Home Inspector: What Is It and How to Become

Home Inspector: What Is It and How to Become

If you are looking to start a new career and have always been interested in homes, becoming a home inspector may be the perfect path for you. Home inspectors are certified professionals who have the knowledge and skills to assess the condition of a house and identify any issues or potential problems. They play a vital role in the home buying process, providing home buyers with peace of mind and helping them make informed decisions.

So, how do you become a home inspector? There are several steps you need to take before you can start conducting inspections on your own. The first step is to contact your state licensing office to find out the specific requirements for becoming a licensed home inspector in your state. Some states may require you to complete certain courses or pass an exam, while others may have additional requirements such as obtaining fingerprints or a background check.

Once you know the requirements, you can start preparing for your new career. There are many pre-licensing courses available that will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills needed to become a home inspector. These courses cover topics such as the fundamentals of home inspections, building codes, and report writing.

If you are a veteran, there are also special programs and partnerships available to help you make a smooth transition into a career as a home inspector. For example, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) offers a 120-hour pre-licensing course for military personnel. This course has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs, making it easy for veterans to obtain the necessary training and get licensed.

Once you have completed the required courses and passed the exam, you can apply for your home inspector license. Make sure to gather all the necessary documents, such as proof of completing the pre-licensing courses and any other requirements set by your state. Some states may also require you to have professional liability insurance before issuing you a license.

Now that you have your license, you are ready to start working as a home inspector. There are many software and tools available that can help you conduct inspections and generate professional reports. Some popular options include HomeGauge and House Call Pro. These programs allow you to efficiently gather and organize information during your inspections, making your job easier and more efficient.

Becoming a home inspector can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice. By following these steps and obtaining the necessary training and license, you can join the ranks of the most trusted professionals in the industry. So don’t miss out on this opportunity – start preparing today and begin your journey as a certified home inspector!

Research the Home Inspection Industry

Before you begin your journey to become a home inspector, it’s important to research the home inspection industry to get a better understanding of what it entails. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Obtain Basic Education: Start by completing a 120-hour home inspection course. This course will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills required for a home inspector.
  2. Know Your State’s Licensing Requirements: Research the licensing requirements in your state. Each state has its own set of regulations and qualifications for becoming a licensed home inspector. Some states may require you to take an examination or submit certain documents.
  3. Contact Professional Organizations: Reach out to professional organizations like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) to get an overview of the industry and connect with experienced inspectors.
  4. Find out about Insurance and Certification: It’s a good idea to research insurance and certification options. Although it may not be a requirement in every state, having insurance and certification can give you a competitive edge and build trust with potential clients.
  5. Research the Examination Process: Find out what examination you need to take to become licensed in your state. This could be a national or state-specific exam. Understand the fees associated with the exam and any hidden costs you may need to budget for.
  6. Follow the Steps to Obtain a License: Once you have completed the necessary education, passed the examination, and fulfilled all the requirements, you can start the process of obtaining your license. This may involve submitting documents and fees to your state’s licensing office.
  7. Get to Work: Congratulations! You are now a licensed home inspector. Start building your client base and getting involved in the industry. Join professional organizations, attend seminars and workshops, and stay updated on industry trends and new regulations.
  8. Don’t Miss FAQs: While researching, don’t miss the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on various home inspection websites. This section can provide quick answers to common queries and help you navigate through the licensing process.
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Remember that the specific steps and requirements may vary by state, so make sure to thoroughly research the regulations in your area. While it may take some time and effort, becoming a licensed home inspector can be a rewarding career choice that allows you to work independently and help people with their most important asset – their home.

Obtain the Necessary Education

1. Start by checking the licensing requirements in your state. Each state may have its own approved education and licensing facts, so make sure you know the specific requirements for your state.

2. In some states, such as Missouri, a license is not required to work as a home inspector. However, obtaining a license can help you stand out above the competition and secure more jobs. Being licensed also shows potential home buyers and clients that you have met certain standards and can be trusted.

3. Consider enrolling in a pre-licensing course. This course will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the field of home inspection. There are many online and in-person courses available, so choose the one that best fits your schedule and learning style.

4. Purchase any study materials or books that are recommended for the pre-licensing course. These materials will help you prepare for the final examination and ensure that you have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of home inspection.

5. Pass the pre-licensing examination. This examination is designed to test your knowledge and ensure that you are ready to become a licensed home inspector. Although it may require some hard work and studying, passing the examination is a crucial step on the path to becoming a home inspector.

Once you have completed these steps and obtained your license, you can start working as a home inspector. However, the journey does not end there. Home inspection careers require continuing education and certification to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and techniques.

It is also important to consider liability insurance to protect yourself and your clients. Home inspection is a field that involves potential risks, and having insurance coverage can provide peace of mind for both you and your clients.

By following this 5-step process and obtaining the necessary education and licensing, you can set yourself up for success in the home inspection industry. Begin your journey today and start building a career in a field that is in high demand.

Gain Practical Experience

Here are the best ways to gain practical experience as a home inspector:

  1. Join a reputable home inspection association or organization such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). These associations often offer training and mentorship programs to help you gain experience.
  2. Work as an apprentice or trainee under an experienced home inspector. This hands-on experience will allow you to learn from the best and understand the ins and outs of the home inspection business.
  3. Take advantage of state-approved training courses and certifications. These will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform home inspections effectively.
  4. Consider completing additional courses or certifications in specialized areas such as commercial inspections, interior design, architecture, or marketing. These can make you stand out from the competition and expand your potential client base.
  5. Gain experience through volunteering or offering your services for free. While this may not be ideal for the long term, it can be a quick way to gain practical experience and build your portfolio.

During this process, make sure to maintain a good working relationship with the homeowners or real estate agents who allow you to inspect their properties. Networking and word of mouth referrals are often the most effective marketing tools for home inspectors.

Remember, becoming a successful home inspector is a 5-step process: understand the licensing requirements, complete the pre-licensing courses, pass the licensing exam, gain practical experience, and market yourself effectively. By following this guide and gaining the necessary experience, you’ll be on your way to building a successful home inspection business.

Prepare for the Home Inspector Exam

  1. Research the requirements: Different states have different licensing and certification requirements for home inspectors. It is important to research and understand the specific requirements in your state.
  2. Complete the necessary education: To qualify for the home inspector examination, you will need to complete a state-approved 120-hour home inspection course. This course covers the fundamentals of home inspection and prepares you for the exam.
  3. Register for the exam: Once you have completed the 120-hour course, you can register for the home inspector exam. Contact your state’s licensing authority or home inspector association to find out where and how to register.
  4. Gather the required documents: Before taking the exam, you will need to gather and submit the required documents, such as proof of completed education, fingerprints, and any other necessary forms.
  5. Prepare for the exam: It is important to dedicate time to study and review the materials covered in the course. Use resources like practice exams and study guides to ensure you are well-prepared.
  6. Take the exam: On the day of the examination, make sure you arrive early, well-rested, and with the necessary materials. The exam will test your knowledge of home inspection and related topics.
  7. Get certified and licensed: Once you have successfully completed the examination, you can apply for certification and licensing. This will allow you to work as a professional home inspector.
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When preparing for the home inspector exam, it is important to know that it can be a challenging and intensive process. However, with the right amount of dedication and study, you can successfully pass the exam and become a certified home inspector.

Getting licensed and certified as a home inspector is not only a great career choice but also a promising one. With the demand for home inspections on the rise, there is a growing need for qualified and knowledgeable professionals in this field.

In addition to working in the private sector, home inspection careers are also attractive to individuals with military backgrounds. Veterans often possess the skills and attention to detail required in a home inspector, making them ideal candidates for this profession.

Furthermore, liability insurance coverage is a must for home inspectors. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, will cover you and your clients in the event of any mistakes or omissions made during the inspection process. Make sure to obtain this insurance to protect yourself and your clients.

Lastly, it is important to note that becoming a home inspector is not just about passing the exam. It is about ongoing education, staying up-to-date with industry standards, and continuously improving your skills as a home inspector. Consider joining a professional association, like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), to connect with other professionals in the field and access valuable resources to enhance your career.

Apply for Your Home Inspector License

The first step in obtaining your license is to contact the licensing authority in your state. Each state has its own requirements and processes for obtaining a home inspector license, so it’s important to know what these are before you begin the application process.

In some states, such as Missouri, you may need to join a professional association like the Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII) and complete their state-approved education courses before you can apply for a license.

If you wish to become certified by a national association like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), there are additional requirements you will need to meet. This may include passing their exams and adhering to their code of ethics.

Before you can apply for your license, you will need to gather all the necessary documentation. This may include proof of completed training, fingerprints, and any other required forms or fees.

Once you have all the required documents, you can submit your application. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by the licensing authority and double-check that you have included everything they require.

Although the application process may vary depending on your state, it is important to start as soon as possible to avoid any delays in obtaining your license.

After you have submitted your application, it is time to prepare for the licensing exam. This exam will test your knowledge and understanding of home inspections, so it is important to study and review all the relevant materials.

If you feel that you need additional training or courses before taking the exam, there are optional trainings and educational resources available to help you prepare.

Once you have passed the licensing exam, congratulations! You are now a licensed home inspector and ready to start working in the field.

Remember, getting your home inspector license is just the beginning of your career. The demand for home inspectors is high, and with the right knowledge and skills, you can have a successful and fulfilling career in this industry.

As you start working as a home inspector, consider joining professional associations, like InterNACHI or PHII, which can provide additional support, resources, and networking opportunities.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to obtain your home inspector license and start your career. Apply today and take the next step towards success!


What are the steps to becoming a home inspector?

The steps to becoming a home inspector include: completing the required education and training, gaining hands-on experience, passing a state exam, obtaining insurance and certifications, and starting your own business or joining a home inspection company.

What education and training is required to become a home inspector?

The education and training required to become a home inspector can vary by state, but typically includes completing a state-approved home inspector training program and obtaining a certain number of hours of field training.

How can I gain hands-on experience as a home inspector?

You can gain hands-on experience as a home inspector by working under the supervision of an experienced inspector, participating in ride-alongs, and conducting inspections under their guidance.

What certifications do I need to become a home inspector in Missouri?

In Missouri, you are not required to obtain any specific certifications to become a home inspector. However, obtaining certifications such as the InterNACHI certification can help you establish credibility and attract more clients.

How long does it take to become a licensed home inspector in Missouri?

The timeline to become a licensed home inspector in Missouri can vary depending on the individual, but it typically takes several months to a year to complete the required education, training, and licensing process.

What are the steps to becoming a home inspector?

The steps to becoming a home inspector typically include obtaining a high school diploma or GED, completing a home inspection training program, gaining practical experience through apprenticeships or on-the-job training, passing a state licensing exam, and obtaining the necessary certifications.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.