Requirements for home inspectors vary greatly by state, with some having no
requirements at all and many now requiring state certification. Check
first with your state to see what their requirements for home inspectors
The American Home Inspector Training Institute web site has an interactive
map that can direct you to the requirements for your state
(www.ahit.com/training/stateregs/stateregs.htm). It will tell you what is
required and also the governing board (if any) for home inspectors in your
state. I would also recommend that you follow up with that board to
confirm that those requirements are the current ones.
Many states, such as Arizona require a minimum of 80 hours of education
(either classroom or self study--though I would strongly suggest
classroom); some number of parallel inspections (where you actually do an
inspection in parallel with a certified inspector, prepare your report,
then have it reviewed and approved by the inspector); passing of an exam;
and review and approval of some number of inspection reports by the
I would also recommend you attend some of the meetings of one of the
national associations in your area (ASHI (American Society of Home
Inspectors) - www.ASHI.com) or NACHI (National Association of Home
Inspectors - www.nachi.org) are two well respected ones. Talk to the
members--they are an invaluable source of information and usually LOVE to
talk about their work. And they are most familiar with the intricacies of
your particular market.
I would also suggest you check out www.InspectionNews.com -- it is a
wonderful BB for home inspectors and an invaluable source of information.
Most of your questions have probably been asked a hundred times before, so
I would use the search feature before asking general questions like, "How
do I get started?" or "How long does it take to break even?" Two of the
threads (Advertising, Legal, Marketing etc. and Chit Chat) are the two
that generally have the answers to a lot of general business related
Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough that you thoroughly investigate what it
takes to become a home inspector; what it takes to run a business (most
inspectors are single person companies); and how much you might make.
Many of the schools might suggest that you can do 4 or 5 inspections a day
and make $400-$500 per inspection. In reality, you can usually do 2
inspections a day (IF you have the business coming in), at an average of
$300 per inspection--however, your business cost will be about 50%, so
your Net Profit Before Tax would be about $300 a day for those days that
you work. In Arizona the Real Estate market is very down right now and
most established inspectors are lucky to be doing 3 home inspections a
week ($450 PBT per week) and many have dropped out.
That being said, we have leveraged our home inspection business into other
related ares (mold inspections, construction inspections, commercial
inspections, draw inspections) and are slightly ahead of what we made last
year at this time in a boon residential market.
Gino, I do not want to dissuade you. I think all industries need to be
replenished from time to time with talented, dedicated new blood.
However, I think it is critical that you get all the facts first and weigh
them wisely before making your decision and spending thousands of dollars
only to find out it's not what you expected.
I am in the process of developing training for new and potential new home
inspectors on the business side of home inspection, but it is still in
development and not yet ready for release. You can get a better
understanding of what we do in our home inspection business, make use of
our extensive links, etc., by visiting our web site at