How to Become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania: 6 Steps

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

Although there are not Home Inspector licenses that are issued in this state, you still might be wondering how to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania. This article will act as a guide with 6 recommended steps that should be taken to ensure your success.

Starting your career as a new Home Inspector in Pennsylvania can be seen as easier to do here than in other states, but there still are a few considerations to make along the way. Setting yourself up for success from the start can set yourself apart from the competition and help you begin a fulfilling career.

What you should know before becoming a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania

Before becoming a Pennsylvania Home Inspector, you should be aware of Chapter 75 of the PA Title 68 Real and Personal Property Statute. This law states that Home Inspectors must be a part of a national home inspectors association, which they define as a not-for-profit organization that has members in more than ten states, requires that a person may not become a full member unless they meet certain criteria, and requires its members to comply with a code of conduct and attend follow specific continuing education practices.

Additionally, although earning a certification or accreditation from a nationally recognized training school or exam isn’t required for becoming a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania, homebuyers, REPs, and multi-inspector firms are highly likely to prefer working with Inspectors who have done the work to become certified and formally educated. A benefit of enrolling in a formal Home Inspector education is being able to learn about the Pennsylvania laws that affect Inspectors.

How to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania? A full 6-step guide to becoming a Pennsylvania state Home Inspector

Step 1 — Grow Your Education

A very common route to becoming a Home Inspector, even though it is not required in Pennsylvania, is enrolling in a training school. Your education and knowledge can be seen as the foundation of your business and Home Inspector career.

There are dozens of reputable training schools to choose from, but we created a list of a few programs that have helped many Home Inspectors, just like yourself:

  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
  • American Home Inspectors Training (AHIT)
  • Inspection Certification Associates (ICA)
  • ATI Training — Home Inspection Institute
  • Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII)

Pro Tip

A benefit of enrolling in a formal Home Inspector education is learning about the Pennsylvania laws that affect Inspectors and their practices, such as not being allowed to provide a repair estimate, either orally or in writing, without a number of criteria being met.

Inspectors can do this research on their own to understand the various laws but learning from a seasoned professional in a training school can allow new Inspectors to ask questions about the laws and be shown examples of how these situations can arise in the real world of home inspections.

Step 2 — Register & Pass The National Home Inspector Examination®

Passing the National Home Inspector Examination® is a great way to prove you are a trusted Home Inspector in Pennsylvania. Once you pass the exam, you are also qualified to become a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which is a widely known organization that will help you form relationships throughout the industry and start getting referrals.

Registering for the exam can be done here and there will be multiple locations for you to choose from. The associated fee when registering is $225.

Pro Tip

When preparing for the exam, it will be helpful to keep in mind that the examination will test three performance domains: Property and Building Inspection/Site Review, Analysis of Findings and Reporting, and Professional Responsibilities. 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 3 — Perform or Participate in 100 Home Inspections

As mentioned earlier, Chapter 75 of the PA Title 68 Real and Personal Property Statute has a few criteria that Home Inspectors must meet in Pennsylvania. One of those requirements is joining a not-for-profit organization that doesn’t allow a person to become a full member unless the person has “performed or participated in more than 100 home inspections and has passed a recognized or accredited examination testing knowledge of the proper procedures for conducting a home inspection”.

Pro Tip

Working with established Inspectors, or a Multi-Inspector firm, can be one way you achieve this requirement. Passing a nationally-recognized home inspection examination is something to put on your resume to show other Inspectors and potential employers that you are taking this new career seriously. Once you pass the exam, it will be easier for you to team up with experienced Inspectors who can help you cross this step off your list.

Step 4 — Join a Not-For-Profit Organization

Joining a not-for-profit organization is one of the few requirements Pennsylvania has for Home Inspectors. Along with fulfilling your legal requirement, there are some added benefits to your membership.

According to Chapter 75 of the PA Title 68 Real and Personal Property Statute, to be considered as a qualified not-for-profit organization, a few boxes need to be checked:

  • It is operated on a not-for-profit basis and is not operated as a franchise.
  • It has members in more than ten states.
  • It requires that a person may not become a full member unless the person has performed or participated in more than 100 home inspections and has passed a recognized or accredited examination testing knowledge of the proper procedures for conducting a home inspection.
  • It requires that its members comply with a code of conduct and attend continuing professional education classes as an ongoing condition of membership.

Pro Tip

Being a member of an organization that requires and encourages continuing education will help you learn all of the Pennsylvania laws that will affect you in your new career and will also help you learn the tips & tricks of the trade. Having a community to engage in can greatly help you understand how you can comply with these laws and how you can recognize situations when they may apply to you.

Step 5 — Purchase Insurance

Pennsylvania requires that Home Inspectors are always covered by insurance. The law states that a Home Inspector shall hold insurance against errors and omissions, or E&O insurance, and general liability insurance, sometimes referred to as GL insurance, with coverages of not less than $100,000 per occurrence and $500,000 in the aggregate and with deductibles of not more than $2,500.

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 6 — 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 Pennsylvania and forming a legal entity. Visting 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 Pennsylvania?

The length of time it takes to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania depends on the choices the future Inspector makes. Since there are no state certification requirements to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania, it would take someone who chooses to take a nationally recognized examination longer than someone who opts not to.

The time it takes someone to perform or participate in at least 100 home inspections will also vary greatly and depend on a number of factors, such as their availability, who they choose to work with (if anyone), and how many jobs they can be hired for at this stage in their career.

Everybody is different and has different schedules, and since there are no time limits or restraints in the State of Pennsylvania, Home Inspectors have the freedom to choose whatever pace fits within their life and career goals.

How much does it cost to become a home inspector in Pennsylvania?

The cost of becoming a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania will depend on a few different choices. Enrolling in a training school, which training program they choose, and deciding whether or not to take the National Home Inspector Examination ® are all factors.

If a Home Inspector decides on minimal formal training and only wishes to take the National Home Inspector Examination ® before joining an established firm, this will cost them as little as $225, plus membership fees to the not-for-profit organization of their choice and all state-required insurances. If a Home Inspector decides they would like formal training before taking the exam and would like to register as their own legal business entity, they could be spending upwards of $2,000 or more.

What’s the best home inspector training in Pennsylvania?

A training program that worked great for another Home Inspector may not work great for you. There are many options for you to choose from, and doing your own research to find the one that works best for you and your business is key.

Here is a list of a few programs that have helped many Home Inspectors, just like yourself:

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

  • InterNACHI provides free training, online testing, and certification; as well as business development and marketing support, and discounts on Inspector needs, such as software, and insurance.
  • To become a member of InterNACHI, Home Inspectors can pay either $49/month or $499/year.
  • There is an option for InterNACHI members to become Certified Professional Inspectors® at no additional cost, after they have completed additional certification requirements.
  • To learn more about InterNACHI, check out their website here.

American Home Inspectors Training (AHIT)

  • AHIT provides online courses, live classes, and professionals to help you with business development and continuing education.
  • There are three different online learning packages to choose from, ranging from $595 to $795.
  • To learn more about their online courses and live classes, view all of the information here.

Inspection Certification Associates (ICA)

In addition to their online training courses and exam prep courses, ICA provides ongoing career support for their Edcetera Home Inspection Members.
Unlimited access to their training and support materials, and a membership to their portal, Edcetera Home Inspection, is $99/year.
For more information about their membership and training material, visit their website here.

ATI Training — Home Inspection Institute

  • ATI has online courses that are meant to be taken at your own pace and are estimated to take anywhere from 60 to 120 hours to complete.
  • Field training and association support are also aspects that they provide to their members.
  • Enrolling with ATI costs $695, and there are financing options available as well as discounts for military veterans and first responders.
  • To learn more about what ATI offers for training and support for Home Inspectors, visit their website here.

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, and there are other many other optional courses that can be enrolled in for as little as $99.
  • To learn more about their California training course, visit their webpage here.

Final points on how to be a home inspector in Pennsylvania

Those who are choosing to start their journey as a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania will have quite a few choices to make. There are no state-given certifications, giving Inspectors the option to receive an education of their choice, if any at all.

Home Inspectors in the state do have to comply with Pennsylvania’s requirement of joining a qualified not-for-profit organization. These organizations must have certain guidelines set in place and its members must follow set practices for the State of Pennsylvania to recognize this status.

Pennsylvania also ranks as one of the most affordable states to live in within the country, making it an attractive choice for families and individuals looking to relocate from other states or from other areas within the state. According to the 2020 Census, Pennsylvania’s population grew by 2.4% 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 Pennsylvania include:

  • Pennsylvania does not require a state-issued license to become a Home Inspector, but you must become a member of a qualifying not-for-profit organization.
  • Enrolling in a training school can be extremely beneficial for preparing to take any exams and can help you network within your new community.
  • Becoming familiar with Pennsylvania laws that affect Home Inspectors is a must to protect yourself and your business.

If you’re considering a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania?

Overall, it can be pretty easy to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania. Even with a few criteria that need to be met by the state laws, the steps to satisfy those requirements are simple. Following the 6 recommended steps in this article will help keep you on track and help you start your new career as a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania quickly.

Do you need a license to become a Home Inspector in Pennsylvania?

Although there is no state-issued Home Inspector license in Pennsylvania, Chapter 75 of the PA Title 68 Real and Personal Property Statute has a few criteria that Home Inspectors must meet before they start their career.

How much do Home Inspectors make in Pennsylvania?

As of publication, a Home Inspector makes an average of $58,792/year in Pennsylvania.

What’s the best Home Inspector training in Pennsylvania?

There isn’t one course or school that can be classified as the “best Home Inspector training” in Pennsylvania 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 a few programs that have helped many Home Inspectors before you:

  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
  • American Home Inspectors Training (AHIT)
  • Inspection Certification Associates (ICA)
  • ATI Training — Home Inspection Institute
  • Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII)

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