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Whether you’re looking to make a career change or just starting your professional life, home inspection is an excellent choice. Starting anything new may be risky and nerve-wracking, but with proper planning and research, you could smoothen your transition. If you’re interested in becoming a home inspector and don’t know where to begin, read this blog to find out whether this career path is the right fit for you and what you would need to do to succeed.
Most often, people who decide to become home inspectors are those who make the shift from the construction industry. It makes sense to build their new career on the expertise and knowledge they already have. Since they possess a thorough understanding of the house structure and its systems, principles of construction and the properties of different materials, former construction workers take comparatively lesser time than others to learn the occupation. Understandably, they can better identify risks and suggest proper solutions during the home inspection process.
Tradespersons can also be successful as home inspectors. For instance, if they have worked as plumbers or electricians, they might be familiar with some of the topics covered in a home inspection course.
Realtors or real estate agents could also be a good fit as home inspectors. While they may lack the hands-on experience and skills, they are aware of the market, its trends, as well as the most common issues and concerns, homebuyers face.
Although some relevant experience could be beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career in home inspection, it doesn’t mean people from other industries or backgrounds shouldn’t consider the profession. There are home inspectors with experience in manufacturing, engineering, technology and other fields.
Once you have determined that you’re interested in the home inspector profession, you can enroll in a home inspection course that focuses on core areas of a home, including structure, plumbing, heating, ventilation, electricity, exterior, roofing and others.
Apart from the technical skills, home inspection courses are designed to teach prospective specialists to write reports and properly communicate the findings of the inspection to the clients. It’s key to their future career success that the clients understand the process and the results of home inspection.
Home inspection courses take about 250 hours, including 120 practicum hours. Often they are offered online so that you can save time and money and even combine your studies with a job. Live online learning still involves regular interaction with the instructor and peer students and guarantees the same result as in-class studies.
Once the education component is completed, the prospective home inspector needs to take a series of qualifying exams administered by the Home Inspection Association in their province. After the exam, you’ll need to gain a minimum of 75 hours of field training with an approved home inspection trainer. You’ll need to submit the report of this training with your application when applying for your license.
In addition to the mandatory home inspection course and training, you will need to obtain a peer review, a municipal business licence, a criminal record check and liability insurance.
One of the main aspirations of home inspectors is to launch their own businesses. It offers them flexibility in setting their hours, finding the perfect work-life balance and improving their income. When you’re working independently, you’re fully in charge of your career. However, it all comes with practice, establishing a network of partners and clients and building your brand.
Opening a new business can be challenging, and therefore, it’s best to start by either joining an existing company or by purchasing a franchise. This way, a new home inspector can benefit from the guidance of experienced professionals, their established brand and market presence and marketing activities. It’s always a good idea to continue learning even after completing your course. Keep mastering new tools and techniques to be a successful home inspector.