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House Inspector

Education and Training: Associate degree
Average Salary: $50,000
Job Outlook: Good

A house Inspector conducts inspections of newly built homes, or homes which have been previously owned. These can include condominiums, townhouses, apartments, manufactured homes as well as traditionally built single family homes. House inspectors have an important part to play in the process of buying a home, and are generally hired by the buyer to inspect the property’s condition.

It is their job to compile a report on the structure and condition of the home and to inspect all home systems such as plumbing, electrical appliances, heating, and cooling systems. They also need to inspect the roof and the exterior, attached garages and the foundations of the property. They are able to report on building code violations, but don’t actually have the authority to enforce them.

The majority of home buyers will hire a house inspector after making an offer on a property, and prior to exchanging contracts. Sometimes people who are putting their home on the market will hire a house inspector to give them an evaluation of their property’s condition, as it can be a way of diagnosing any potential problems which could affect its value and sale worthiness. House inspectors may also be employed by government agencies such as housing trusts to inspect their properties.

Education and Training Requirements

The majority of employers are looking for people who have studied some engineering or architecture, or those who have completed an associate degree in building inspection or home inspection. There are a lot of community colleges who offer associate degrees in building inspection technology, and knowledge of algebra and geometry can also be useful. Certain states may require that housing inspectors are licensed and certified, and the conditions for licensing and certification also depend on the individual state. Some states will require certification through professional bodies while others have their own individual licensing programs. Most have to be renewed every few years with continuing professional development being required.

Getting the Job

Anyone wanting to become a house inspector should aim to get at least an associate’s degree in home inspection or building inspection, and should aim to become licensed and to get certification where applicable. Jobs are available with private companies or with the government.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for housing inspectors should be good, as it is only recently that employing a home inspector when buying a property has become a regular practice, and it is expected that this demand will continue to increase. It is also likely that many construction workers will move into this area as it is less strenuous and often offers higher pay.

Working Conditions and Environment

The majority of house inspectors will work alone, and most of their time is spent looking round homes. They may encounter dirty conditions and have to be prepared to climb ladders or go into tight confined spaces such as crawl spaces. Although the work isn’t particularly hazardous, some of the conditions may be unpleasant at times if they are inspecting a poorly maintained property. Most house inspectors work regular hours, although some who are self-employed may choose to work more varied hours including evenings and weekends.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a house inspector is around $50,000, with some earning around $32,000 while the very highest paid earn more than $80,000. Those working in larger cities and metropolitan areas are likely to receive better pay.

Benefits for house inspectors vary according to the place of employment, as those working for the government and private companies will typically receive health and medical insurance, paid vacations, and retirement plan contributions. Obviously those who are self-employed will need to make their own arrangements for pension and medical cover.

Where to Go for More Information

American Home Inspectors Training Institute
N19 W24075 Riverwood Dr., Ste. 200
Waukesha WI 53188
(877) 461-3104

American Society of Home Inspectors
932 Lee St., Ste. 101
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 759-2820

International Code Council
500 New Jersey Ave. NW, 6th Fl.
Washington, DC 20001
(888) and 422-7233

National Association of Home Inspectors
4248 Park Glen Rd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 928-4641

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