Are you an eagle-eyed, mechanically-inclined, go-getting “jack of all trades?” Do you long for physical work in a fast-paced environment where no two days are exactly alike? If so, you may have what it takes to become a home inspector and embark on a fascinating and in-demand new career.
If the words, “fascinating” and “in-demand” just piqued your curiosity, there is more good news. As “How Can I Specialize as a Home Inspector” states, the American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 77 percent of the homes sold in the United States and Canada, today, are inspected prior to purchase. And the people conducting these inspections are just like you.
What would your day include?
In the home inspector’s world, every day brings a new challenge. Whether you’re called to check out a turret-boasting Victorian, a 1920s craftsman, or a modern two-storey, you will be required to investigate every nook and cranny, inside and out. This means poking around attics, slithering through crawl spaces, exploring everything from the cellar to the ceiling, looking for structural problems, damage, or shoddy workmanship. You will also be called upon to ensure that plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling systems are up to snuff.
And, somewhere in between your inspection duties, you will need to find time to market yourself as well.
Is there any pressure?
While the inspection process can take up to four hours and requires a fine-toothed comb, you have very little time to generate an actual report of your findings. With conditional purchase offers expiring in as little as a few days, the home inspection report is often needed within twenty-four short hours.
What characteristics will help me succeed in this field?
There are certain personality traits, interests, and aptitudes that will improve your odds of not just succeeding, but also enjoying life as a Home Inspector.
An Eye for Detail
. Do you excel at “Spot the Difference” puzzles? If you can locate the lone needle in a mountain of hay, you possess a very important quality. Home Inspectors must be able to detect even the most well-concealed signs of trouble.
. If you suffer from bum knees or a whacky back, this job may prove to be too physically taxing. It not only involves hours of standing, but you will also be doing a fair share of crawling and climbing too. For the fit individual who hates sitting behind a desk all day, this job is a dream come true.
. In order to succeed in this business, you will need to foster a relationship of trust with your clients. You will also need to learn how to tell someone that their dream home is, in fact, a nightmare–tactfully. Plus, you will be required to handle overly aggressive realtors whose interests often conflict with your own.
. The ideal candidate should be mechanically inclined and enjoy working with their hands. A background in a construction trade is particularly helpful, especially if you are a skilled “jack of all trades.”
How can I become a Home Inspector?
The American Society of Home Inspectors can provide you with a wealth of information on the career, itself, as well as educational opportunities. Plus, by joining your local chapter, you can meet other professionals and build up a network of important contacts.
Each state has its own requirements, with some requiring state-issued licensing or certification. Plus, some local jurisdictions have their own regulations. You will need to do some investigating to find out what your home state requires.
Most employers will, however, require a high school diploma, while many employers will opt for individuals who have a degree in architecture or engineering. Another option is to take a college program in building inspection technology. It is always best to research your own market to find out type of schooling successful Home Inspectors possess in your area.
What will my job prospects be like?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for construction and building inspectors is expected to grow at a rate of twelve percent between now and 2022 and the medial annual wage in 2012 was $53,450. Most work full-time, Monday to Friday hours, but you may find yourself busier during posting season.
Life as a Home Inspector is never dull. If this exciting career sounds like your perfect fit, there is no time like the present to take the next step. Opportunity awaits.
What advice can you offer someone who is considering entering the home inspection trade?