Whether it’s as a side hustle or your main job, working as a home inspector can be a lucrative job. It’s great for people who enjoy being on the go and don’t want to be stuck in an office every day. Before you can start helping people buy their dream home, however, you have to get your home inspector’s license.

In this article, we’ll look at the basic steps you need to take to earn your license and start your career as a home inspector.

1. Confirm Requirements

Every state has its own rules and requirements for becoming a home inspector. That’s why your first step should always be to check with your state board to determine if you’re eligible to pursue a license and what paths are available.

For example, some states have an online home inspector certification and others require you to attend classes in person. Ensure that your state offers options that match your schedule before deciding on this as a career path. The learning process will likely be a significant time investment and you want to be able to plan in advance.

2. Enroll in a Class

Once you’ve decided to move forward with your license, you have to enroll in a home inspector course. This will be the textbook portion of your training where you learn applicable laws, regulations and best practices for inspectors in your state.

Most states measure class time in hours, similar to how driver’s education courses work. You’ll be required to complete a certain number of hours in a classroom or online study portal before you can move to the next phase of your education.

3. Get Experience

Some states require on-the-job training in addition to your coursework. If your state requires this, then your next step will be to find a licensed home inspector and start working under them. This gives you experience in the field and allows you to learn from a professional.

For people who want to make a career as a home inspector, this step is crucial. It puts you in contact with people in the industry and gives you a much better idea of if you like the work or not. Plus, when you sign on as an apprentice, that role can turn into a professional career once you secure your license.

4. Pass Your Licensing Exam

After all of your educational requirements are met, you’ll be ready to take your state’s licensing exam if one is required. There are 15 states in the U.S. that do not require inspectors to pass an exam: Hawaii, Wyoming, California, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Georgia, Michigan and Maine.

All other states do require an exam and use one of two companies to administer it — PSI/AMP or Pearson Vue. Typically, you’ll be required to take the exam on a computer at a testing center. Research the nearest testing centers by visiting your state’s home inspection website and finding information about the exams.

The pass rate on these licensing exams is only 55%, so you need to be sure you’ve paid attention during your training and done adequate studying before you sit for the test.

5. Start Your Career

After you pass your licensing exam, you’re ready to start your career as a home inspector! There are a few different career paths you can take with your new certification:

  • Work for an established firm full-time
  • Freelance through an agency in your spare time
  • Open your own home inspection business

There are pros and cons associated with each choice that you’ll have to weigh for yourself, such as start-up costs and reliable income. However, you can make the choice that best suits your lifestyle and goals.

Becoming a home inspector is a great career for people who like a challenge and don’t want to be tied to a desk. If that sounds like you, follow these steps to start earning your license today!