When I first got into the industry in 1994, not a single state had a home inspector licensing law. Now, more than 35 states require licensing for home inspectors and more states are rumored to be working on similar initiatives.
So, what does that mean for the person like you, who wants to get into the industry and start cashing in on the opportunities so many of us have enjoyed over the last few decades? The answer lies in first knowing who your regulatory agency is. Each state’s licensing law will be different and unique to that state. It’s where we all start our research into a new career as a home inspector.
The typical components of any given state’s licensing requirements are as follows:
- Educational hours. This usually consists of anywhere from 40 to 120 hours of classroom and lecture. Whether it’s delivered in a live classroom setting or a distance learning approach varies by state.
- Field training hours. About half the states’ licensing laws include a requirement for some kind of field training. The requirements may be in hours or in the number of inspections performed. For example, the states of Washington and New York both require 40 hours of field training with a licensed inspector while the states of Arizona and New Mexico require 30 inspections with a licensed inspector.
Not every school offers the field training component in every state that requires it and this may require some effort on your part to get it done.
- Passing the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). The NHIE has been around for a long time and is the standard for testing minimum competency for the home inspection profession. It’s a 200 question, 4-hour exam.
Some schools teach to the exam, others teach performing the home inspection. What you want to find is a school that teaches ALL of the following:
- Technical. Let’s face it, there’s a lot to know about a home before you can inspect one and it’s pretty technical. As a result, for the curriculum to be relevant, it must be up to date.
- Procedural. Learning about home inspections is one thing, but without a solid procedure to use in the field, it’s like taking driver’s ed and driving a car without any practical, on-the-road experience. You know the rules, but haven’t learned how to use the steering wheel, accelerator or brake! Make sure your training provider has a solid procedure segment so you can what??
- Communication. Communicating the deficiencies accurately and with the proper emotion and perspective is an art form. It’s a skill that begins with the proper training and develops as you practice it. Without proper communication skills, a home inspector is likely to miscommunicate their findings in an alarming manner and kill the deal. You must learn how to avoid this costly mistake from the beginning.
- Exam Preparation. The exam is important, even critical to your career. The great news is that you only have to pass it once! Your provider should be able to demonstrate how they prepare you for the NHIE. It’s one of the three base components required for nearly every state’s home inspector license.
- Marketing. Once armed with all the necessary skills, and a license, a new inspector is ready to market their business. If you’re thinking google ads and search engine optimization are all you need, think again. Ours is a relationship-oriented business. Every successful home inspector has established, built and maintained valuable business relationships with real estate agents to build their business. Does your training provider offer the detailed and PROVEN techniques required to make your business as successful as others? Ask for proof.
HI-TEC thinks like a school AND a business. We meet all 5 of these requirements in every class we teach. We’re here because we’ve already worked for the biggest schools in the country. We know what students need to be successful, and how to best provide everyone with the knowledge and skills required to make home inspections a lifelong career. We don’t make sales pitches in class, and we teach the marketing in every class so you can get licensed, get marketing, and start recouping your investment right away.
Give us a call at 877.51.HI.TEC and let one of our admissions experts help you get the answers you need!