Property inspections in the State of Florida are completed by certified Home Inspectors. As Florida is one of the larger states by square footage and one of the more fiscally responsible states in the US, there are tremendous employment opportunities for candidates who wish to become Home Inspectors. And, unlike other heavily regulated states, Florida’s process is intended to streamline its professionally licensed contractors’ training, education, certification, and renewal process.
The licensing program is overseen by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. To become a certified Home Inspector in Florida, a candidate must pass a background check and fingerprint verification, complete 120 hours of education, and pass the final State of Florida exam.
Becoming a Home Inspector in Florida is among the easiest of the 50 US states. However, many future Home Inspectors still wonder what is required or recommended for them to practice as certified Inspectors of homes. This article will answer those questions.
The information below will introduce the requirements for becoming a Home Inspector in Florida. We will also explain their unique experience-based criteria, continual education, and renewal procedures.
Planning to Become a Home Inspector in Florida? Here’s What You Need to Know
So — let’s begin this article by explaining the facts about being a Home Inspector in Florida. When candidates are interested in becoming Inspectors, they will contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and their Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure. The BCIL is the group that will handle all licensing, forms, and applications. The Division of Regulation is the governing body that handles complaints, completes investigations, and provides prosecutorial services when legal action is pending.
Unlike Texas, for example — the State of Florida does NOT have a minimum length of time requirements for completing the education and training portion of Home Inspector training. This makes Florida one of the best states to learn the ropes of a home inspection, especially for those who have existing full-time jobs.
With that said, Florida offers four distinct pathways to earning certification and licensure for practicing as a Home Inspector.
Option #1 — Initial In-State Applicant
The first path of becoming a Home Inspector is targeted at those who live in the State of Florida. This is what the state considers its ‘entry-level’ position, as it requires the candidate to complete the state-approved education and training program (which consists of 120 hours of education and hands-on training). The candidate must also complete a background check, fingerprint approval, and proof of $300,000 in general liability insurance to become certified as a Home Inspector in Florida.
At this point, the candidate can open their own business and operate under the general guidelines of the State of Florida DBPR.
Option #2 — Out-of-State Licensure by Endorsement
Suppose an applicant lives in a different US state but currently holds a certification or endorsement greater than or equal to Florida’s criteria. The candidate may bypass the education and certification examination process in that case. This is known as licensure by endorsement. They must complete the State of Florida background check, submit their application, and show proof of insurance coverage.
Option #3 — Licensure by Experience (10-Years)
The third grade of licensure is awarded to those with 10+ years of practical experience serving as a Home Inspector in a different state. They will have to show proof of certification in their previous state (if applicable), show proof of insurance coverage, and must apply for the Florida license. At the same time, they are currently certified in their home state – or within 2-years of expiration.
Option #4 — Active Duty or Former Military
Florida is a military-friendly state. They offer a specific path to becoming a licensed Home Inspector. The general requirements (such as education and training) are the same. However, the candidate on active duty or who received an honorable discharge will not be required to complete the background check or fingerprint clearance. They must submit their DD-214 or NGB-22 as proof of honorable discharge.
How to Become a Home Inspector in Florida in 5 Steps
While the status of your current location may impact your requirements for becoming a Home Inspector in Florida, there are five general steps that most candidates will have to complete. Let’s review the five easy steps to becoming certified in Florida as a Home Inspector.
Step 1: Retain the Right Education and Experience
Unless you’re an existing Home Inspector in another certified state, all candidates must complete the State of Florida requirements for education and experience. According to the State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website, “The applicant must demonstrate proof of completing a course of study approved by the department of not less than 120 hours that covers the 8 components of a home.”
According to Florida statutes, the eight components of a home include the home’s structure, electrical system, HVAC, roof covering, plumbing system, interior component, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure.
The State of Florida has 29 approved educational programs offering qualified candidates instruction. Most of these are paid programs and vary in location, type of training, and services after the course. You can review the complete list of approved educational providers here.
Step 2: Pass the State of Florida Examinations
After a candidate has taken the preparatory courses and completed the required training, they can take the required examination(s). While many US states have their own individual tests that are required for certification, Florida has a list of four approved written examinations. The candidate must pass (1) of these approved tests to be licensed.
Florida Approved Home Inspector Examinations
- National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE)
- Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI)
- InterNACHI Florida Home Inspector Licensing Examination
- Association of Construction Industry’s Certified Home & Property Inspector Examination (CI-HPI)
Step 3: Complete the Background Check Process
All Florida-approved licensed contractors must pass the State of Florida and Federal criminal background check. As a part of this background check, the candidate must also submit to collecting imagery of their fingerprints.
Applicants are asked to use a Livescan Service Provider approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to submit their fingerprints to the Department. Along with submitting the fingerprint scan, they must also provide the ORI or Origination Agency Identification number, which is provided once the candidate completes the fingerprint scan.
Step 4: Show Proof of Commercial General Liability Insurance
As the candidate completes the steps above, they can work on finding an insurance provider that will provide them with commercial general liability insurance for at least $300,000. Several insurance companies offer Home Inspector insurance; however, if you’d be interested in receiving discounted insurance coverage by HomeGauge through their preferred provider, OREP, please click this link to learn more.
Step 5: Fill Out the Application and Pay Required Fees
You’ll have to contact the State of Florida’s Department of Licenses as you submit your final application. All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits, and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting them at the following locations.
Division of Professions
Home Inspectors Licensing Program
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791
The estimated fee for obtaining a Home Inspector license in Florida is $230.00. This information is not publicized on their website. You’ll have to contact them directly via the phone number listed above or download their application to determine the final costs.
Once licensed and practicing, you’ll renew your license yearly and submit continuing education course credit every two years. The CE consists of the following:
- 14 hours of CE — minimum of 2 hours of wind mitigation
- 12 hours of Department-approved courses related to home inspection services or the components of a home.
The cost of these courses is $105.00.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Home Inspector in Florida?
The length of time it takes to become a Home Inspector depends on the candidate. The education requirements include 120 hours – split between online and in-class instruction (80 hours online – 40 hours in-class).
A candidate can manage this required education at their own pace. If they take an online course from one of the 20+ approved providers in Florida, it’s estimated that the class will take 3 to 4 weeks to complete (on a full-time schedule). Testing and background checks can take up to 16 weeks to complete.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Home Inspector in Florida?
Most of the cost of becoming a Home Inspector in Florida is classroom instruction or the educational requirements. These courses are taught by approved third-party providers, some in Florida. They offer a range of online and sometimes in-class instruction. The average cost of these 120-hour courses varies from $795 to $1,900. A candidate will also have to pay application fees, which are not publicly notated on the State of Florida’s website.
If you’re considering becoming a Home Inspector, the State of Florida is a great location. The average prices for homes are median level (except in high-end parts of primary coastal communities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Key West), strong economy and a thriving real estate industry. As more people from Northern US states consider retirement or are looking to relocate to a business-friendly state, they will need Home Inspectors to ensure their properties are safe and structurally sound.
Some essential items to remember about being a Home Inspector in Florida include:
- All candidates must complete 120 hours of educational training (unless you’ve been licensed in another state with similar requirements).
- You’ll have to complete the education through one of the 20+ approved training facilities.
- Licenses need to be renewed yearly, and continuing education is required every two years.
- All applications need to be submitted to the Department of Licenses for the State of Florida.
If you’re considering a Home Inspector in Florida career and would like to partner with a company that can provide you with all of the business-related tools you’ll need to complete inspections efficiently, reach customers through marketing efforts, and more — contact our team at HomeGauge today.