Home Inspector Certification: Is It Worth It?

Spoiler alert: it is totally worth it to pursue a home inspector certification.

Real estate, especially the housing market, has been booming in cities across the United States. Because of the increased demand for safe housing (and safe buildings in general), the construction and building inspector industry is seeing above-average growth throughout the country. With the growing demand for home inspectors, getting your home inspector certificate can be a great investment for your career.

JOB DESCRIPTION

As a home inspector, you would perform residential inspections and write up reports on your findings. The inspections are considered to be non-invasive and typically consist of visually inspecting readily accessible areas in the home. This can range from finding old electrical outlet plates that need to be replaced to discovering larger damage, such as wood rot. The scope of the work can be situational, depending on the agreement you and the client come to. After your inspection, you would write up a report on your findings and present them to the client so they can make better-informed decisions.

Home inspectors can also look for violations of building codes, though they do not have the authority to enforce compliance.

It is important for both you and the client to remember and be aware that as a home inspector, you will not find every problem in the home, especially when it comes to non-visible and inaccessible parts of the structure. Your job is to record observations on the day of the inspection, regardless of past and future home conditions.

Current homeowners sometimes hire home inspectors when they are getting ready to put their home on the market and want an objective evaluation of the home’s condition. Prospective buyers will often hire an inspector to ensure they aren’t investing in a residence that has expensive problems that need to be fixed.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the industry will grow around 10% from 2016 to 2026, putting it at a faster than average growth rate.  A quick search for home inspection jobs reveals a need in all parts of the country, from Florida to California, for fulltime and contractor work. While some jobs will pay salary or hourly, others pay a set fee per inspection, plus mileage reimbursement.

Those with a background in construction, architecture, or engineering are likely to have better job prospects, though with a home inspection certification you can start working as a freelance home inspector. Attention to detail, the ability to write reports quickly and concisely, and proficiency with technology are all skill-sets that will help set you apart as you apply for employment. Since you will be entering people’s homes, you need to convey a reliable, trustworthy, and ethical demeanor.

SALARY

The median pay for inspectors was $59,090 as of May 2017, with the highest 10% of wages topping out at over $95,340. Your salary will depend on your experience, background, and location, but most job postings advertise salaries ranging from $40,000 to $70,000, with management-level positions reaching six-figures.

With the median salary being nearly $60,000 (and likely to grow), getting your home inspection certification would provide a great return on your investment, as most courses average around $1,100 in tuition.

If you’re interested in starting or switching careers and are interested in construction, consider getting your home inspection certificate.

Brighton College offers a Home Inspection Certification program that can be taken at your own pace, 100% online. Visit this link to check out our program and see if becoming a home inspector is right for you.