Career Development

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

Find out what a home inspector does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a home inspector.

Home inspectors are responsible for inspecting homes and other residential properties to determine their condition, safety, and value. They commonly inspect the structure of a home, including its foundation, roof, walls, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical systems, etc., as well as any appliances or fixtures that may be present in the home at the time of inspection.

Home inspectors typically provide detailed reports on their findings during inspections, which include photos and descriptions of any issues they discover. These reports are then provided to clients who either plan to purchase or sell a property.

Home Inspector Job Duties

Home inspectors have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Inspecting the building structure for signs of foundation problems, roof leaks, or other structural damage
  • Evaluating the mechanical systems such as electrical wiring, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, and ventilation/air conditioning systems
  • Recording all findings in a written report for each inspection
  • Checking the status of permits, codes, and inspections to ensure that they are up to date
  • Conducting tests to determine the presence of termites, mold, asbestos, lead paint, radon gas, or other hazardous materials
  • Inspecting the condition of the property’s yard and landscaping, including trees, shrubs, grass, soil, and drainage systems
  • Providing information about the condition of the home to the seller, buyer, real estate agent, and inspector’s client
  • Recommending repairs or other actions to remedy problems found during the inspection
  • Determining whether the property is suitable for its intended use based on factors such as location, size, age, condition of the structure, and local neighborhood characteristics

Home Inspector Salary & Outlook

Home inspectors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $95,000 ($45.67/hour)

The employment of home inspectors is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to inspect homes for buyers will continue to drive demand for home inspectors. However, the increasing complexity of new home construction may limit the overall growth of this occupation. In addition, the use of home inspection software and apps may allow some home inspectors to conduct inspections more quickly and efficiently.

Related: Home Inspector Interview Questions and Answers

Home Inspector Job Requirements

Home inspectors typically need to have the following background:

Education: Home inspectors typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as construction, building science or engineering. These degrees provide a foundation in math, science and engineering that can be useful in a home inspection career.

Training & Experience: Many states require home inspectors to complete training courses to earn their license. These courses teach students about the role of a home inspector, how to inspect a home and how to report their findings. Students also learn about safety precautions and how to report any issues they find.

Some employers may require new hires to complete on-the-job training. During this training, new home inspectors learn about the company’s specific procedures and how to complete reports. They also learn about the company’s computer systems and how to use them to complete reports.

Certifications & Licenses: To become a certified home inspector, you must complete a certification program and pass an exam. Some states require home inspectors to hold a license or certification.

Home Inspector Skills

Home inspectors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Home inspectors use technical skills to read and understand building plans, construction documents and other technical documents. Technical skills are also necessary for understanding the results of inspections and tests.

Communication skills: Home inspectors use their communication skills to relay information to clients and other professionals. They use their communication skills to explain technical information in a way that their clients can understand. They also use their communication skills to explain potential risks and offer solutions.

Customer service skills: Home inspectors often work with clients to help them understand the results of their inspection. Customer service skills, such as active listening and empathy, can help you communicate with clients and answer their questions. You can also use customer service skills to help clients understand the importance of maintaining their home’s health and safety.

Problem-solving skills: Home inspectors often work with clients to find solutions to problems they find in their homes. For example, if a client discovers a leak in their roof, the home inspector may help them find a contractor to fix the leak. This requires the home inspector to have excellent problem-solving skills to find the best solution for their client.

Organization skills: Home inspectors often have excellent organizational skills, as they need to keep track of many different types of information. This includes keeping track of client information, inspection information, report information and more. Being able to keep track of all of this information is important for home inspectors, as it allows them to be more efficient in their work.

Home Inspector Work Environment

Home inspectors work in a variety of settings, including office settings, homes, and other buildings. They may be exposed to a variety of weather conditions and may have to work in cramped or uncomfortable positions. Home inspectors typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may have to work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules. Home inspectors may also be on call to respond to emergencies, such as a burst pipe or a broken window. The work can be physically demanding, and home inspectors must be able to lift and carry heavy equipment. The work can also be stressful, as home inspectors must be able to pay close attention to detail and be able to work quickly and efficiently.

Home Inspector Trends

Here are three trends influencing how home inspectors work. Home inspectors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in the Home Inspection Industry

The home inspection industry is evolving as technology becomes more prevalent in homes. This means that home inspectors will need to be familiar with the use of technology in order to properly inspect a home.

As technology becomes more common in homes, home inspectors will need to be able to understand how it works and what it means for the health of the home. They will also need to be able to identify any potential problems that may be caused by the use of technology in the home.

More Focus on Energy Efficiency

The focus on energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important as homeowners become more aware of the costs associated with heating and cooling their homes. Home inspectors can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in energy efficiency inspections.

This involves learning about the latest technologies and methods for reducing energy consumption, such as smart thermostats and LED lighting. In addition, home inspectors can market themselves as experts in energy efficiency by developing a reputation for providing high-quality services.

A Greater Emphasis on Green Building Practices

Green building practices are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners, who are looking for ways to make their homes more environmentally friendly. As a home inspector, you can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in green building practices.

This will allow you to help homeowners find ways to make their homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. In addition, it will give you an edge over other home inspectors who are not as knowledgeable about green building practices.

How to Become a Home Inspector

A home inspector career can be a great choice for people who want to work in the construction industry but don’t want to be on-site all day. As a home inspector, you will inspect homes and other buildings to ensure they meet building codes and are safe and sound. This is a very rewarding job that allows you to help people make informed decisions about their homes.

To become a home inspector, you will need to complete training and certification programs. These programs will teach you how to inspect homes and other buildings, as well as how to write reports and give presentations. You will also learn about building codes and safety regulations.

Advancement Prospects

Home inspectors can advance their careers by becoming certified home inspectors. Certification requires passing an exam and completing a certain number of inspections. Some states also require home inspectors to take continuing education courses to maintain their certification.

Home inspectors who are also licensed contractors can advance their careers by starting their own home inspection businesses. Home inspectors with strong marketing and business skills can also advance their careers by becoming sales managers or marketing directors for home inspection companies.

Home Inspector Job Description Example

As a home inspector, you will play a vital role in the home-buying process, protecting the interests of home buyers by providing them with an objective and unbiased assessment of the condition of a home. You will conduct a thorough inspection of the home’s structure, systems, and components, and prepare a detailed report of your findings. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience as a home inspector, contractor, or home builder, as well as a working knowledge of building codes and standards. He or she must be able to communicate effectively with clients, real estate agents, and other professionals involved in the home-buying process.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform home inspections in accordance with industry standards and company guidelines
  • Thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of homes, documenting any findings and taking photographs as needed
  • Prepare detailed inspection reports for clients that include digital photos of any areas of concern
  • Educate clients on the condition of their home and provide maintenance recommendations
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments to ensure that inspections are performed using the most current methods
  • Maintain accurate records of all inspections performed
  • Adhere to all safety protocols when performing inspections
  • Use a variety of tools and equipment during inspections, including ladders, flashlights, and moisture meters
  • Schedule appointments with clients in a timely manner
  • Travel to various locations to perform inspections
  • Promote the company’s services to potential customers
  • Attend continuing education courses to maintain licensure

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of home inspector training program
  • Passing score on national home inspector exam
  • 1-2 years experience as a home inspector
  • Excellent communication, customer service, and time management skills
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds, climb ladders, and crawl in small spaces

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, architecture, or related field
  • 5+ years experience as a home inspector
  • Membership in a professional home inspector organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
  • Certification in mold inspection and remediation
  • Infrared thermography certification


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