Where to begin your Home Inspector journey?
As the real estate market continues to grow at a rapid rate, the need for qualified professional home inspectors will also grow. To meet this demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the home inspection industry is expected to grow 10% by 2029. The home inspection industry is a $3 billion dollar industry and growing. This means more jobs and growth opportunities for professionals who want to enter this field of work. Therefore, becoming a Licensed Home Inspector in North Carolina is a great career choice.
Maybe you’re transitioning from another career, you’re between jobs, you just finished high school, or you just retired and are looking for a way to use your skills. No matter where you are in your journey, becoming a home inspector can be a rewarding and lucrative choice. However, determining how to become a home inspector in North Carolina can be a bit confusing. That’s why we’ve set out in this article to explain the process in as simple a fashion as possible. There are four main steps, which we will cover in detail.
Step 1: Hit the Books
The first requirement when working toward becoming a Licensed Home Inspector is to complete the required 120 hours of coursework. There are many ways to meet this requirement, including online and in-person options. The coursework will help lay the foundation of knowledge that you’ll need when you go out in the field.
Most students opt to complete their coursework online. With Casa, you’ll be able to complete all 120 hours through InterNACHI’s online learning platform. The courses are in-depth, self-paced, and provide quizzes to help ensure you understand the material. The quizzes are important because they will further prepare you for the state exam, which you will need to pass in order to apply for a home inspector license.
During your coursework you’ll learn how to inspect the following:
Step 2: Get in the Field
After you have completed your coursework it’s time to get out in the field and apply what you’ve learned. During the 80 hours of field training you’ll get to visit actual homes and see exactly how a home inspection is conducted. At Casa, we don’t do your field training in a lab. We think site visits allow you to get a much better hands-on experience and see a variety of situations that you just can’t see in a lab.
During the 80 hours of home inspection field training, we’ll also discuss:
Step 3: Ace the Exam
Apply for the Exam
- $35 Application Fee
- A recent Headshot (head & shoulders)
- 3 Character References
- Documentation of Education and Experience
- This documentation is normally the certifications from your 120 hours of coursework or 80 hours of field training PLUS a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- However, you may also qualify to sit for the exam if you meet one of the conditions explained below. (Education & Experience or Licensed General Contractor)
Education & Experience
Education and Experience the Board considers to be equivalent to the 120 hours of Coursework, 80 hours of field training, and a high school diploma or its equivalent are as follows. Each bullet point may be considered satisfactory in meeting the Education and Experience requirement.
- A bachelor of science degree from any engineering, architecture, or building technology school and two years experience working in building design, construction, or inspection of building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems.
- A two year Associate of Applied Science degree from a community college or technical school in building technology, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or architecture; and either four years of design experience in building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems, or four years experience as an employee who works under the direct supervision of a licensed general (residential or building) contractor and who supervises electrical, mechanical, and plumbing subcontractors.
- Six years experience as an employee who works under the direct supervision of a licensed general contractor (residential or building) performing building construction and who supervises electrical, mechanical, and plumbing subcontractors.
- Certification by the North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board as a Code Enforcement Official with Standard Level I (or higher) inspection certification in four areas: building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.
- Any combination of certification listed in Paragraph (a)(4) of this Rule and a license as an electrical contractor (limited or greater) issued by the NC Board of Electrical Examiners, or a license as a heating or cooling contractor (H1, H2, or H3), or a plumbing contractor issued by the NC Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors, resulting in either a certificate or a license in four areas in building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing contracting or inspections.
Licensed General Contractor
Be licensed for at least six months as a general contractor under Article 1 of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes, as an architect under Chapter 83A of the General Statutes, or as a professional engineer under Chapter 89C of the General Statutes. A person qualifying under this sub-subdivision on or after October 1, 2011, must remain in good standing with the person’s respective licensing board.
What if I'm already a licensed home inspector in another state?
That’s a great question and one we get often. Section .1005 of the Standards of Practice (the governing document for NC Home Inspectors) states:
- If an applicant is licensed as a home inspector in another state that has laws and rules that are similar to G.S. 143, Article 9F and to the rules of the Board, the Board shall accept that license as evidence of experience. However, the applicant shall satisfactorily complete the Board’s written examination and other licensing requirements before the Board shall issue the applicant a license.
Register for the Exam
Now that you’ve applied for the exam and your application has been approved, it’s time to register for the exam. Here’s what you need to know
- There is an $80 Registration Fee
- The Exam must be taken within 1 Year of application approval
- A score of 70% or higher is required to pass the exam
- Currently, the exam has 200 multiple choice questions
- You’ll have 4 hours to complete the exam
- The exam is only offered in Raleigh, NC
Head over to their website for the Home Inspector Exam Schedule. Also, be sure to review the Standards of Practice (SOP), there will be questions related to the SOP on the exam!
Keep in mind, if you fail the exam you’ll have to wait 6 months before you can retake it! That’s why we recommend our Exam Ace course before you take the exam. Don’t Chance It, Ace It!
Step 4: Get your License
Alright, so you’ve completed your 120 house of coursework, the 80 hours of home inspector field training, and you’ve passed the exam; now what? Well, all that’s left is to get your license. But there are a few more hoops to jump through. Here they are:
- There is an issuance fee of $160 that you’ll need to pay.
- You’ll need General Liability Insurance in the amount of $250,000 or more. We recommend reaching out to Inspector Pro.
- You’ll also need one of the following:
- Minimum net assets in an amount determined by the Board, which amount may not be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
- A bond in an amount determined by the Board, which may not be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
- Errors and omissions insurance in the amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), which may be individual coverage or coverage under an employer policy, with coverage parameters established by the Board. Again, we recommend reaching out to Inspector Pro, for both your General Liability (GE) and Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
Cheers!! You made it through “How to get your Home Inspector License in North Carolina”! We hope this article has given you a great overview of what’s required to become a licensed home inspector in North Carolina.
Of course, if you have any questions about the process or how to get started, reach out to us. We’d love to help you on your journey. Plus, once you’re a licensed NC home inspector, you’ll want to join the Casa Community where you’ll get all your continuing education needs met, cash in on great deals, and engage in the vibrant community.