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Being a home inspector is an interesting and meaningful job. These dedicated professionals help prospective home buyers understand the strengths and weaknesses in a home and can save them money, time and heartache. Working in the occupation requires licensing in some of the provinces, but there are a number of steps to take in order to get licensed.
In order to be considered for licensing, one of the key steps is to pass the designated exam through one of the four examination bodies permitted through Consumer Protection BC: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia’s (ASTT) House Inspection Competency Examination; Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors CAHPI(BC) Canadian Home Inspector Examination; Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ Associate Level Examination; and Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors’ National Home Inspector Examination (United States).
The exam is far from simple, even for those with applicable experience such as former (or current) carpenters, general contractors or others in the industry. To make the possibility of passing the test that much more likely, it’s advisable to take a home inspection training course led by an experienced (and licensed) home inspector. Not only is the education ideal for exam preparation, it’s mandatory. Consumer Protection BC requires those applying for a home inspector licence to have completed a minimum of 150 hours of academic-based training through an approved program.
A home inspector needs to be able to review all systems within a home and advise their clients (generally the prospective home buyer) whether these areas are good, acceptable or in need of improvement. This information is delivered through a written report as well as a verbal explanation of what was found while reviewing the home. Therefore, home inspector training needs to include all of the various systems within a building and the components that make up those systems.
A home inspection training program must include details on the following systems:
Most individuals who are looking into becoming a home inspector already have exposure to the residential home construction or renovation field through one of the trades. While this allows an individual to feel comfortable in reviewing the systems of a home, there is no way to know and understand all of the systems and how they can fail without adequate home inspector training. This is why Consumer Protection BC requires the educational component along with the exam, practical training and other aspects in the process of becoming a licensed home inspector.
Many courses are taught with the option of in-person or online learning methods to provide the flexibility students need when they are currently working another job. Although many students may feel they have access to materials that will teach the same information as a home inspector training course, they are not delivered by an experienced instructor who has worked in the field. Having an instructor who understands the processes of the program gives students the ability to have questions answered and place an emphasis on areas they need more time with.
Certainly some individuals work better in a self-study style, but in these situations there are no opportunities for dialogue to gain an understanding of challenging topics or to confirm information that may require clarification. Not only is taking home inspection training a requirement of becoming a licensed home inspector, it also allows for a practical learning environment led by an experienced professional who understands the process as well as the occupation.