How to Become a Home Inspector: 7 Easy Steps

Home inspectors earn a great living and work flexible hours. And if you learn how to become a home inspector, the job can offer you great job security – especially when the real estate market is booming.

Becoming a home inspector may seem like a complicated process, but it’s pretty straightforward if you follow the steps for the state where you want to become a licensed home inspector. In this post, we cover how to become a home inspector and outline some things you can do to expedite the process.

How to Become a Licensed Home Inspector

Since we are home inspectors here in Dothan, Alabama, we’ll explain how to become a home inspector in our home state. To become a home inspector in Alabama, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Be a member of one of the state-approved organizations.
    • American Society of Home Inspectors
    • Housing Inspection Foundation
    • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
    • National Institute of Building Inspectors
  3. Complete a minimum of
    • 120 hours of approved home inspector education and participate in 35 home inspections, OR
    • 35 hours of approved home inspector education and participate in 100 home inspections.
  4. Pass two exams.
    • ASHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
    • EBPHI’s NHIE
  5. Draft 25 home inspection reports.
    • 10 reports must be reviewed by a home inspector who has been licensed in the state for the past five years.
  6. Obtain home inspector insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements.
  7. Submit an application and fee to the state. The application is on the state website.

While the process may seem lengthy, the only challenging part of how to become a home inspector is putting in the work. After you obtain your license, you can start working with clients for a company like Cornerstone Home Inspectors or one-on-one.

You can optionally obtain a “Residential New Construction Inspector” designation after becoming a licensed home inspector.

How to Get the Residential New Construction Inspector Designation

Earning the Residential New Construction Inspector designation is not a mandatory legal requirement for an inspector to examine new construction. Home inspectors who choose not to get this designation will not be limited in their career in any way since the law does not limit the rights of any licensee.

But earning this title looks nice on the resume and is undoubtedly good to have. To earn this designation, home inspectors need to:

  1. Submit an application form filled out with complete and accurate information as permitted by the Director.
  2. Submit proof of successfully completing a state-approved Residential New Construction training module.
    • It involves eight hours of training.
    • You should complete this training module no more than two years prior to application.

The state of Alabama also offers Alabama licensure for the designations of general contractor, registered professional architect, registered professional engineer, and residential home builder.

How to Renew Home Inspector License in Alabama

The rules for home inspector license renewal changed in 2021. The home inspection license expiration period is one year, and you will need to meet the following requirements to renew the license:

  • Take 15 hours of approved continuing education per year. There are several free and paid programs online and offline that are approved by the state. All of InterNACHI’s courses are free and approved by the state.
  • Prove your continued compliance with the state’s standards by becoming a member of one of the aforementioned professional bodies.
  • Complete at least three hours of continuing education dedicated to making more helpful home inspection reports.
    • These three hours of training will count towards the total fifteen hours of continuing education required yearly.
    • You can find a lot of resources online to help you meet this requirement.
  • Submit a renewal application to the Director of the Alabama Division of Construction Management.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do home inspectors earn?

The latest data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that home inspectors earn an average salary of $62,860 per year. Once you learn how to become a home inspector, this could be more or less dependent on the real estate market in your area.

How much does one home inspection pay?

The average fee of a home inspection averages between $300 and $500. How much you charge for an inspection will depend on the size and age of the property after you learn how to become a home inspector. You will find out more about how you should charge your customers when you complete the required home inspection training or check our pricing for home inspections here in Southeast Alabama. You can also read more in our post on how much is a home inspection.

Does Alabama require home inspectors to take continuing education?

Yes, part of how to become a home inspector is the state requires home inspectors to complete 15 hours of continuing education to renew their license.

How do home inspectors get a certificate after completing the training?

The certificate is typically mailed to the home inspector after successfully completing the course.

Is there a limit on how long I have to complete a home inspection training course?

If you choose to take your course online as part of how to become a home inspector, you can go through it at your own pace and take as long as you like to complete it. But you will only get certified when you finish the course.

Will I need to buy tools to carry out home inspections?

Yes, there are tools such as gas detectors and moisture meters that you will need to purchase to carry out home inspections. The list of tools you will require will be given to you during how to become a home inspector training. You will also learn how to use them appropriately. You can expect to shell out around $200 for buying the required tools.

What sorts of things will I inspect?

A home inspection is one of the most important steps in the home selling or buying process. It involves a visual examination of the home to determine the home’s true condition. And while we inspect a property thoroughly, all home inspections are non-invasive in nature. This means inspectors cannot see what is behind the walls of a home or in between the floors – unless there is a crawl space and attic. Check out our home inspection checklist to see all the things you will inspect as a home inspector.

How does a home inspector get marketing material?

This is one of the most important steps in the process of how to become a home inspector. The best way to kickstart your home inspection career is to get some business cards and brochures made. Building a website for your business is also an excellent idea since it is affordable, easy to build, and gives you credibility.

Does Alabama have a state test for home inspectors?

No, Alabama does not administer a test for home inspections, and candidates will need to take the NHIE after they get certified. The training course should teach you all you need to know to pass.

Do home inspectors have to submit their certificates to the board in Alabama?

Yes, after you get certified and begin the process to get your license, you will need to send your certificate to the home inspection board in Alabama.

Do I need to become a home builder to be a home inspector?

The process of how to become a home inspector does not require you to be a home builder or ever worked on a construction site. People from any background can take the home inspection course and begin their careers.

Conclusion: Ready to Become a Home Inspector?

Becoming a certified home inspector gives you the opportunity to earn an excellent living while setting your own hours. To get started, all you need to do is find the right course and an inspection company to help you complete your inspections and review your reports. You could take the course locally or take one of the many online courses available for aspiring home inspectors.