How to Become a Home Inspector

A career as a home inspector involves climbing over, going underneath, and through houses, for examining any flaws or defects which can possibly cause problems to the possessor of the house. It includes a physical examination of the complete apartment, building, or row house; and drafting an elaborate report on the condition of all parts, mechanical systems, and the overall structure. The information contained in the report is referred to for taking significant decisions regarding the purchase of that particular property. Home inspectors generally particularize in determining unobserved problems like ‘white ants’ or ‘mold’. They are mostly employed by insurance firms and financial companies. Nowadays, they have also started using technology such as laptops and digital photography to help them carry out their work in an effective manner.

House owners and prospective home buyers largely depend on these professionals to assist them in providing recommendations regarding their investment. Home inspectors need to be proficient in examining and scrutinizing the house components and systems, and must know where potential problems could exist. They should have the required knowledge and ability to describe the exact condition of the property in a concise and instructive manner. If one wants to get into this field, he must undergo training in areas such as house foundation; drainage systems; roofing; plumbing; writing reports; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC); electrical systems; and environmental issues.

Education and Training

In a majority of the states, one is required to complete a certified home inspection course along with a General Educational Development (GED) diploma, or a diploma from high school. Moreover, possessing a college degree in engineering, construction management, or architecture can be advantageous. If you have done some field work or have hands-on experience in house construction and redevelopment, it is a big plus. Other prerequisites include excellent verbal and written communication, computer awareness, acquaintance with property sales, knowledge of property management, and all legalities of real estate and housing.

You can select a related course from several technical schools, which would facilitate you to gain a certification. There are various related organizations in the US, which also provide online preparation courses. Such courses include topics like checking gas lines and systems, examining doors and roofs, assessing the house structure, ensuring safety in electrical systems, and evaluating the plumbing and water supply network.

Gain Work Experience

Next, you can search for an opportunity to work under the supervision of a certified professional. Observe what he does and make a note of the duties he performs. You may also work as a trainee or an intern in a home inspection company. This would enable you to understand the job in-depth. In most states, you would need to get permission to work as a trainee.

Get Certified

For you to be eligible to work as a certified practitioner, you need to be accredited by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). For this, you should have passed the National Home Inspector Examination. Other requirements include having the required work experience (at least 250 home inspections), completing the appropriate training, and the inspection reports verified as ASHI-compliant.

Career Prospects

The ASHI estimates that only 77% of homes sold in the US and Canada today are inspected prior to purchase. Which means that the market is still under-served, and there is ample scope for growth in this field. Generally, these professionals earn an average revenue of USD 75,000 per annum, but this figure can vary with the size of the client base one has.

Construction Management Career Information

A construction manager is known by various other profile names – constructor, construction superintendent, general superintendent, production manager, project manager, general construction manager, executive construction manager, general contractor, contractor, and subcontractor. It may require him to be available 24×7 to deal with the infinite number of problems at the site. He may be self-employed or working on a payroll for an organization.

Qualification: A solid background in building sciences, combined with some relative experience is the ideal qualification. Relevant knowledge of business administration would work further to your advantage. This branch is also known by other names like construction science and construction technology. The course duration is generally four years. Candidates with a master’s degree get hired very easily by the large corporations. Candidates who are hired are thoroughly assessed on their understanding of plans, drawings, cost estimation, and management skills. Generally, people rise to this post after gaining sufficient experience in crafts work, supervision, etc. An additional certification from organizations like the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) and Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), though not compulsory, would definitely act as a positive factor in the candidate’s resume.

Career Opportunities: Being one of the fastest growing sectors all over the world, it has been studied and estimated by various labor science bureaus, that the non-residential construction industry will have an even more rapid growth by the end of this decade. As the industry keeps making faster strides, the need for experienced human resource will also rise.

Job Profile: A major part of the job is carried out outside his office, at the site. He has to be available at the site almost throughout the working day, and analyze and troubleshoot any problem that may arise. Small projects like renovating a residence are carried out by self-employed individuals, who directly deal with the workers and execute the entire project. In larger projects like those of bridges or commercial centers, the work is divided amongst a number of construction managers. A construction manager is responsible for a wide variety of jobs related to the different sorts of constructions, that may vary from commercial and residential buildings, to bridges and roads. The entire construction work is planned by him. He divides the work into small parts, and estimates the time and financial resources needed to execute each part. His planning has to be precise, and he needs to take into account the various calamities or unavoidable circumstances that may arise during the execution of each of his plans. Multitasking specialties and working under pressure are very important attributes that one needs to possess in this role and environment.

Financial Benefits: The remuneration generally depends on the type of project being handled. The geographic location of the site is taken into account when deciding the salary. They generally have to work far away from their office, and in many cases, they are sent to work outside their city or country, which makes their career generally very lucrative. They are also entitled to different types of bonuses and allowances.

It is a general view that the business has also been hit by recession just like any other industry. But, the career prospects in this industry are not going to dim. Rising market conditions are always accompanied by a number of constructions. As the economy starts growing and getting better, it will be the need to keep the infrastructural growth in pace with the recovering economy.