How to Become a Home Inspector in North Carolina: 5 Steps

December 28, 2022 | 
How to become a home inspector in North Carolina

For those wondering how to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina, you will be happy to know it is a straightforward process, but it also requires quite a few hours of learning from experienced professionals in order to obtain your license. Although the number of hours that are required can seem daunting, this article will lay it out for you in 5 steps.

Following this guide will be the best way to set yourself up for success from the start and help you begin your new, fulfilling career. Once these 5 steps are completed, you should feel confident, properly educated, and prepared to start your new career in the inspection industry.

What you should know before becoming a Home Inspector in North Carolina

Before obtaining your Home Inspector License in North Carolina, you should know the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Act states that anyone who wishes to be compensated for completing a home inspection must be licensed. The law also states that anyone who is not licensed may still complete a home inspection, but they are not legally allowed to be compensated for the service.

North Carolina Home Inspector license requirements

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Before starting any home inspection education, you will need to have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED.

120 Hours of Approved Classroom Education

North Carolina requires all home inspection license applicants to complete at least 200 hours of education from an approved course, but at least 120 of those hours must be completed within a classroom setting.

80 Hours of Approved Fieldwork Education

North Carolina requires all home inspection license applicants to complete at least 200 hours of education from an approved course, but at least 80 of those hours must be completed in the field with at least 10 separate site visits.

Submit to a Criminal History Record Check

Before you can be approved for a North Carolina home inspection license, you will need to submit your information for a criminal history record check.

Pass the North Carolina Home Inspection Exam

The North Carolina Home Inspection Exam is scheduled at least every other month in Raleigh, and to pass the exam, you must obtain at least a 70% grade.

How to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina? A full 5-step guide to getting a North Carolina state inspection license

Step 1 — Complete 200 Hours of Education from a Board-Approved Course

Once you start your journey toward becoming a Home Inspector in North Carolina, your first step is completing at least 200 hours of education from an approved course. Completing this requirement must include at least 120 hours of education within the classroom and at least 80 hours of instruction in the field, with 10 or more site visits

The North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board has 8 sponsors that they recognize as an organization offering an approved course:

  • Pillar To Post Home Inspections
  • The Home Inspection Training Center, The School of North Carolina
  • American Home Inspectors Training Institute
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • InterNACHI
  • National Property Inspections, Inc.
  • Inspection Certification Associates
  • National Institute of Building Inspectors

When completing your education, it is important to keep in mind that your board-approved coursework must be done within 3 years of your application for a home inspection license. For more information, as well as contact information, for each course, you can visit this page on the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board’s website.

Pro Tip

The North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board also states that those who have been licensed for at least 6 months as a general contractor under Article 1 of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes, as an architect under Chapter 83A of the General Statutes, or as a professional engineer under Chapter 89C of the General Statutes are not required to complete the 200 hours of education from a board-approved course. A person who qualifies under this sub-subdivision of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Act (§ 143-151.51. (a) (5) c.) on or after October 1, 2011, must also remain in good standing with their respective licensing board.

Step 2 — Register for & Pass the North Carolina Home Inspection Exam

The North Carolina Home Inspection Exam is scheduled at least every other month in Raleigh. These exams are slated to begin at 8am and are traditional “paper and pencil” exams. Computer-based exams are now offered to be taken at this same office but are by appointment only. Although some may be more comfortable with the traditional paper and pen tests, there is an advantage to taking the computer-based exam in that your test results will be provided immediately, and the score is automatically recorded.

To view the up-to-date exam schedule, visit this page on the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board’s website. Registering for the exam can be done on this page, which will include a $35 application fee and an $80 exam registration fee. Upon passing the exam, and obtaining the required amount of insurance, having a license issued to you as a new Home Inspector will be accompanied by a $160 fee.

Pro Tip

To pass the exam, you must obtain at least a 70% grade. The North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Act states that the questions on the exam will test your knowledge about the administrative rules adopted by the Board, G.S. 143, Article 9F, inspections of the building structures and their components, and electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems and appliances.

Step 3 — Purchase the Required Amount of Insurance

Prior to having a North Carolina Home Inspector license issued to you, the state requires you to have a certain amount of insurance to protect you and your customers. The state lists these two requirements of insurance for Home Inspectors:

  • At least $250,000 of general liability insurance
    • This can be either individual coverage or coverage under your employer
  • At least one of the following:
    • Minimum net assets that will be decided upon by the Board, which will be between $5,000 and $10,000
    • A bond in an amount determined by the Board, which will be between $5,000 and $10,000
    • At least $250,000 in errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance)
      • This can be either individual coverage or coverage under your employer

Pro Tip

Having these insurances will help protect your business in the case a client files a claim or lawsuit because they feel you overlooked something that eventually costs them money to fix. No one is exempt from making mistakes, and that includes Home Inspectors. Being prepared for these unfortunate instances is an important step you need to take for yourself and your business.

Step 4 — Maintain your Continuing Education Requirements

As a licensed Home Inspector in North Carolina, you must complete a total of 12 CE (continuing education) hours annually by September 10, except for those who are licensed after June 1st through September 30th of the current license period. Those 12 CE hours must include 4 hours of a Board-developed Update course and 8 hours of elective courses.

For a full list of Board-approved courses to fulfill your CE requirements, visit this page.

Pro Tip

To remain in good standing with the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board, and to stay up to date on everything going on within the home inspection world, you must be committed to continuing your education. The State does not require a lot of hours to be put towards your continuing education efforts but it’s important to not leave this important step to the last minute each year.

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, a critical step that you cannot miss is registering your business with the State of North Carolina and forming a legal entity. Visiting a business lawyer can help you with all the necessary steps and paperwork, but this can also be done on your own if you have the time and patience to do the research yourself.

Pro Tip

If you plan on joining an established home inspection firm, all the hard legal work has already been done! All you need to do now is market yourself to the firms you’re interested in joining and decide which one is the best for your goals and career path!

How long does it take to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina?

The length of time it takes to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina depends on the amount of time you have to dedicate to your new career. The time it takes someone to complete 200 hours of education and pass the North Carolina Home Inspection exam will vary from person to person, as well as vary from course to course. Some courses may be able to get you fully trained and ready for the exam in a matter of a couple of months, while others you may be able to complete in 6+ months.

Everybody is different and has varying schedules, and since the only time limit set within North Carolina is that the 200 hours of coursework must be completed within 3 years of licensure application, Home Inspectors have the freedom to choose a pace within that timeframe that fits within their life and career goals.

How much does it cost to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina?

The cost of becoming a Home Inspector in North Carolina will depend on a few different choices. Which training school and course that you enroll in and how many times it takes to pass the North Carolina Home Inspector Exam are two main factors. Some board-approved partners who offer qualifying courses offer their education for free for their members, which can be as little as $49/month, while other partners will offer packages for their education for over $2,000. With cost in mind, it is best that you do your research on all education options and decide which route offers what you are looking for in your new career.

Another cost factor is whether you would like to register as your own legal business entity instead of joining a home inspection company. If you decide that you would rather work for yourself, forming a legal entity can cost upwards of $2,000 or more if you have the help of a lawyer.

What’s the best Home Inspector training in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board requires that you comple at least 200 hours of education from an approved course. At least 120 of those hours must be in the classroom and at least 80 of those hours must be field instruction with 10 or more site visits.

The North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board lists 8 sponsors that they recognize as an organization offering an approved course. Fore more information on each course, visit their websites:

Pillar To Post Home Inspections

The Home Inspection Training Center, The School of North Carolina

American Home Inspectors Training Institute

Central Piedmont Community College

InterNACHI

National Property Inspections, Inc.

Inspection Certification Associates

National Institute of Home Inspection

Final points on how to be a Home Inspector in North Carolina

Those who are choosing to start their journey as a Home Inspector in North Carolina will have a few choices to make. The steps are straightforward, but the education will take some time. Choosing the best school and course for your 200 hours of education will be an important decision on how you want to start your new career.

North Carolina also ranks as one of the most affordable states to live in within the country, and is becoming more and more popular for families and individuals looking to relocate from other states. According to the 2020 Census, North Carolina’s population grew by about 900,000 people since 2010. This creates a great opportunity for Home Inspectors to gain business year-round.

Some essential items to remember about becoming a Home Inspector in North Carolina include:

  • You must complete 200 hours of education prior to becoming licensed; 120 of these hours must be classroom instructed and 80 of these hours must be field work, with at least 10 site visits.
  • Passing the North Carolina Home Inspector Exam is only offered in Raleigh and is held a few times a year, with computer-based exams being held in the same office by appointment only.
  • License applicants must have a high school diploma, or equivalent, and must abide by a criminal background check.
  • Continuing your education with at least 12 hours of Board-approved courses is required.

If you’re considering a Home Inspector in North Carolina as a 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.com today.

FAQs

How hard is it to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina?

It’s not too difficult to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina, but it will require time and dedication. Following the 5 recommended steps in this article will help keep you on track and help you start your new career as a Home Inspector in North Carolina successfully!

Do you need a license to become a Home Inspector in North Carolina?

Yes. For those looking to be paid as a Home Inspector in North Carolina, you must first obtain a license.

How much do Home Inspectors make in North Carolina?

As of publication, a Home Inspector makes an average of $53,719/year in North Carolina.

What’s the best Home Inspector training in North Carolina?

There isn’t one course or school that can be classified as the “best Home Inspector training” in North Carolina because everyone’s needs and expectations are different. Do your own research to find what option is best for YOU, but to get you started, here are the approved educational programs that have helped many Home Inspectors before you:

  • Pillar To Post Home Inspections
  • The Home Inspection Training Center, The School of North Carolina
  • American Home Inspectors Training Institute
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • InterNACHI
  • National Property Inspections, Inc.
  • Inspection Certification Associates
  • National Institute of Building Inspectors

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