3 Things to Know About Being a Home Inspector
Inspecting the quality of a building's construction is very important work. People need to be able to trust that an inspector is being honest and thorough. But that's why many professionals in this trade find it so satisfying. It can feel great to be counted on for your expertise. So it might be a terrific option for you as well.
As you consider going after a career in home inspection, keep a few things in mind:
1. You may need to earn home inspection certification or licensure.
Whether you want to become your own boss or work for someone else, you'll likely need to become licensed or certified. In the U.S., 39 states have licensure requirements for home inspectors. So you'll want to check with your own state to find out what you need to earn. Sometimes, home inspection certification is awarded after the successful completion of a training program. But you may also be required to pass a state exam.
In addition to official credentials, you'll also need the right tools for the job. And if you're planning on starting your own business, you'll want to consider getting home inspector insurance as well as business support through an organization such as the National Association of Home Inspectors or the American Society of Home Inspectors.
2. The work situations of home inspectors can vary.
Home inspectors can have a variety of employment or contracting arrangements. For example, those who work for government agencies generally work regular daytime hours during the week, whereas self-employed inspectors often have more flexible schedules and may perform some work in the evening or on the weekend to meet the needs of certain clients.
In the event that an emergency arises on an active construction site being inspected, a building inspector might need to be available to assess the situation immediately. Generally, however, most home inspectors perform their work on houses or buildings that are already completed.
As a home inspector, you can expect to be responsible for looking over the plumbing, electrical, and other important systems to ensure that everything is running up to code. You'll also inspect a home's foundation, roofing, and walls, reporting any code violations to ensure that building owners and any potential buyers know what needs to be fixed in order to get up to compliance.
3. The job outlook is good for those with home inspection training.
In 2013, the average salary for a full-time construction or building inspector in the U.S. was over $56,400. But some inspectors made more than $85,000.* And, between 2012 and 2022, employment in this trade is expected to rise by 12 percent.**
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* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last accessed on December 16, 2014.
** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, website last visited on December 16, 2014.