So you’ve decided to become a home inspector? Great call! Let me try to document the process as I went through the same situation and didn’t have a clear road map ahead of me. The home inspection profession is unregulated in Ontario, meaning there’s no State licensing required to become a home inspector.
Having said that, it is essential that you equip yourself with quality certifications and the right tools. More importantly, you need to understand that home inspectors are generalists, meaning you need to know how every aspect of a home works independently and in coordination with each other across seasons.
So whether you’re someone who’s looking at home inspection as your big career move, a part-time gig or to start a serious business in Ontario, this guide will help you get started. Whether you have a ‘construction background’ or not, home inspection career can be rewarding one if you’re willing to invest in the right certifications, continuous learning and understanding how businesses work.
Home Inspector qualifications
As I mentioned there is no home inspector licensing body in Ontario yet. The only way to ensure you appear qualified for the job is to get certified from an association of home inspectors and build your personal referrals. We will talk about referrals and marketing at a later point in this article – for now let’s focus on how to get you started.
Here are some options:
Carson-Dunlop training for home inspectors
The Carson-Dunlop training is a well-known 10-part course to help aspiring inspectors understand the basics and nuances of home inspection. The curriculum is used in multiple colleges across Ontario – so there’s no doubt about the quality of training that you will get. The entire course will cost you around $4500 – which also provides “accelerated apprenticeship, inspection software”.
The course will give you a good ‘footing’ on the different technical aspects of the inspection. This is arguably one of the best places to start if you’re really serious about becoming a home inspector.
You could take the course online, study at your own pace or go through one of their educational partners – the colleges. I believe Carson Dunlop offers a financing option to let you pay the course fees in 10 equal installments as well. The course is priced at $4500.
With Carson Dunlop home inspection training, you will also gain access to their reporting software and other perks.
InterNachi or International Association of Certified Home Inspectors on its website claims it offers “free training, online testing and certification”. But to access its extensive library of learning resources, one needs to register with the association with a monthly/annual fee.
I started with InterNachi as I found it to offer the right balance between risk and reward. With a modest investment of $66 CAD for a month, I could get access to its huge library of content. Not just that, I had a chance to get certified as well. Ask any home inspector and they will say that the InterNachi curriculum is relatively easier.
In my opinion, if you’re planning to pursue the home inspection career, the InterNachi course, certification might not be sufficient. But it’s a great place to start with. It will provide you with the basics, but a certification but the onus is on you to take your skillset/knowledege further. They also provide a slew of other services, including business development, marketing help.
Here’s more information and a step-by-step guide for Ontario-based prospective home inspectors.
Once you have decided on where to begin learning the basics of home inspection, the next step is to get certified and look for mentors and a home inspector whom you can ‘shadow’. A lot of newly certified inspectors are quick to erect their business boards and website – which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I wanted to get some exposure to some home inspections before taking the plunge.
Here’s the next logical step – find a mentor to understand how your learnings can be applied during a home inspection.
(to be continued)