How to Become a Home Inspector in California-10 Best Steps

Home Inspection is the process of inviting an inspector to observe and report the general condition of a real estate property before being sold. We will show you how to become a home inspector in California in this guide.

Its total condition is checked out. its cooling systems, electrical works, plumbings, heating, sewage, water, and safety structures will all have to be assessed.

A home inspector Thoroughly checks for damages, insect and water issues, and all that could cause concern for the new property owner.

a home inspection is a phase in property selling and has a lot involved in this process;

A property seeker hires a home inspector for inspection

And depending on the results of the inspection, further negotiation will either proceed, be halted, or terminated.

Typically, real estate buyers usually hire home Inspectors to assess a property and at the day’s end, provide a written report that contains the condition of the property, recommends necessary repairs, drafts a maintenance routine, and every financially inclined issue.

This assessment covers all physical structures of a property like; the home systems, the roof, the foundation, etc, and gives them credible information about a brand new or old property.  

Also, not only do buyers hire home inspectors, but the sellers also try this out before any negotiation so as not to cause any traffic in the negotiation processes and make all necessary repairs so that a good brand name would be maintained.

Home inspections by the buyer are usually conducted after an already signed deal therefore, there is an inclusion of an inspection contingency which allows a buyer time to get done, all home inspection procedures.

What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of Home Inspectors?

There are various responsibilities of home inspectors:

  • Cooperate with the real estate company to get access to the property

  • Must know any required area at all

  • Complete all relevant inspection 

  • Recommend repairs 

  • Estimate all repair costs 

  • Present a well-detailed written report of the inspection

  • Assist buyers in areas of repair questions and guidelines and possibly, future repairs.

  • Keep an open communication line

How To Become A Home Inspector In California

The state of California does not offer any official form of licensure to prospective home Inspectors in the state of California, but there are steps that one should take to achieve this and they are:

  1. Assess your skill level.
  2. Confirm Licensing Requirements of your State
  3. Prepare for Your Career With  State-Recognized Courses
  4. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
  5. Network and Make Connections
  6. Purchase General Liability/Errors and Omissions Insurance
  7. enroll for mentorship
  8. Join a Multi-Inspector Firm
  9. Register A Private Business (Company)
  10. Apply for Continuing Education Opportunities

Becoming a home inspector is easy and doesn’t require Certifications, many test evaluations and most of its career development activities are self-administered.

In this article, we’ll be carrying you through the 10 best steps on how to become a home inspector in California.

Assess Your Skill Level

Assessing yourself comes with a lot of mind tricks since you would want to be perfect on your first try and end up concluding a biased assessment of yourself.

Being a home inspector means that you would be working for people who would pay you for your services and depend on your skills to keep them from falling prey to unfortunate home accidents and guarantee a great housing experience.

So you should be tried in every aspect to ensure that you’re getting everything right.

You can start by practicing with research and performing either prop or real-life tasks and giving an honest review of your work.

Make sure to understand what home inspection entails and what your client base looks like.

Be honest about the evaluation of the level of your skills and expertise by knowing exactly where you are lacking and taking intentional steps to step up and develop a perfect working plan for your career transition. 

You can make a list of your:

  • Strengths and weaknesses 

  • Make a review of your past works 

  • Take theoretical skill testing exercises 

  • Ask people for review and use it to weigh the unbias in your review

Confirm Licensing Requirements of your State

If you want to become a home inspector in California, you should research and confirm the requirements of the state of California and make due arrangements for them.

Since there is not a single mandatory standard for a career as a home inspector even at the national level, you would be required by the state of California to complete between 60 to 149-hour coursework which comes before an exam at the end of such course.

Also, some might require on-job experience from a professional home inspector.

Different requirements might vary reasonably between counties in the state of California.

Prepare for Your Career With  State-Recognized Courses

The state of California does not require Certification from prospective home Inspectors, but there are many types of business practices and inspections to be legally abided by.

Training for professional home Inspectors should be from a creditable

Inspection school to help them understand basic business concepts and practices and establish themselves as trusted field experts.

Also, potential buyers and real estate agents, and companies prefer to work with Certified home Inspectors, because they rely on your expertise for successful business negotiation. This also serves as an edge for any home inspector in finding job opportunities in real estate.

Also, there is a 120-hour course that will prepare Inspectors to face real-world practice scenarios that licensed Inspectors would probably encounter and also prepare them for the national home inspector exam.

Enrolling in this program is not exactly mandatory but it is beneficial to an Inspectors skill set because they transfer the knowledge needed to be successful in a major house system inspection, which will foster career confidence.

These training programs also offer tests and quizzes, and proof of competence exercises by the end of such training. 

And one of those training is the American Home Inspectors Training (fully online).

This training focus on :

Home construction

Home types 

Best business ethics

Home systems and structures

Risk management tips.

Pass the National Home Inspector Exam

The national home inspector exam is a four-hour exam of 200 questions that cover topics on safety like: 

  • Landscaping
  • Wiring and electricals 
  • Plumbing
  • Supporting structures
  • Roof drainage
  • Exterior doors and windows

The national home inspector exam fee costs an estimated amount of $225 while registering online after which, there would be a venue and date allocation for the test.

The test is not exactly a tough one but if for any reason, you fail the exam, you’ll be able to retake it in one month with another fee attached.

Also, for preparation, the national home inspector examination website has outlined contents for a comprehensive study, which will be likely to come out during the examination exercise.

(California doesn’t require an exam as a prerequisite for Certification but taking it broadens your knowledge base and theoretical sharpness)

Network and Make Connections

Connection is key in every business as it’s an avenue for more business opportunities. 

Being successful as a home inspector, especially at this point when real estate mortgage has hit an all-high requires more than just experience in managing home systems.

You need to learn the art of networking and intercommunication to be able to develop relationships with people especially those around that would be your client base.

These people are mostly in your neighborhood, brokers and real estate agents who would be needing the services of a home inspector for their clients and themselves.

Earn their trust, make them come back, and give them no other option than to come back to you.

Attend seminars, networking, dinner events, and community and district fairs where real estate and other related businesses are being discussed.

Get going, make contacts, advertise, and join real estate communities both online and offline and you might just be able to grab an opportunity for a steady income stream.

To connect and network with Californian home inspectors like you: 

  • The international association of home Inspectors.

Purchase Professional Indemnity Insurance for Home Inspectors

Human beings are prone to make mistakes regardless of their experience, perfection, and strength.

To protect yourself from career-ending lawsuits, purchasing a

Professional Indemnity Insurance for Home Inspectors is vital for your business and career.

Professional Indemnity Insurance for little businesses like start-ups are are estimated up to $84 monthly while some pay on average $51-$100.

To get the best cost price, you can contact a licensed insurance agent in your state or district that has experience in working with other home Inspectors, inspector trade organizations, shop for insurers (online), etc

Home Inspectors are usually detail-oriented and as nobody gets it always, you’ll be needing professional Indemnity insurance to help where mistakes have occurred or omissions from your end as a home inspector.

They offer insurance in scenarios like:

Missing problems in:

  • House heating systems

  • Roofs

  • Missing shingles

  • Cracks and openings

  • Plumbing issues

 The new buyers of the home can file a claim against your business in situations like this, under the claim of professional negligence/errors.

There are also scenarios whereby home Inspectors and their businesses cannot be protected by Professional Indemnity Insurance:

  • Damage of Property 
  • Bodily injury
  • Copyright infringement
  • Breach of Data 
  • Reputational harm

To make sure your home inspector career and business are fully protected, you’ll also need additional types of protection, like: 

  • Workers’ compensation insurance

  • General liability insurance

  • Commercial property insurance

  • Cyber insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance

Enroll for Mentorship

Enroll in an apprenticeship or mentorship program before starting your actual work as a certified home inspector. 

Working under an experienced and exceptional home inspector will help you birth insights and develop your skills on how to inspect homes.

If you successfully joined a home inspector association, you can talk to the bigger Inspectors and seek apprenticeship under them.

this program will help you gain real-life experience and hands-on training.

You’ll be taught on 

  • Knowledge of construction.

  • Understanding the tools for Home Inspection

  • Communication skills.

  • Business Management 

  • Time Management.

Apply to a Multi-Inspector Firm

Applying to a Multi-Inspector firm is one of the easiest ways of getting employment as a practicing home inspector.

 You can submit a great resume and expect feedback in due time, you won’t necessarily have to look for a client base, and you also want to start the whole marketing strategy thinking from scratch.

This can save you time and energy, you can have and enjoy a very flexible work schedule, you get to work with the best brains in the industry, and all this activity helps in developing your career ability and expertise.

You will get advice and tips that would have cost you big, you’ll also be getting immediate assignments as the firm would want to see what your productivity rate looks like.

Register A Private Practice (Company)

Starting your own company has a lot of advantages, especially for those with a knack for entrepreneurial roles.

This is very beneficial because You can control and track your finances and you’re not limited to payment percentages.

AHIT speculates that an experienced home inspector running a private practice can earn an average wage of $50,000-$80,000 annually if you can handle up to 10 home inspection Jobs in a week.

To keep a steady income flow, you’re advised to connect and network with real estate agents.

This can be done by offering free services to foster an owner-customer relationship.

Remember there were others in the profession before you, so your success starts by making sure to get clients by creating a unique strategy.

You can also, draw clients by selling your skills and special ability in every necessary way through effective marketing, networking, and establishing relationships through fairs, night gathering, and social meetings.

Cost of Starting a Private Practice

There would be financial engagements just like any other start-up. You’ll be earning and also losing, you will face a lot of financial risks, and you would also be naked to the attack of bankruptcy

  • Advertising  costs

  • Acquiring  tools and equipment

  • Indemnity insurance and Home inspector errors and omissions insurance

  • Association fees/dues

  • Getting an Office space 

  • Operating expenses

  • Vehicle maintenance

Apply for Continuing Education Opportunities

Continuing Education is a worthwhile educational investment for all home Inspectors which teaches them how to remain relevant even with time and be able to stand the competition.

Taking professional courses will help you stay current on the trends and happenings in the field which lasts throughout one’s career as times change.

Home Inspectors are required to complete their program in a given time frame of Continuing professional competency education.

The Educational hours satisfy the requirements especially if offered by these providers:

Continuing Education Certification course focus:

  • Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO)

  • Garage Inspection

  • Deck inspection

  • Mold inspection

  • Radon Tester

  • Commercial inspection

  • Electrical Inspection

There are other course certifications at the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

This certification helps you to earn client trust, exclusively sets you apart from the competition, and is free.


How much do home Inspectors make in California?

Being successful as a home inspector in California largely depends on your zeal, network, and skills, especially for those running a private practice.

In California, the average annual earnings of a home inspector is an estimated amount of over $80,000 if you can handle up to 10 home inspection Jobs in a week, though it typically falls between the range of $74,600-$86,850 as of August 2022.

Also, the salary of home Inspectors can differ depending on the city, facility, district, education, special skills, experience, etc 

How to start a home inspection business in California?

In general, starting any business would require costs and sacrifices, there would be steps to take and fees to pay. 

But you can start by making a business plan, level up your training and honestly assess your skills, purchase insurance, get the tools you would be needing, name your brand and get a building space. 

There would be other steps to starting a home inspection business in California but these can serve as the fundamentals.

How much does it cost to become a home inspector in California?

Becoming a home inspector in California Costs you very little as there aren’t so many formal education processes to pass through.

The only outstanding fees you’ll be paying are when purchasing Indemnity insurance which usually gets to an all-high of $100 and the Home Inspector Exam of $225. All other fees are slightly noticeable.

How long does it take to become a home inspector in California?

To become a home inspector in California, you’re not obligated to complete your training in a given period but it can generally take up to 3 weeks to even months depending on how fast you are and your availability for training.

Some popular programs like those at the ATI consist of 194 hours of training and live fieldwork of close to 40 hours.

What is the difference between a home inspection and a house appraisal?

In as much as there are similarities between the two, there’s quite a difference too.

Home Inspection:

  • Is required by a seller or prospective buyer

  • Is thorough and uses devices to spot issues with the house system

  • It is conducted by an inspector

  • Can be done with the buyer or seller in attendance

  • Examines the physical condition of the home

  • Give reports of the buyer or seller is in attendance


  • Home Appraisal:

  • A lender hires the appraiser

  • Assesses the house with just the eyes and not a special instrument

  • Is conducted by an appraiser

  • Is conducted by the appraiser only

  • Examines many factors like access to/from the house, criminal tendency of the area, etc

  • Reports the end of each appraisal

Home Inspection and an appraisal are done differently, by different people, for different reasons.


Becoming a home Inspector in California doesn’t require much, is relatively easy, is enough to earn you decent pay, and helps you build life skills that you can use to venture into businesses like full-time real estate.

Other experts in the field are experienced which puts you in a position of almost being invisible in the market. You can apply to shadow or work for them, gain resourceful experience, build your network, connect to more client bases and get ready to start your own business if you desire.

References– Professional Indemnity Insurance cost Home Inspection definition

How to become a home inspector in California -How to Become a Home Inspector in 7 Steps– Become a Home Inspection Professional in California — Your Step-by-Step Career Guide in California– Home Inspection Vs. Appraisal 

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