Although requirements for home inspector certification vary from state to state, in most instances a home inspector is free to choose to seek out certification through whatever means desired. There are many different courses available to certify inspectors - both online and in a classroom - but some schools offer certifications that are considered more prestigious than others.
Home Inspector Certification Requirements
There are several options for people looking to get certified to work as home inspectors. Plenty of training programs are available that grant certification for this occupation, but in some scenarios, specific training requirements need to be completed in order to meet certain standards. Which training a potential inspector completes in the hopes of receiving a home inspector certification depends on a few different factors, such as the regulations of the state the person hopes to do business in and any requirements set forth by potential employers.
Not every state has laws in place demanding certain certifications for practicing home inspections. In fact, in some states there are no laws in place, allowing anyone to make the claim of being a professional home inspector whether or not there is any training or certifications in place at all.
Many of the states that do not have any certification requirements are scrambling to put regulations in place in order to spare the state's citizens from getting scammed by someone claiming to be a home inspector but who has no training or certification whatsoever. Until legislation is in place, however, anyone can go into business as a home inspector in some states without any certification at all.
Most home inspectors join a home inspector association. Associations such as The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) have minimum training and certification requirements for members. Most organizations such as these offer the necessary training and certifications required for membership, so it is possible for potential members to receive all the training they need directly from the association of their choice.
The certifications granted by associations differ from one organization to another. The majority of home inspector certification associations demand a high degree of completed training before granting an association certification to a member. After all, the reputation of the organization is at stake so it is in their best interest to ensure that only qualified inspectors receive a certification and/or endorsement.
Many associations additionally require that members continue to pursue additional education with regards to conducting home inspections. Certifications granted by professional home inspector associations can be rescinded if the inspector does not continue to adhere to the standards set forth by the organization. Membership into an organization like InterNACHI or ASHI is not required in order to be a home inspector, but it can be a great marketing tactic as well as a good way to have quick access to needed information.
Although many home inspectors own their own business, there are also many home inspectors who work for employers and are part of a larger group of home inspectors. Regardless of state regulations, oftentimes employers will demand certain certifications from home inspectors as a means of ensuring the home inspector has the competence to conduct thorough home inspections in a professional manner. Employers also want to boast that the home inspectors within their ranks are certified and have high levels of training.
A self-employed home inspector who wants to start working for a larger inspection organization may find that additional training or certification is needed before joining the company. Every home inspection company has its own requirements for employees as well as requirements for the types of software and other tools used when conducting a home inspection.
Changes on the Horizon
In many instances there is no legal need for any type of certification to begin a career as a home inspector. As states change laws associated with home inspector requirements, however, professionals within this field may find themselves heading back to school to get necessary training and certification to meet the new requirements.