Are you ready to lay the foundation of your own home inspection business? We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you cement your new career as a home inspector in Alabama. Follow the steps below to learn more about home inspection courses, taking the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) exam and National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE), fieldwork requirements, and where to go from here.
Conduct 35 Home Inspections in the Field or Complete 35 hours of Approved Home Inspection Education & Participate in 100 Home Inspections with a Licensed Alabama Home Inspector.
The next step in acquiring your Alabama Home Inspector License is completing 35 home inspections in the field or a 35-hour course with participation in 100 home inspections with a licensed inspector. Then you must complete 25 draft inspection reports for 25 home inspections and have them reviewed and corrected by a qualified home inspector.
This experience provides you with real-world, hands-on training that will make your transition into the field seamless.
The National Home Inspector Exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions (25 of which are not scored) covering three major domains, or sections, that every home inspector should know. Those domains are:
Property and Building Inspection/Site Review
Analysis of Findings and Reporting
Test takers are given 4 hours to complete the exam, and each attempt costs roughly $225 (depending on your location). Due to the unignorable cost of taking the exam, we highly recommend taking an Exam Prep course to greatly increase your chances of passing on the first try. If an individual does not pass, they must wait 30 days before taking the exam again.
Provide Proof of Insurance
Making mistakes is a part of human nature, and it happens to the best of us. All home inspectors in Alabama must purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy with at least $250,000 in coverage and a liability insurance policy with $20,000 in coverage for injury/damage to a property, $50,000 in coverage for personal injury/death to a person, and $100,000 in coverage for injury/death to more than one person. Errors and omissions policies for small businesses are roughly $59 per month. To get the best rate and a better idea of what coverage you need, speak with a licensed local insurance agent who has worked with other home inspectors, members of local home inspector trade organizations, or shop for insurers online.
Show Proof of Membership in an Approved Industry Organization, Approval to Conduct Inspections, or a High School Diploma With 1 Year of Experience
Finally, applicants may satisfy the requirement by providing their GED or high school diploma and showing proof of 1 year of home inspection experience with the completion of at least 100 home inspections.
Note: Applicants who have held Alabama licensure on or after 1/1/98 as a general contractor, registered professional architect, registered professional engineer, or residential home builder will not be required to repeat proof of such professional licensing and will satisfy this requirement.
Pay $300 Application Fee and Submit a Notarized Application
Once everything has been completed, it’s time to apply for your Alabama Home Inspector License. The application fee is $300, and the application must be notarized upon submission. Candidates can submit their application and pay the associated fees online.
To become a licensed Alabama home inspector, you must:
Complete a 120-hour Alabama home inspection course
Take and pass the ASHI exam and the NHIE
Provide proof of liability and errors and omissions insurance
Join an approved home inspection association
Submit a notarized application with the $300 fee
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Alabama home inspection education hours: 120 hours (effective March 15, 2020)
Inspections: Participation in 35 home inspections (effective March 15, 2020)
Exam Required: ASHI and NHIE
Application Fee: $300 (other fees may apply)
Draft home inspection reports for 25 home inspections, 10 of which must be reviewed and corrected by a qualified home inspector (effective March 15, 2020)
Applicant must meet one of four professional qualifications:
Membership in one of the following professional bodies:
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
Housing Inspection Foundation (HIF)
International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI)
Approval or certification by on the following agencies to inspection residential construction:
United States Veterans Administration
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Southern Building Code Congress International
Council of American Building Officials
High school diploma or equivalent plus work experience for one year as a home inspector and completion of at least 100 home inspections for compensation
Alabama licensure on or after January 1, 1998, as a general contractor, registered professional architect, registered professional engineer, or residential home builder. Renewals of home inspector licensure previously supported by evidence of an acceptable professional license shall not require the applicant to repeat proof of such professional licensing.
Insurance Requirements: Obtain bodily injury and property damage liability insurance covering the applicant’s home inspection operations in the sum of not less than $20,000 for injury or damage to property; $50,000 for injury or damage, including death, to any one person; $100,000 for injury or damage, including death, to more than one person; and $250,000 of E&O coverage.
Notarized application is required
Background check and fingerprints are not required
Home Inspection License Expiration: 12/31 every year (filed by 10/1)
Alabama Home Inspector Continuing Education Requirements