Home inspectors play an important role in the home buying and selling process. Their job is to provide thorough inspections of homes prior to the completion of a sale, checking the structural integrity of the building, the electrical system, water heater, roof, basement and other areas of the home for evidence of safety and maintenance issues. When the inspection is complete, the home inspector will write up a detailed report for the sellers and buyers to give them an impartial overview of the home's condition. Home inspectors who are licensed often have more authority than unlicensed inspectors, as they are required to take specialized training courses, a licensing exam and continuing education credits throughout their careers.
Check the laws in your state to see if home inspectors are required to be licensed. This information is available from your state's professional licensing division or the official state government website. You may call the licensing department directly to learn of any formal requirements.
Meet the educational requirements for licensure. At a minimum, most states require inspectors to have a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate. Additionally, you will likely need to complete a specialized training program or apprenticeship to meet your state's licensing requirements. In Tennessee, for example, applicants must complete a state-approved, 90-hour training program prior to applying for licensure.
Pass a state-selected National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE). Test centers in every state offer the examination throughout the year. If you aren't sure where the nearest test center is to you, go to the National Home Inspector Examination website to find a list of test providers and online registration links by state. PSI gives the home inspector test in all but five states. Florida, Illinois, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington use their own state-approved testing centers.
Provide a certificate for proof of general liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance. The exact amount of insurance minimums will vary from state to state.
Fill out an application for licensure and return to your state's licensing division along with the required fee and documentation. If you aren't sure how to obtain a licensure application, contact your state's licensing division directly.
Continuing education credits will be necessary to renew your license in the future. Make sure you understand how many credits are necessary for renewal so that you're able to remain licensed.
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