How To Become A Home Inspector In Illinois: 8 Steps

March 27, 2023 | 
How to become a home inspector in Illinois

Certified home inspectors complete residential and commercial property inspections in Illinois. With a housing market that continues to expand, the need for detail-oriented experts in home inspection professionals is likewise growing. Learning how to become a home inspector in Illinois is the first step for any potential candidate.

The path to becoming a home inspector in Illinois is simple. If the candidate meets the minimum requirements for age and education, finishes the pre-licensing courses, and passes the National Home Inspector Examination, they can work anywhere in the state.

The information below will provide a deep dive into the facts about becoming a home inspector in Illinois. We will discuss the State of Illinois’s minimum requirements, education requirements, and licensing rules.

Planning To Become A Home Inspector In Illinois? Here’s What You Should Know

If you want to become a home inspector in Illinois, there are several things you need to consider before starting your journey.

First, and probably most importantly, it’s crucial to understand what a home inspector entails. As a home inspector in Illinois, your role is to inspect residential properties to identify any defects or issues with the property. You must provide a detailed report of your findings to your clients.

Second, it’s essential to understand that your job as a home inspector does not include recommending or completing repairs. Nor is it your duty to provide feedback that benefits a homeowner or buyer. An ethical home inspector should always serve as an independent voice who will serve their clients honestly.

Finally, to become a home inspection expert, you need to be familiar with Illinois laws and regulations related to the inspection of residential properties. Even though you will learn about these rules and laws during your education before the test, we strongly suggest that you do some basic research first.

By understanding these requirements and having the necessary skills, you can become a successful home inspector in Illinois.

Home Inspector License Requirements In Illinois

The path to becoming a licensed home inspector in Illinois is not as daunting or technical as in other states – like Texas, for example. In fact, The State of Illinois has made the process of applying, completing education, and receiving certification easier to understand than other states.

Illinois law created the Illinois Home Inspector License Act. It sets up a Home Inspector Advisory Board within the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s Division of Real Estate to regulate home inspectors.

To obtain a license, an applicant must be at least 18 and obtain a high school diploma or GED. They must also complete pre-license education from an approved provider – InterNACHI or ASHI.

After completing the training and 60 hours of coursework, you’ll need to take and pass the Home Inspector Examination for Illinois. This test is a hybrid of the National Home Inspector Examination with a section applicable to the State of Illinois rules and regulations.

Once you pass the exam, you’ll be required to submit a completed application for licensure, pay the state application fee, show proof of E&O or general liability insurance with $300,000 minimum coverage, and provide proof of all required elements posted above.

The State of Illinois also requires continuing education to be completed every two years. We will dive further into these details in the section below.

How To Become A Home Inspector In Illinois In 8 Steps

So, if you’ve read the paragraphs above and are still intrigued about becoming a home inspector in Illinois, here are the eight easy steps you’ll need to complete to start your new career.

Step 1: Meet Educational Requirements

All potential home inspectors must be at least 18 before beginning the pre-testing education process. They must also have a high school diploma or pass the GED exam in their state.

Pro Tip:

A candidate does NOT need to have this degree or education completed in the State of Illinois.

Step 2: Complete The Pre-Licensing Education

You must complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education from an approved education provider. This education will cover construction, building systems, and Illinois law and regulations.

Pro Tip:

The two leading providers include InterNACHI and ASHI. However, there are 19 approved service providers by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Step 3: Obtain Inspection Experience

Practical knowledge is a vital tool for any future home inspector. For candidates in the State of Illinois, they must complete five supervised inspections of residential properties. These inspections must be at least three hours and include a full-scope review of the residential property.

Pro Tip:

Sometimes, candidates will be paired with an experienced and licensed home inspector when they complete their education classes through InterNACHI or ASHI. However, it is the candidate’s responsibility to find an experienced home inspector who they can work with directly.

Step 4: Take And Pass The State Of Illinois Home Inspector Exam

We touched on this step above. Illinois home inspectors must take and pass a hybrid examination that includes the entire National Home Inspector Examination and a small section that comprises the Illinois Home Inspector Exam.

One frequently asked question of potential home inspector candidates is whether they can take the Illinois exam from a different state. The answer is YES. You do not need to reside in Illinois to take the Illinois State Exam.

Pro Tip:

The National Home Inspector Examination contains 200 multiple-choice questions. Of the 200 questions on the exam, 25 of those are pretest questions that are not scored. You will be given a total of four hours to complete the exam. You can register for the exam online.

Step 5: Obtain Insurance

Before submitting your application for licensure, you must obtain a minimum of $300,000 in general liability insurance. you’ll need to submit proof of coverage along with your application.

Pro Tip:

Home inspectors usually hold two different types of insurance that protect them against lawsuits resulting from home inspections:

General Liability Insurance:

Designed to protect you from claims that cause bodily injury or harm, general liability insurance is often viewed as the baseline coverage for Indiana home inspectors. If a homeowner or other associate is injured during an inspection, you may be liable for damages if you do not have general liability insurance. In a worst-case scenario, you could be sued for upwards of $100,000 in a slip and fall claim or negligence claim.

Errors and Omissions Insurance

Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a specialized form of insurance designed to cover losses not covered by general liability insurance. It will protect you and your business from claims if a client sues for negligent acts, errors, or omissions committed during business activities that result in a financial loss. General liability insurance policies cost small businesses around $40 per month, on average. To get the best rate possible, we recommend speaking with a licensed agent who has worked with Indiana home inspectors in the past.

Step 6: Submit The License Application

The license application fee for a first-time home inspection candidate in Illinois is $250. This fee must be submitted with the application, proof of education, on-hand training, and insurance coverage.

Pro Tip:

Along with the application, you’ll need to send a copy of your driver’s license or official State or Federal-approved identification. The state will run a general background check during the application review process.

Step 7: Obtain The License

The application approval process can take up to 6 weeks in Illinois. But the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will let you know once the application has been reviewed, checked, and approved.

Pro Tip:

The application is valid for 24 months and must be renewed every two years. The newly licensed home inspector will receive log-in credentials to access the IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation) website, where they can navigate their individual account details.

Step 8: Complete Continuing Education

In Illinois, all licensed home inspectors must complete 14 hours of continual education. Like the pre-education courses, the inspector must take the courses from an authorized provider.

Pro Tip:

You can find a list of approved schools and courses on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Home Inspector In Illinois?

The specific length of time it takes to become a home inspector in Illinois can vary depending on your individual circumstances, but here are the general steps and estimated timelines:

  1. Education and Training: You must complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education from an approved provider. This can be completed online or in person and usually takes around 2-4 weeks to complete.
  2. Field Experience: You need to gain a minimum of 5 supervised home inspections, completed over a minimum of 5 days. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing an approved home inspector training program or by working under a licensed home inspector as an apprentice. The time required to complete this can vary depending on your schedule and availability.
  3. Exam: You must pass the National Home Inspector Examination or an equivalent exam approved by the IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation). The exam is 4 hours long and is typically scheduled within a few weeks of completion of the pre-licensing education and field experience requirements.
  4. Application and Licensing: Once you have completed the above requirements, you can apply to the IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation) and pay the appropriate fees. The licensing process can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the volume of applications being processed.

In short, the timeline to become a licensed home inspector in Illinois can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on how quickly you can complete the education and field experience requirements and schedule and pass the exam.

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Home Inspector In Illinois?

In total, the estimated cost to become a licensed home inspector in Illinois is around $1,125 to $1,625, depending on the education and training provider you choose and whether you need to pay apprenticeship fees.

The breakdown of these estimates is likewise determined by the specific online or onsite course, the cost of the test (usually $225), and ancillary education or training you need to pass the exam.

Key Takeaways

There are several reasons why you might consider becoming a home inspector in Illinois.

First, the real estate market in Illinois is active, and there is a high demand for home inspectors. As a home inspector, you can expect to have a steady stream of work and potentially earn a good income.

Second, home inspectors typically have a flexible schedule, as inspections are often scheduled based on the availability of the homeowner and the real estate agent. This can be appealing if you’re looking for a job that allows you to work around other commitments.

It’s also a career that will require a certain level of technical knowledge and attention to detail, making the work both challenging and rewarding. As a home inspector in Illinois, you’ll be satisfied with helping people make informed decisions about their home purchases.

If you’re considering a home inspector in Illinois 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 today.


How hard is it to become an Illinois home inspector?

It is not too difficult to become a home inspector in Illinois. Anyone who wishes to enter the profession will have to complete the educational requirements, 5 supervised inspections that are at least 3 hours long, pass the National Home Inspector Exam and obtain the proper insurance. Following the steps listed above will ensure you meet the necessary requirements to earn your home inspector license and begin your career.

Do you need a license to become an Illinois home inspector?

Yes, Illinois does require a license to practice home inspection in the state.

How much do Illinois home inspectors make?

As of the publication of this article, the average yearly income for an Illinois home inspector is $48,780, according to salary data from Indeed.


Disclaimer: The information in this article should be used as a guide and was accurate at the time of publishing. Check with your state authorities for the most up-to-date regulations.

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