your state only requires success in the four-hour National Home Inspector Examination. However, it can also have state-specific testing. Do your research to figure this out.

Make sure to prepare for the test and study thoroughly. You can find quite helpful online practice tests to help you pinpoint your weaknesses. So, make good use of them.

Step #5: Pick Your Career Path and Pursue It

Now that you have your certifications and licenses, it’s time to plan. You have the obvious option to work for a home inspection firm.

Working with other home inspectors, you gain the proper experience dealing with real estate agents on the needed repair and maintenance.

The other more adventurous option is to establish your home inspection company. Doing so allows you to have flexible working hours and develop strong relationships with many clients.

Reasons To Consider Becoming a Home Inspector

When thinking about what job is right for you, you often consider the hours and pay, among many other factors. Being a home inspector has its perks.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider becoming a home inspector.

Close-up of Home Inspector holding a tablet
  • You Become Your Boss: Working as a home inspector, you can become your boss, accomplishing a convenient work/life balance.
  • No Limit to the Money You Can Make: As a home inspector, there’s no limit to the number of jobs you take every year. The more homes you inspect, the more annual income you get to make.
  • It’s Always a Job on Demand: People never stop buying and selling houses. The majority of buyers prefer to hire a home inspector before they purchase a house. So, a home inspector is always needed.
  • It Doesn’t Require Much Money To Start Your Business: Compared to other careers, the cost of starting a home inspection business is fairly low. A few thousand dollars can get you all the tools and training required to build a startup of this kind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest-paid home inspector?

Aside from the general inspection, there are a few specialized types of home inspections. From lead paint to asbestos inspection, the list goes on.

As for the highest paid, the top position goes to mold inspectors. Such a job usually costs up to $1,000.

How much does a home inspection cost in the United States?

Although it’s different from state to state, the national average cost of a home inspection is $335. It also depends on the property’s size.

However, this can cost thousands of dollars more in case they discover major issues.

Similar Gigs To Check Out

If you think becoming a home inspector isn’t what you prefer but still want to stick to the real estate field, these ideas are for you. Here are similar gigs to check out.

Wrapping Up

Whether you have prior experience in the real estate field or not, becoming a home inspector can be tough.

It requires plenty of work and dedication. However, learning how to become a home inspector is the first step on your path to success.

Tell us what you think about this article in the comments below, and share it with your friends if you think it’s helpful.

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