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How to Become a Home Inspector in California

Image of a hand holding a magnifying glass over a house

Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education

Published: December 10, 2019

Home inspection is a growing field in California with few requirements to get started, making it an advantageous option for those looking to make a change of career or reenter the workforce. Although there are no requirements hindering you from starting a home inspection career, it does require a high level of knowledge and skill. You will be a step ahead if you have experience in electricity, plumbing, construction, or another related field, but you can still start a home inspection career even if you don’t have this experience.

Requirements for practicing home inspection vary by state. Some states require that you pass an exam or complete on-the-job training, but California does not stipulate any requirements for prospective home inspectors. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need a plan of action before getting started. Check out the following list to see how to start a new career as a home inspector in California.

Steps to Become a Home Inspector in California

1. Gauge your skill level.

Evaluate your comfort level with common home inspection tasks and skills by doing some research. Ask yourself if you understand what home inspection involves and if you understand your local market. Be honest with yourself about your skill set and areas where you may be lacking knowledge. By knowing exactly where you currently stand, you’ll be in a good position to develop a working plan for your career transition into home inspection.

2. Consider a home inspector training program.

Even though California does not require a training program, it’s a great idea to consider enrolling in one regardless of your skill level. Good training programs will give you the exact knowledge you need to be successful while inspecting every major house system, allowing you to approach this pivotal career move with confidence.

A training program will also offer opportunities for you to test your knowledge through quiz questions and practice exams. After completing a home inspection training program, you’ll be ready to prove your competence with clients and be considered a true professional in the field.

3. Network with real estate agents and brokers.

The more connections you have, the more business opportunities will come your way. Being a successful home inspector involves more than just knowing the ins and outs of home systems. You need to be able to forge relationships with the people in your community who will bring you business. These people are often real estate agents and brokers who need regular home inspection services for their clients.

Look for opportunities to earn the trust of local agents and brokers. You can attend real estate seminars and networking events, community fairs, and other events where agents and brokers may be talking business. Try asking around in your circle of family or friends—maybe someone you know already has a connection to the real estate community. If you make a good impression, you could see a steady stream of business coming your way.

4. Work for yourself or a home inspection firm.

When you start out as a home inspector, you have a couple of options. You can choose to work for an established home inspection business, or you can go into business for yourself. Both of these options have advantages. If you choose to start your own home inspection business, you can control how often you work, what jobs you take, and your rates. For those who enjoy being in complete control of their work, starting your own business may be an enjoyable venture.

If you prefer the perks that come with joining an established company, you will have the opportunity to meet other home inspectors working in the field. You may be able to get tips and advice that you may not otherwise have known. Instead of waiting to get jobs from making connections, you might be able to get assignments from your company and start working right away.

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Becoming a home inspector in California could be a great career move for you. The home inspection industry is growing fast and with no requirements to get started. It’s the perfect switch for those with a high level of industry knowledge. Ready to get started? Choose your state from this list to see your requirements.