Minnesota is one of the few states that has not yet adopted any licensing requirements to become a certified home inspector. Despite the lax regulations and requirements, home inspectors in Minnesota may find it challenging to find clients and work without some form of certification. This article will serve as your guide on your journey towards officially practicing home inspection in Minnesota.
What You Should Know Before Becoming A Minnesota Home Inspector
As you begin your journey toward becoming a licensed Minnesota home inspector, you should keep in mind that the state does not require a license in order to practice home inspection. This can make it significantly easier to become a home inspector, as you do not need to take an official class to begin your practice. However, Real Estate Agents, potential employers, and lenders often prefer working with individuals who do hold a home inspector certification because their business relies upon your success. This expertise gives certified Minnesota home inspectors a critical edge in finding and maintaining clients and business.
Minnesota Home Inspector License Requirements
Minnesota is one of the few states that has not yet adopted licensing requirements for home inspectors. While an official license is not required, we recommend that prospective home inspectors complete some form of training or course to prepare themselves for a career in the industry. You can either choose to begin your career with an official course or study on your own for the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE).
How To Become A Home Inspector In Minnesota: Your 5-step Guide To Receiving Your Minnesota Home Inspector License
Step 1: Prepare For A Career In Home Inspection
Neither ride-along inspections nor official courses are required to become a Minnesota home inspector. While these normal regulations are not in place, you should still adequately prepare for your career. One of the most common ways in which prospective home inspectors prepare is by completing professional home inspection training from a reputable home inspection program. Many home inspection agencies and groups favor inspectors who have shown an early commitment to their careers.
Before you begin your career in home inspection, it can be prudent to conduct some online research to learn more about the industry. Here at HomeGauge, we have multiple resources for prospective Minnesota home inspectors that can be used to help kickstart a career in home inspection.
Step 2: Pass The National Home Inspector Exam
Passing the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) is the next step in your journey towards earning your home inspector license in Minnesota. Like many states, Minnesota requires that all home inspectors pass this exam before practicing home inspection. The exam will test your knowledge in the following three domains:
- Property and Building Inspection / Site Review
- Analysis of Findings and Reporting
- Professional Responsibilities
The exam can be registered for on the NHIE’s official website and will cost $225. Once you pass the exam, you will qualify to become a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which is a widely known organization that will help you form relationships in the industry and start getting referrals.
Step 3: Provide Proof Of Insurance (Optional)
While optional in Minnesota, home inspector’s insurance can protect your business in case a client files a claim or lawsuit. If you’ve overlooked or missed something during an inspection, your insurance will cover you in most cases. Most home inspectors in Minnesota choose to purchase at least a basic insurance policy for these reasons. No one is exempt from making mistakes, including home inspectors. Preparing for these possibilities is an important step you need to take for yourself and your business.
There are many different insurance providers for home inspectors in Minnesota. To help you get started, we’ve provided links to a few of the most popular providers below:
Although insurance is not required, many local real estate groups and business associations require members to have insurance. Home inspectors usually hold two different types of insurance:
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 Minnesota 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 liable for a slip and fall claim or reputational harm lawsuit, both of which can cost more than $50,000. While no homeowner expects to be sued, purchasing a general liability insurance policy to prepare yourself for these cases is often a wise decision.
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.
Step 4: Network And Make Connections
In the home inspection industry, networking and making connections can prove vital to your success. Many inspectors find that referrals through connections or common associates help begin their practice and build a reputation as a reliable inspector in the field.
If you’re looking to establish yourself in the industry, it is often best to join a group of home inspectors to make connections and get referrals. There are many groups to choose from, including the Minnesota home inspectors. The group comprises more than 7,000 home inspectors who operate in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and can serve as a reliable resource as you begin your career.
Step 5: Register Your Business Or Join A Firm
An important decision you will need to make as you embark on this new journey is whether you plan on working for yourself or plan on joining an established home inspection firm. If you plan on working for yourself, you need to register your business with the State of Minnesota.
Most businesses in Minnesota must register with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Before registering your business, you must decide whether your home inspection practice will function as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. For more information on how to register your business, you can visit the office’s official webpage.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Home Inspector In Minnesota?
The length of time it takes to become a home inspector in Minnesota will vary from person to person. There is no required amount of field training or coursework, so prospective home inspectors could theoretically begin their career by taking the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). However, it is generally recommended that you take a course to prepare yourself, many of which can be completed in a matter of weeks.
How Much Does It Cost To Become A Home Inspector In Minnesota?
There are only a few costs associated with becoming a Minnesota home inspector, including taking the National Home Inspection Exam ($225) and related coursework. If you choose not to take a course to prepare yourself for the test, your only cost will be the required $225 testing fee.
In Minnesota, insurance is optional for home inspectors. Those who choose to hold insurance may spend between $400 and $700 per year on general liability insurance, depending on providers. If you choose to also pursue Errors and Omissions insurance, you can expect to spend an additional $500-$1,000 per year.
What Is The Best Home Inspector Course In Minnesota?
While there isn’t one singular school that can be deemed the best home inspector training program in the state, some are more reputable than others. To give you a head start on your education, we’ve listed a few of the most popular and respected programs below:
International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
InterNACHI provides online testing, free training and certification, in addition to business development and discounts on home inspector needs. To become a member of InterNACHI, Minnesota home inspectors must pay either $49 per month or $499 each year. To learn more about InterNACHI, check out their website.
Inspection Certification Associates (ICA)
The mission of the Inspection Certification Associates (ICA) is “to qualify people to become home inspectors through training courses.” In addition to online training courses and exam prep courses, ICA also provides ongoing career support for certain Home Inspection Members. For more information about their membership and training material, visit their website.
Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII)
PHII offers multiple courses, marketing resources, and business support for inspectors who are new and inspectors who have established themselves over the years. Each course is estimated to take about 1-2 weeks to complete and will always be accessible to members. Their online home inspector Certification course costs $595.
Final Thoughts On Becoming A Home Inspector In Minnesota
While insurance and home inspection education are optional in Minnesota, you may find it difficult to begin your career without them. With an average yearly salary of nearly $55,000, home inspection is a respectable career in Minnesota that can prove both personally and professionally rewarding.
Be sure to keep the following items in mind as you begin your home inspection career in Minnesota:
- The state of Minnesota does not require ride-along inspections of classroom training to become a home inspector.
- You must register for and pass the National Home Inspector Exam before beginning your career.
- You can prepare for the exam by researching and taking practice exams available on their website.
- While not required, it is recommended that you purchase an insurance policy that covers both errors and omissions (E&O) and general liabilities.
- Once you are ready to start your practice, you can either join an established firm or start your career on your own.
If you’re considering becoming a home inspector in Minnesota 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, you can contact our team at HomeGauge.com today or explore our library of resources for home inspectors.
How hard is it to become a Minnesota home inspector?
Compared to other states, Minnesota makes it fairly easy to become a home inspector. Home inspectors in this state do not have to complete a required amount of classroom instruction nor obtain an official license. While a state-recognized course is recommended to prepare for the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE), it is not required either.
Do you need a license to become a Minnesota home inspector?
No, Minnesota does not require a license to practice home inspection in the state.
How much do home inspectors make in Minnesota?
As of the publication of this article, the average yearly income for a Minnesota home inspector is $54,792, according to salary data from Indeed.
What do Minnesota home inspectors look for?
Home inspectors in Minnesota inspect properties for radon, asbestos, property damage, energy efficiency, lead plumbing, and formaldehyde. Inspecting these elements (and others) can uncover potentially harmful elements that could destroy a home, or in the worst cases, threaten the lives of homeowners.
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.