How Long Does It Take to Become a Home Inspector?
When you are doing your proper due diligence about how to become a home inspector, one thing you will discover is the license requirements to become a home inspector tend to vary considerably. Becoming a licensed home inspector does not have to take a long time. In many cases, you can have your home inspection training done at a local inspection training school within several days! Pass the test.
What about the length of time will it require to become the very best home inspector in your community? It takes more than an online inspection certification. For many, it takes 2-3 months to get the best training and obtain the necessary field experience to simply BEGIN your own company, let alone become the best Washington home inspector.
Regardless of what many people believe, it doesn’t take a background in architecture, construction, engineering, or related fields to become a home inspector. Individuals of all backgrounds and ages above 18 have trained with AHIT to start their active and successful home inspection businesses or take up employment with an existing house inspection business.
When you’ve made up your mind with the decision to become a home inspector, the very first step is to determine the requirements in the State where you live or are preparing to work. The State you intend to work in is taken into consideration because licensing requirements vary commonly from State to State.
The amount of time required to become a home inspector varies from State to State. Some states do not need any licensing or formal training and permit home inspectors to learn on the job. Other states require you to complete a specific number of training courses that may take anywhere from 60 hours to 200 hours to complete and pass an exam to obtain a license. The Washington State Department of Licensing requires 120 hours of classroom training before qualifying your inspection license.
You may also need to undergo a supervised trial period where a licensed professional oversees all of your inspections until you meet a certain quota of successful reports. Make sure to check the licensing requirements in your State for more information.
How Much do Home Inspectors Make?
The national average house inspector salary, or income for home inspectors in the U.S. is right about $62,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). You’ll make an average of about $450 per complete residential home inspection. This means that according to the BLS, any person employed as a home inspector within the United States of America will make a national average of about 28 dollars per hour. Depending on what state you reside in, this could even increase up to $91,000 or more EACH YEAR.
Your salary as a self-employed house inspector depends, in no small part, upon the number of home inspections you’re willing to fit into your schedule – but even a part-time inspector can make a killing.
If you were going to purchase a house, wouldn’t you like to know as many details and as much information about the property that you could, including what problems there are? Naturally, you would, which is why most people, when buying a home, hire a certified home inspector, with a Washington home inspector license, before purchasing a house or when constructing one.
How to become a home inspector is exciting yet can be challenging and does hold some component of danger, so it is important to be sure that this job is for you. A home inspector performs an extensive evaluation of a previously owned or recently developed home, townhouse, condo, manufactured home, business building, or apartment. A home inspector carries out these checks to discover issues such as old gas pipes or a water heater that might not work, rotten wood, biological growth, and more.
Home Inspector Salary Information
A home inspector’s salary for any given year will typically be anywhere in between $55,000 and $65,000, with benefits for home inspectors utilized privately or by the federal government. This may include medical or health insurance coverage, paid yearly leave, and a retirement strategy among others. Government firms tend to pay more than private consulting companies and engineering or architectural companies.
There are likewise health insurance plans and general liability insurance that home inspectors should have, including E&O, or errors and omissions insurance. Whether you work for a company or own one, it will not be fun for you to become involved in a lawsuit without the proper insurance protection.
If it is your choice to go into business for yourself as a certified professional home inspector, the opportunity exists to make MUCH MORE than an average of about $60k per year. The downside in starting your own residential home inspection service company is that when you are employed as a home inspector, there exists just as much physical risk.
Still, when you own the company, you are adding a litany of additional risks and stressors onto your “plate.” Many people are either unable to handle these risks, or unwilling, but if you are a person with enough motivation and drive, starting your own home inspection company could be the key to a future that you make.
When you own your own home inspection company, you need to pay for the overhead, or operating costs, which thankfully happen to be smaller than many other businesses you could start. This overhead includes all tools, transportation, subscription service costs, marketing, and advertising, etc. so making much money your first year as a self-employed home inspector can be quite tricky, but not impossible. If you can stay afloat long enough, there shouldn’t be much issue in collecting a list of repeat customers and an excellent reputation to make you lots of money going forward!
Home Inspector Training
American Home Inspectors Training (AHIT) is an approved Washington home inspection school. AHIT provides hands-on interactive home inspector training for new inspection applicants, taught by skilled home inspector trainers. AHIT’s live classroom home inspection classes in Washington combine a step-by-step education procedure with real-life field training to make it simple for you to comprehend all the crucial knowledge, skills, and information you need.
In the process of learning how to become a home inspector in Washington, the classes from AHIT will also help move you in the right direction to get your inspection company started.
Washington does not currently accept online home assessment courses for house inspector licensing. Washington State DOES accept internet-based or online courses for home inspection continuing education credit, as long as the course is accredited by the state.
Washington State has one of the most strenuous, strict and time-consuming requirement lists for home inspector licensing in the nation. Still, it doesn’t matter how many hours are required to get licensed as a property inspector; unless you are receiving top-notch training from qualified instructors, you will not be prepared to enter the field with only your pre-license training under your belt.
The Washington State Department of Licensing requires you to complete and pass a 120-hour “Fundamentals of Home Inspection” course, which is licensed and accredited by the State of Washington. You must also successfully complete 40 hours of field training with an active, licensed and experienced home inspector.
Washington Home Inspector Licensing
Depending on the state you live in, you may or may not be required to hold a home inspection license to lawfully perform home inspection services in that particular State or area. Washington is one state that has quite the intensive home inspector licensing requirements. Pre-licensing courses help you learn the ropes before your first inspection, giving you an advantage over competitors.
One home inspector training company called ATI offers home inspector pre-licensing classes online and in-person, keeping you on-track to dominate the field no matter your schedule. But remember, in Washington State, you must complete your education hours in an actual classroom setting, you are not allowed to substitute for online courses at this time.
InterNACHI, another home inspection organization, offers its members access to over 30 additional certifications to help you comply with the bi-annual continuing education requirements for home inspectors in Washington’s inspection industry. These online courses through NACHI will also help you to greatly hone, sharpen and increase your inspection skills and knowledge.
Home Inspection School
In Western Washington, there is only one inspection school that I would personally recommend, and that is SGA inspection school out of Lacey, Washington. I consider SGA Inspection to be the best home inspector school Washington State has to provide. Trevor and Steve will take care of you and make sure you know what you need to pass the home inspection licensing exams and get your start as a successful Washington State home inspector! Let Trevor and Steve of SGA teach you how to become a home inspector.
If you live outside of Washington State, or outside of Northern America in general, then coming all the way to Lacey Washington would be a bit unreasonable. Luckily, there are now several options for locating quality home inspector training all over the world!
InterNACHI is held in high standing for its continuing education opportunities for home inspectors and real estate agents alike, as well as home inspector certification courses and training to become a Certified Professional Inspector, and eventually a Certified Master Inspector. On top of providing its members with incredible amounts of materials and opportunities to get your bearings as a new home inspector, InterNACHI also provides State Home Inspection Licensing Courses; both online and in the classroom! So if you live in a state that allows for online licensing classes to be used, make sure to give InterNACHI a look, SPS Inspections is InterNACHI certified, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Whether you decide to become certified as a home inspector through InterNACHI or to use their online courses for your home inspection licensing, it is still a great idea to check out the American Society of Home Inspectors, or ASHI for short! There you can get plenty of more information on how to become a home inspector.
Home Inspector Job Opportunities
If you prefer to be in control of your career, rather than trying to find successful job opportunities as a home inspector, you need to work hard at starting a home inspection company rather than expecting work to come to you in the beginning.
Get at least decently good at home inspection report writing then, for the most part, finding work will be a non-issue as home inspecting is still a highly underserved industry, meaning there tends to be plenty of work available.
It is beneficial to think outside of the standard “‘im going to market to all the real estate agents in town” box, and remember that real estate agents are not the only ones who need home inspectors!
Insurance companies and insurance agents have constant need of home inspectors for 3rd-party, unbiased residential insurance claim inspection services.
Or what about mortgage agents and mortgage companies? They love inspectors because we can provide them with the manufactured home foundation certification services they tend to do a lot of business through.
There are also local organizations and societies, like your local Rotary Club, or your local HOA, where you might even be able to speak to a more massive crowd.
This can help you to get your home inspection brand more visibility and better known, as well as to introduce yourself to a larger segment of your community, which is always good for your reputation!