Home inspectors hold a very important position in the real estate industry, which means that training needs to be comprehensive and efficient. In many areas, a home inspector's report must be submitted before a bank will approve a home loan. Because of the great deal of responsibility that rests on the shoulders of home inspectors many states and nations now regulate the training and licensing of these agents. A person who wants to learn how to become a home inspector should first learn about licensing requirements in his or her area, and then look for a training program that is approved and well respected by businesses and individuals.
In the United States, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), as well as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors set the standards for home inspector training. ASHI expects applicants to complete training and field work, plus they require experience in business. There are basically prerequisites to the program. They prefer applicants who have a formal education in such backgrounds as architectures or construction management. Engineering is another degree that works very well for a person who would like to become a home inspector.
There are many home inspector training programs available to students, and quite a few of these can be completed without leaving home. Online and correspondence courses are a popular choice for many people, though a physical classroom setting is likely best for those who need more guidance. Costs for training are usually low and do not require financing or loans to cover tuition.
Training in other areas of expertise is very helpful, and sometimes required, depending on location. Such areas of knowledge include writing reports, construction knowledge or experience, and an understanding of how to run a business. As a home inspector you have to be able to write well because very detailed reports have to be submitted. These reports can prevent accidents, injuries, even death, therefore being able to communicate and write well is an absolute must. A background or at least experience writing is very useful.
A solid understanding of renovation construction is very important. Homes tend to go through changes and repairs over the years, and home inspectors need to be able to recognize these changes and how they affect the home. Since many home inspectors run their own business it is important to be business minded, but at the same time keep the customer first because it is their investment and safety the home inspector is liable for.
All of these are not required, but useful for a home inspector to be familiar with and comfortable with before training to become a home inspector. Becoming a licensed or certified home inspector is very difficult, and at times not possible, if those aspects are not understood.
In Canada, an individual who wants to become a home inspector should check with the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (BPCPA), which is the regulator of licensed home inspection programs in British Columbia. The National Certification Program for Canadian Home and Property Inspectors is another authority of licensing with which Canadian applicants can get licensed. Other organizations in Canada include the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
Applicants in the United Kingdom need to check with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to find out more about training and licensing to become a home inspector. A license is required in the U.K., and home inspectors are regulated to ensure that quality and the high standards of this industry are being met.