Are you ready to lay the foundation for your own home inspection business? We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you cement your new career as a home inspector in California. Follow the steps below to learn more about home inspection courses (and why they’re necessary), taking the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE), networking in your area, the home inspection insurance must-haves, and where to go from here.
There are no national prerequisites. (However, some home inspection firms might require a GED, insurance, a clean background check, etc.)
Prepare for Your Career With California’s State-Recognized Home Inspection Courses
While California does not require a license to work as a home inspector, there are different types of inspections and business practices by which home inspectors must legally abide. Professional home inspection training from a reputable home inspection school is key to understanding those business practices as well as establishing yourself as a trusted expert.
Additionally, real estate agents, potential employers, and lenders prefer working with individuals who hold a home inspector certification, because the smooth operation of their business relies on yours. This expertise gives certified home inspectors a critical edge in finding new and repeat business. Our 120-hr. recommended course, including ebooks, will prepare you to face the real-world challenges that licensed home inspectors typically encounter and help you master the topics found on the National Home Inspector Exam.
Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
After completing your home inspector education, the next step in establishing yourself as a trusted expert is passing the National Home Inspector Exam. The 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.
Fun Fact: Veterans taking the National Home Inspector Exam are eligible for reimbursement through the GI Bill. Those who choose to exercise this benefit must complete a VBA-22-0803-ARE form and submit it with the receipt to the VA for reimbursement.
Begin to Network, Make Connections, and Join Professional Associations in California
Purchase General Liability Insurance and/or Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance
Making mistakes is a part of human nature, and it happens to the best of us. To protect yourself and your livelihood from career-ending lawsuits, taking out a general liability and/or an errors and omissions insurance policy is a must for all home inspection professionals.
General liability policies for small businesses are roughly $40 per month, while errors and omissions insurance can set you back approximately $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.
Register Your Business or Join a Multi-Inspector Firm
After you’ve completed your AHIT Home Inspection Training and passed the NHIE, it’s time to get to work. You can choose to start your own home inspection business (either as a sole proprietor or LLC) and call a tax professional. Or, if you prefer to gain some experience and have a steady flow of leads first, you can look to join an established multi-inspector firm. Regardless, there’s no wrong path to success in the lucrative and exciting world of home inspection.
Each home inspection professional should have a general liability and/or errors and omissions insurance policy.
Home inspectors can operate independently or join a home inspection firm.
Want To Learn More?
There’s a reason why over 70,000 students have chosen us. Check out the home inspector online course with AHIT and see for yourself. Most packages include books, videos, exercises, practice questions, a certificate of completion & more!