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You’ve been swinging hammers and hauling lumber for years, but your body just can’t take the physical demands anymore. It’s time to start looking for a new career that’s easier on your joints but still lets you use your construction know-how. Or maybe you’re tired of sitting at a desk all day and staring at a computer screen. Have you considered becoming a home inspector? The training time to break into this field varies widely depending on which state you live in. While the national average for the home inspector training is around 100 hours, some states require as few as 40 hours of training while others mandate over 200!

In this article, we will walk through the home inspector licensing rules on a state-by-state basis. You will learn the minimum education and experience needed to start inspecting homes in your area. We will also share tips to help you complete your home inspection training as quickly and affordably as possible. Let’s get started!

Read Also: A Guide to Home Inspections: What to Expect

How Long Does Home Inspector Training Take on Average?

On average, home inspector training takes 6 to 18 months to complete, depending on the state you want to work in. Some states only require a few weeks of coursework, while others mandate hundreds of hours of education and experience.

Classroom/Online Coursework

For most home inspectors, training starts with a classroom course to learn the fundamentals. You’ll study building construction, plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, foundations, and more. These courses typically last around 100 to 200 hours. Some schools offer in-person classes, while others provide the coursework online so you can learn at your own pace.

Internships and Apprenticeships

Some states require on-the-job training, like an internship or apprenticeship. This usually involves shadowing a licensed home inspector to gain real-world experience. An internship may last 3 to 12 months, depending on your state’s requirements. Most states do require some sort or “practicum” piece where you ride out with a licensed inspector in order to develop inspection reports and learn as much as you can.

Licensing Exams

Nearly all states require home inspectors to pass an exam to become licensed or certified. The exams cover the material from your coursework and on-the-job training. Studying for and passing your exam typically takes 2 to 6 months.

Continuing Education

Even after you start inspecting homes, your education isn’t over. Most states require annual continuing education to maintain your license. You’ll need to complete a certain number of hours of coursework each year to stay up-to-date with the latest codes, standards, and best practices.

So, while a few months of home inspection training may be enough to get started in some states, becoming a home inspector is an ongoing learning process. But for the opportunity to begin an exciting new career, the time spent in education and training can be well worth the effort.

Home Inspector Training and Education Requirements by State

The amount of training and education required to become a home inspector varies in each state. On average, most states require at least 120-160 hours of coursework, but some states require significantly more. Let’s break down the requirements in each state.

Certification States

There are 14 states in the U.S. that do not require a home inspection license in order to inspect homes. These are California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming. If you live in one of these states, find a provider that can assist you with a Home Inspector Certification. Companies like AHIT, ASHI, InterNACHI, and A-Train Academy have certification programs for individuals who live in an “unlicensed state.” Without a certification of some sort, it is unlikely that a realtor will use your services.

License States

The rest of the states in the U.S. are governed by a board or state department that regulates the requirements for becoming a home inspector. These states are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusettes, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washinton, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. Every state will vary, as mentioned above, on requirements for online, in-person, and on-the-job training.

Finding the Best Home Inspector Training Programs

The time it takes to become a certified home inspector varies in each state, but finding a comprehensive training program is key. Look for schools that provide a mix of online coursework and hands-on field training. Also, make double sure that if you live in a licensed state, the school you are looking at is an approved state provider!

Once you determine your state’s requirements, evaluate programs based on their curriculum, instructors’ experience, and student reviews. Look for courses that cover building systems, construction methods, inspection techniques, and defect-recognition. Hands-on field training, especially virtual reality practice, provides valuable experience inspecting components like attics, basements, and rooftops.

Choose between in-person, online, or a hybrid of both. In-person allows for mentorship and networking, while online offers flexibility. It is easier to do an online program if you have to work and complete your training. Interview potential schools to determine which option best suits your needs. If you choose to do in-person classes, searching for “home inspector training near me” should help you streamline your search to schools close to your location.

The path to becoming a home inspector will take dedication and hard work, regardless of your state’s requirements. However, finding an accredited training program, especially one that balances online and real-world elements, will properly equip you with the knowledge and skills to start your own business or work for an established company. While the timeline varies, count on at least 200 to 300 hours of education and home inspection training to become proficient. The good news? Once certified, you’ll have a career inspecting homes and helping people make one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

10 Questions to ask the schools you are researching:

  1. Do you offer financing?
  2. Do you provide final exam proctoring? If so, is that built into the cost? Or do you charge extra for exam proctoring?
  3. What does the support look like? How do I get my questions answered while I am working through the coursework?
  4. Can you help me with things after I get my license? Am I able to call and get advice on the business or ask hiring questions?
  5. What are your exam pass rates?
  6. What does the coursework look like? Mainly text and reading? Are there videos?
  7. What does the test help look like?
  8. What is the quality of your exam prep? Was it written by home inspectors?
  9. How many questions does your exam prep provide?
  10. What does the interest rates look like on your financing?

Conclusion

So there you have it! While home inspector training times vary quite a bit across the country, most states require around 100-200 hours of education. Expect to spend a few months getting those classroom and field training hours completed before you can take the exam. Do your homework to understand what’s needed in your state, then enroll in a program that fits your schedule. The job outlook for home inspectors is strong, and with the right amount of diligent study, you’ll be ready to launch your new career and start inspecting homes!