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How to Become a Home Inspector

Updated on June 19, 2015

Becoming a Home Inspector

Have you been interested in becoming a home inspector and wondered what you would need to do? It depends on where you live and the licensing requirements there. Often home inspectors can join associations that will increase credibility with potential customers because you’re a member of the club.

For starters you will need a high school diploma, or a GED. Ideally, as you go through high school, specialize in math and science as you will need to be proficient in both of these to be a good home inspector. When you graduate, consider taking a community college course in building and construction. From there it is ideal to apprentice in some sort of trade. If you work as a carpenter, plumber, electrician or other trade, especially if you work with a crew that actually builds buildings, you’ll learn lots about the construction industry. You will also want to take many courses in building construction and management. You need to understand a building from the inside out to know what works and what doesn’t. This will help you inspect buildings properly in the future and ensure residents of them will be safe.

Personality of an Inspector

Future home inspectors need to be cool headed people who aren’t going to get into fights with clients and builders they work with. Enforcing codes can sometimes be a difficult task. You may also be responsible for ensuring that a client gets what they paid for and may have to be the liaison between the client and the contractor who is not doing work up to code. This can be highly stressful as it’s common to have several people mad at you at the same time.

Skills Required

Spend time learning all the building codes available to you. You’ll want to be familiar with not only the current building code, but also the previous ones. Usually buildings are only required to meet the standards of the year in which they were built. This means that as you inspect older buildings, you may find things that are in violation of the current code. Usually they are still acceptable for that building, because it was built in the past.

You will also need to fully understand all the types of building construction that are out there, such as the many options for lightweight construction that are very commonly used these days. Building inspectors need a knowledge of project management, surveying and the legalities surrounding permits.

Becoming a building inspector is hard work, but can be rewarding once you get in. You’ll be the first to see new buildings going up, and be at the forefront as they are developed. Even though some people will be angry with you, others will be very pleased with your work and enjoy having you around. You’ll never stop learning new things as the building industry is constantly changing. Building inspection isn’t a job for the faint of heart, but if you are willing to work hard at developing your skills, it can be a good choice of career.


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