What Is a Home Inspector Certification? (How to Earn One)
Updated December 11, 2022
Home inspectors facilitate the sale of homes by inspecting properties and ensuring they're safe and compliant with building codes. Earning a certification may be necessary to work as a home inspector and may improve your professional prospects. Learning about these certifications and how to obtain one can help you decide if you want to pursue this credential. In this article, we explain what a home inspector certification is, provide steps for how to earn one, list some benefits of a certification, and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
What is a home inspector certification?
A home inspector certification is an educational credential for home inspectors. These professionals assess houses and buildings that are for sale to ensure they're safe and meet the regulation terms of the sale or province or territory. Many provinces and territories require home inspectors to earn a certification. In jurisdictions where certification isn't mandatory, earning this credential may still provide more employment opportunities for home inspectors.
Home inspectors play an important role in the real estate market. Home inspection certification courses teach prospective home inspectors the best practices for thoroughly assessing a house or property. The requirements for certifications differ between provinces and territories, but several areas recognize the same certification bodies, many of which have international recognition.
How to earn a home inspector certification
Whether your province or territory requires certification to work as a home inspector or not, it can still be beneficial to your career. Knowing how to earn a certification can help you plan your career. Here are some steps you can follow to get your home inspection certification:
1. Research the certification requirements for your province or territory
Provinces and territories regulate home inspection differently, so the path to certification isn't the same across this country. It's important to ensure you earn a certification that your provincial and territorial governments recognize. You can research their websites or the websites of certifying bodies to see if they list your location as recognizing their certification.
You are likely to have a choice of multiple certification options. You can compare them based on cost, how long it takes to complete the certification, and what each course can teach you. Consider contacting professional home inspectors and asking them what certification they have or which ones the industry most respects.
2. Take home inspection courses
Home inspection courses provide you with the education to become a home inspector. You can enroll in a training program or single course, depending on your educational needs and the requirements of the province or territory where you live. During these courses, you may take pre-exams to practise for the certification test at the end of the program. Many certification bodies offer online courses, so you may be able to earn a certification from home.
3. Fulfill the certification application requirements
The course may specify that you meet certain requirements before you can take the exam. These may include completing the mandatory coursework, studying for a minimum amount of hours, and paying a membership or exam fee. Often, you can meet these qualifications as you complete the certification program. It's important to research the course first so you know what the requirements are and what to do before you can take the certification exam.
4. Pass the certification exam
Most certification programs require you to pass a final exam before you can earn the certification. Some exams may follow a simple pass or fail format, while others may require a minimum grade to earn certification, such as a score of 80% or higher. Some courses may allow you to take the final exam multiple times and others may charge a fee for each exam you attempt.
To improve your chances of passing the exam, ensure you understand the coursework. Simply fulfilling the mandatory course hours may not be enough to help you pass the exam. If you find some of the material difficult to understand, you can inform the instructor so they can help you understand the material and improve your chances of passing the exam.
5. Maintain a valid certification
Passing the exam and earning your certification may not be the final step. Some certifications require periodic renewal. Recertifying yourself throughout your career may entail you retaking exams or completing additional coursework. Recertification can help home inspectors keep abreast of evolving home inspection practices and adapt to new or changing duties.
Benefits of a home inspection certification
Certification is often mandatory to work as a home inspector, but it offers benefits beyond meeting governmental requirements. Earning a certification can be very beneficial to your career and improve your abilities as a home inspector. Some advantages of earning a home inspection certification include:
Earning a home inspection certification enables you, or at least increases your opportunities, to work as a home inspector. This role can give you independence and flexibility because home inspectors often conduct their work with little supervision. As a home inspector, you can work for an employer or on a contract basis, meaning you're completely independent of a supervisor. If you enjoy working independently, earning a home inspection certification can help you attain the freedom you want in your career.
Different work environments
As a home inspector, you may work remotely or in an office, but most of your work takes place in homes. Working in different homes allows you to travel to new places frequently. If you prefer a baried work environment rather than an office setting, earning a home inspection certification offers you a career in more varied locations. A diverse work environment may stimulate you and make you feel more excited about your work.
Quick career start
The home inspection certification process is typically inexpensive and requires few educational requirements. This means home inspectors can often begin their careers quite quickly. If you want to pursue a career you can start without first completing several years of education, then earning a home inspection certification may be the best option for you. A fast start also means, if you later want to change career paths, you can do so while having invested only a short amount of time and money into being a home inspector first.
Real estate is a very large sector that employs many people. There are always people looking to buy and sell houses, so there's ongoing demand for home inspectors. Earning your certification may make you an attractive candidate to facilitate some of the many property purchases that happen every day.
Home inspector courses can teach you useful knowledge on topics such as structural safety, construction, architecture, property sales, and the housing market. Being able to list your certification on your resume not only means you're more likely to secure job offers, but it also means you can do your job better. Having an in-depth knowledge on such topics can make you a better home inspector and a more attractive candidate to employers and property sellers.
Home inspection certification FAQs
Before you decide if a home inspector certification is right for you, reading answers to FAQs about them can help you learn more. Some frequently asked questions include:
How long do home inspection certification courses take?
There's no universal time requirement for these certification courses, and it varies between certificates. Personal factors, such as your schedule and learning speed, can also affect how long you take to earn your certification. Professionals typically complete these courses in a few weeks to a few months. Longer courses may offer a more extensive education, so it's important to research your options before choosing the certification program that's right for you.
How much does it cost to earn a certification?
Cost is another factor that varies depending on the certification you pursue. The price can depend on how many jurisdictions recognize the certification, how long it takes to earn it, how many instructors teach the course, and how many different subjects the certification course covers. Typical certification costs can range from a few hundred dollars to just under a thousand dollars. Certain programs may require a lump sum, while others accept installment payments. Some certifications charge a monthly or yearly membership.
What skills are necessary for earning a home inspection certification?
A home inspection certification program aims to teach students all the skills for becoming successful home inspectors. You may already have some of these skills when you enroll in a program. Additionally, the course may help you develop some of your skills, and you may learn some new ones. Skills that can help you pass your certification exam and succeed as a home inspector include:
attention to detail
real estate knowledge
Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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