The process to become a Home Inspector in Ohio is fairly straightforward, but it does require completing a few essential tasks before you receive your Ohio Home Inspector license. If you’re looking for a place to start, this guide will walk you through the 8 most important steps towards receiving your Home Inspection license.
Planning to become a Home Inspector in Ohio? Here’s what you should know
Before you obtain your Ohio Home Inspector license, you should know that the Ohio Department of Commerce has stated that any individual who wishes to conduct a Home Inspection in exchange for compensation must be licensed. The department’s code also requires that a written contract be established between the Home Inspector and client before the inspection can occur.
Home Inspector license requirements in Ohio
In order to become a Home Inspector in Ohio, and be paid legally for your services, you must first meet the following requirements:
High School diploma or equivalent
Prior to becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio, you must first obtain a high school diploma, or the equivalent in the form of a GED.
Background check and fingerprinting
Ohio requires that anyone who wishes to become a certified Home Inspector complete a background check and fingerprint exam.
80-hour Ohio-Approved course
Ohio requires that all license applicants complete at least 80 hours of home inspection education from an approved course.
40 hours of field training
Anyone who wishes to become a Home Inspector in Ohio must complete at least 40 hours of unpaid, supervised field inspections.
Submit to a Background and Criminal History test
Before you can be approved and receive your Home Inspector license, you must first submit to a background and criminal history check.
Take and pass the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE)
The National Home Inspector Exam is a written exam that is held in multiple locations across the country. In Ohio, the NHIE is administered through an exam vendor known as PSI.
Provide proof of insurance
Ohio states that every Home Inspector must hold a general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of at least $100,000 per occurrence or a $300,000 aggregate limit. To be approved for a license, you must secure and maintain proof of liability.
How to become a Home Inspector in Ohio in 8 steps
Step 1 — Complete the 80-Hour Ohio-Approved Home Inspection Course
The first step you need to take in your journey to becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio is completing at least 80 hours of instruction in an Ohio-approved home inspection course. The list of schools that can provide this course can be found here. It is important to note that the amount of hours required to pass each course varies, with some courses approving as little as 80 hours while others require as many as 115.
At the start of your journey towards becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Home Inspection Requirements for the state of Ohio. Reviewing these requirements will help you chart your path and understand the necessary requirements and steps.
Step 2 — Conduct 10 Parallel Home Inspections or Obtain 40 Hours of Experience
In order to obtain your home inspection license in Ohio, you must first complete 40 hours of curriculum experience in addition to one peer review or 10 parallel inspections. The parallel inspection is a home inspection completed by the applicant that is supervised by a certified Home Inspector acting as a supervisor.
For each home inspection, the applicant must write a report, which the supervisor will review and correct. This report will then be returned to the applicant within 10 calendar days of its submission.
Step 3 — Register for & Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
After completing home inspections, you must then pass the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, 25 of which are not counted in the official score. In Ohio, the NHIE is administered through an exam vendor known as PSI. When preparing for the exam, it is important to remember that the questions on the exam cover three central topics with which every Home Inspector in Ohio should be very familiar:
- Property and Building Inspection / Site Review
- Analysis of Findings and Reportings
- Professional Responsibilities
Once you are ready to take the exam, you must first register for it. You must register for the exam in your specific state in advance; walk-in testing is not allowed. In the state of Ohio, the NHIE costs $225.
The exam is scored on a scale of 200-800. To pass the exam, you must obtain a score of at least 500. If you fail the exam and wish to schedule a retake, you must wait at least 30 days to retake the test.
You can find more information on the exam, as well as tips and resources for how to prepare for it on the official NHIE website.
The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) also has practice quizzes that can be purchased on the National Home Inspector Examination website here.
Step 4 — Submit Your Home Inspector Application
After passing the National Home Inspector Exam, you must then submit your Home Inspector application to the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. The application can be found online here.
To complete the application, you must also obtain the following:
- The signature of your supervisor
- A seal by a notary
Completed applications must be mailed, along with the application fee of $250 to the following address:
The Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
77 South High Street, 20th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Step 5 — Complete A Background Check
To become a Home Inspector in Ohio, you must submit to two separate background checks: one by the state of Ohio and also a national background check. These background checks will be conducted by the Ohio State Police and can only be completed once you have already mailed your application to the Division. Additional information on background checks can be found on the application here.
Electronic fingerprints must be taken by a Webcheck user (a business, government agency or private entity that provides criminal record check services) approved by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I). To find a Webcheck location near you, click here.
Applicants must also contact a Webcheck user themselves to arrange for fingerprints to be taken and submitted to the BCI&I. You should also take your government issued ID to your designated Webcheck location. Applicants should confirm the Webcheck® user can submit both state and FBI fingerprints to BCI&I.
Step 6 — Register Your Business
You will need to register your business with the Ohio Secretary of State to become a licensed Home Inspector and start practicing. If you plan on working for yourself, you will also need to form an official legal entity. A business lawyer can help you with all the necessary legal steps and paperwork.
On the other hand, you can also join a registered, established home inspection firm. The benefit of this is that all the hard legal work has already been completed.
Step 7 — Obtain An Insurance Policy
By law, every Ohio Home Inspector must maintain, or be covered by, either a comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of at least $100,000 per occurrence or a $300,000 aggregate limit.
These insurance policies will protect you and your business in the case that a client files a lawsuit against you. Although these scenarios are rare, preparing yourself for a possible legal situation is an important step to take towards becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio.
At the time you file an initial Home Inspector license application with Ohio, you will be required to submit a certificate of insurance (COI) from your insurer showing you are covered by a commercial general or comprehensive general liability policy for at least the required coverage amount stated above.
Step 8 — Maintain Your Education Requirements
As a licensed Home Inspector in Ohio, you must complete a total of 14 hours of continual education every three years. Sec 4764.08 of the Ohio Home Inspector Licensing Law states that during each three-year period that a license is valid, a licensed Home Inspector shall successfully complete at least 14 hours of continuing education annually.
To remain in good standing with the Ohio Department of State, you must stay committed to continuing your education. The aforementioned 14 hours of education must be completed within 1 year prior to your license expiration date. Don’t put off completing your education until the last minute each year, as you may not be able to complete the hours in time.
If you fail to complete the education and your license expires, you may renew it within three months by submitting a late renewal application.
How long does it take to become a Home Inspector in Ohio?
The length of time it takes to become a Home Inspector in Ohio can vary depending on the amount of time you dedicate to completing all of the required steps. Some courses will train and prepare you to take the exam in a couple of months, while others may require nearly a year of training and practice.
How much does it cost to become a Home Inspector in Ohio?
The cost of becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio will vary depending on which course you take, and how many times it takes you to complete and pass the Ohio Home Inspector Exam. Many training agencies and institutes will bundle the required 80 hour online course with the 40 hours of field training, which can help you save money.
In addition to the cost of education, it is also important to be aware of the costs such as the $225 required for the National Home Inspection Exam fee. Another cost factor to consider 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. You may also need the assistance of a lawyer to complete this process, which can further increase costs.
Those wishing to become a Home Inspector in the state of Ohio should follow the steps listed above to complete the process. While the steps are fairly straightforward, obtaining the necessary education, experience, and certifications will take some time.
Some essential tasks to remember about becoming a Home Inspector in Ohio include the following:
- You must complete an approved 80-hour Ohio-approved home inspection course.
- The state of Ohio requires that you pass the National Home Inspector Exam.
- You must obtain and secure a general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of at least $100,000 per occurrence or a $300,000 aggregate limit.
- Licensed applicants must submit to a criminal background check.
- To continue practicing home inspection in the state of Ohio, you must complete a total of 14 hours of continual education every 3 years.
If you’re considering working as a Home Inspector in Ohio and are looking to partner with a company that provides you with all the tools you need to complete training and inspections, contact our team at HomeGauge today.
How hard is it to become a Home Inspector in Ohio?
It is not that difficult to become a Home Inspector in Ohio. Following the steps listed above will give you a great start on your journey towards becoming a licensed Home Inspector in Ohio.
Do you need a license to become a Home Inspector in Ohio?
Yes, anyone who wishes to become a Home Inspector in Ohio must first obtain an official license.
Do Ohio home inspection licenses expire?
Yes, your home inspection license expires every two years. Board Regulation 18 VAC 15-40-72 requires licensed Home Inspectors to complete 16 contact hours of additional training during each two-year cycle as a condition of renewal.
How much do Home Inspectors make in Ohio?
As of the publication of this article, Home Inspectors in Ohio make an average yearly income of $39,131.
What is the best Home Inspector training course in Ohio?
There isn’t one course that can be deemed the best Home Inspector training course in Ohio, however, there are a number of suitable options. To find the school or course that best fits your needs, we recommend you complete the research yourself.
A few of the most popular training programs for the National Home Inspection Exam include the following:
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.