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What U Should Know About a Career in Home Inspection

Updated on June 1, 2011

Many want to switch careers due to the economy. Selecting a new career at any age is one of the most difficult things to do because it involves money and time. You want to make sure that after the school it will pay off, because if it doesn't, you are in a worse situation than before: you've wasted precious time and worse, limited resources.

Switching to a career of Home Inspection can be lucrative, from $200-400 a home. It may take two hours. Many states require licensing, take a course of 90 hrs., pass a State exam, have an X number of paid inspections done. Online courses are legitimate like those of AHIT, PHII, and most run from $600-1000 for the materials. Most can be completed in less than two months. Most are accredited to prepare you to pass the CREIA or ASHI or NSHI exams.

What most don't tell you is that Calif. Real Estate Inspection Assoc (CREIA) or ASHI, while voluntary to join, are in reality, mandatory if you want a lot of work from real estate and banking firms. Joining CREIA means you need to provide 50 homes of paid inspection and pass their two hour exam. CREIA will audit those homes. With ASHI, just to be considered, you need to provide 50 homes of paid inspection. To be a member, you need 250 paid home inspections and pass their exam. So there is the rub.

You are out of school with a certificate of completion. In California, where there is no licensing needed, no State exam, one could begin a business. You might make some money from private parties but it is unlikely you will not get much business from RE or banking firms because you are not a member of CREIA and\or ASHI. Face it, all RE firms and banks already have their inspection firms to use. They have had it for years. These are members of CREIA and ASHI. This membership is a guarantee and "license" telling everyone that they are well qualified and have been doing it for years with over 100 homes of paid inspection.

Generally, those just out of school try to find work at home inspection businesses for small wages to get the experience. The problem is that most home inspection firms are only a few people and seldom take on new recruits. It is like a new attorney, just passed the Bar, got a job, and is hand held and trained by seasoned lawyers.

Like changing into any new career, it is a gamble. At least with home inspection, investment is small and education time is short. Full-time inspectors do an average of 222 inspections per year at an average inspection fee of $318. At $318 per inspection, 222 inspections would result in a gross income of $70,596.

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