How to Become a Home Inspector in Texas: 6 Steps

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

Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the requirements for joining the workforce as a licensed Home Inspector. In the Lonestar State, those who desire to learn how to become a Home Inspector in Texas will complete a six-step process to eventually earn the title of a Real Estate Inspector.

A Real Estate Inspector is tasked to inspect a property subject to a real estate transaction. This includes residential and commercial properties and, in many cases, land used for agriculture, oil & gas exploration, and other industrial uses. Due to the diversity of the property types, the requirements of becoming a Home Inspector in Texas are among the toughest.

With that said, those who complete the required training and certification process are rewarded with exceptional earning potential, flexible work schedules, and in many cases, the opportunity to run their own business. So, if you’d like to explore what it takes to receive your Texas home inspection license, this article will provide a clear roadmap.

What You Should Know Before Becoming a Home Inspector in Texas

When candidates receive a Home Inspector license in Texas, they can work for a seller or buyer. They must follow a Standards of Practice that provides the guidelines for inspecting any property. It’s these standards that the candidate will learn during their training and certification process. The regulation and certification of all Home Inspectors are monitored and approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission or TREC.

Texas Home Inspector License Requirements

The State of Texas offers three levels of Inspector licenses: an Apprentice Inspector, Real Estate Inspector, and Professional Real Estate Inspector. Like any other profession that requires licensure, each level has its own level of classroom and on-hand education and training, continual education, and testing.

Level #1 — Apprentice Inspector

You have one year from the date your application is filed to meet all license requirements. Once you have met all license requirements, TREC will send you an active Apprentice Inspector license via email.

Requirements

  • All candidates serving as an Apprentice Inspector must be a Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted aliens. *Note – those who have entered the United States under DACA (or Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) do not qualify for this position.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • All candidates must be sponsored by a currently licensed Professional Real Estate Inspector.
  • They must also meet the TREC’s trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity standards. Before applying for a license, the candidate will fill out the State of Texas Fitness Determination report.
  • Candidates must also fill out their application and mail it to the TREC office in Austin or Dallas.
  • All candidates must have their fingerprints taken and pass a background check. The fingerprints must be on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • No License or Apprenticeship will be approved if a candidate does not pass the Texas background check first.

Level #2 — Real Estate Inspector

The general requirements for becoming a Real Estate Inspector follow the apprenticeship. To elevate to the Real Estate Inspector level, the candidate must complete training, education, and examination criteria. Qualifying candidates must also show proof of liability insurance.

Requirements

  • Complete 3 months of operational experience as an Apprentice Inspector under the direct supervision of a Texas Professional Real Estate Inspector during the 12-month period that precedes the application date.
  • Complete 25 real estate inspections along with the Professional Real Estate Inspector
  • Complete 90 hours of education. This includes 40 hours in the Property and Building Inspection Module 1 – 40 hours in Property and Building Inspection Module 2, and 10 hours in Business Operations and Professional Responsibility Module.
  • Candidates who wish to substitute experience and education must complete 24 hours in the Texas Standards of Practice Module, 40 hours in Texas Practicum, or field training and complete the required documentation to receive credit for the practicum.

*Candidates may receive credit for those courses if they have three years of personal experience in a related field to home inspection and provide (2) affidavits from people who can testify to that experience.

After completing the experience and education, the candidate will have to pass the TREC Home Inspector exam. Suppose a candidate fails the exam three times consecutively. In that case, they will have to complete additional educational courses before retaking the exam.

Level #3 — Professional Real Estate Inspector

Once an individual serves as a licensed Real Estate Inspector, they can eventually elevate their careers to becoming a professional Real Estate Inspector. Below are the additional requirements for achieving this premier Home Inspector level in Texas.

Requirements

For those who are currently serving as Real Estate Inspectors in Texas, the candidate must complete additional education and training:

  • Completed 175 real estate inspections under direct supervision
  • Served as a Real Estate Inspector for a minimum of 12 months within 24 months of their original application date
  • Completed 20 hours in Texas Law Module
  • Completed 24 hours in Texas Standards and Practice Module
  • Pass the TREC Professional Real Estate Inspector Exam

All home inspection licenses (Real Estate and Professional Real Estate Inspectors) expire two years from the original date of issuance. To renew the license, the candidate must complete continuing education requirements.

  • 16 hours of approved continual education
  • 8 hours Inspector Legal & Ethics and SOP Review course
  • Pass a final exam every two years

3 Texas Home Inspector License Types

Apprentice License

The entry point of becoming a certified Home Inspector in Texas is an apprenticeship. This individual will train under a Professional Real Estate Inspector. Once they’ve gained the required experience and completed the required education for elevating to a Real Estate Inspector, they may sit before the TREC board and take the State of Texas exam.

An apprentice, a Real Estate Inspector, can inspect homes – only under the direct supervision of a licensed Real Estate Inspector or Professional Home Inspector. They must also be sponsored by a licensed Professional Home Inspector throughout their training program.

Real Estate Inspector License

The intermediate level license for a Texas Home Inspectors license is the Real Estate Inspector. The applicant must complete the apprenticeship described above, complete the required education, and finally pass the State of Texas examination.

They must work under the indirect supervision of a Professional Real Estate Inspector throughout this process. Since they work indirectly, they are permitted to complete personal inspections, but not under their own business entity.

Texas permits candidates to receive a Real Estate Inspector license without being an apprentice. However, you’ll have to complete an additional 64 hours of approved course education.

Professional Real Estate Inspector License

The highest level of a Home Inspector in Texas is a Professional Real Estate Inspector. This individual has served as a Real Estate Inspector for at least a year, completed at least 175 real estate inspections under direct supervision, completed additional educational courses, and maintained a minimum of on-the-job experience. They must also pass a secondary exam, which focuses mainly on Texas real estate legal standards and practices.

At this level, a Professional Real Estate Inspector can own their home inspection business, hire additional inspectors to work under their supervision, and sponsor up-and-coming Inspectors.

How to Become a Home Inspector in Texas? A Full 6-Step Guide to Getting a Texas State Inspection License

If you’ve researched what it takes to become a Home Inspector in other states, you’ll notice that Texas standards are higher than most. With that said, six steps are required to elevate your career to becoming a Professional Real Estate Inspector.

Step 1: Complete the Pre-Training Checklist

Suppose you’re considering becoming a Professional Real Estate Inspector. In that case, the first step will be to complete the essential pre-training steps.

  • Find a Professional Real Estate Inspector who will agree to train you
  • Fill out your application
  • Send completed application and filing fees
  • Get your fingerprints completed
  • Have the background check done

Step 2: Complete Education Requirements

In the State of Texas, becoming a Home Inspector is a progressive process that blends apprenticeship with curriculum and final exam testing. This is the reason for their tiered-based pathway. It allows candidates to learn under experts and receive that valuable hands-on experience.

We outlined the education requirements above, but here is a brief recap:

  • No education is required to become an Apprentice Inspector. But you’ll need to complete 25 inspections with a mentor before moving forward.
  • A total of 154 hours is required to become a Real Estate Inspector.
  • 194 hours are required to become a Professional Real Estate Inspector.

Step 3: Submit Online Application to TREC

After completing the required education, you’ll submit your application to the TREC. This applies to candidates advancing from Apprentice Inspector to Real Estate Inspector and those elevating to Professional status. This is your application to take the final exam before the board. You’ll pay your license application fee and ancillary expenses or required documentation.

Step 4: Prepare for the Exam

Several Home Inspector training courses are available where you can learn many fundamentals. Several of these platforms offer online pre-test training classes. Whether you choose this option or want to study your own notes, you’ll have a few weeks from the time you submitted the application to be called to schedule your exam. It’s a good idea to spend this time prepping.

Step 5: Pass Your State Exam Within 12-Months of Beginning the Journey

Texas wants you to start your training and complete it within 12 months. So, if you’re going to become a Real Estate Inspector, you’ll have a calendar year to complete the process. The final step is passing the state exam. Here is the caveat. If you fail the exam three times, you’ll have to complete additional education – then retest.

The test is broken into two categories:

  • 200 National Questions
  • 30 State Questions
  • The cost is $199 (each time you attempt the exam)

Step 6: Complete Continuing Education

After you’ve become a licensed Real Estate Inspector, you’ll have to complete some continuing education. The State of Texas requires all licensed Inspectors to complete 32 hours of CE every two years.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Home Inspector in Texas?

To grow from an Apprentice Inspector to a licensed Real Estate Inspector, the state gives you 12 months to complete the process. The minimum amount of time to complete the training depends on the candidate. There have been candidates to finish the training and education and pass the exam within three to four months.

The next level of moving from Real Estate Inspector to Professional Real Estate Inspector will also vary. The average time is about a year or two.

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

The cost for becoming a Home Inspector in Texas will vary based on multiple variables. Some Professional Real Estate Inspectors may charge a fee for training apprenticeship candidates. Some candidates will invest in online training. When it comes down to the filing fees, expect to pay around $600 to become a Home Inspector.

What’s the Best Home Inspector Training in Texas? 9 TREC Approved Home Inspection Courses

The Texas Real Estate Commission has approved 9 training sources that provide online or onsite education that helps candidates understand the procedures and policies involved in inspecting properties. Here are the 9 that the TREC has currently listed on their website.

  • A Better School of Building Inspection – License #701043
  • All American Training Institute – License #9041
  • American Home Inspectors Training – License #4567
  • Builder’s Academy, Inc. – License #4584
  • Champions School of Real Estate, LTD – License #4530
  • Continuing Education for Licensing, Inc. – License #701040
  • Legends Real Estate School, LLC – License #4593
  • Super Inspector Training Academy – SITA – License #701067
  • WIN Home Inspection – License #701066

Final Points on How to be a Home Inspector in Texas

The path to becoming a Home Inspector in Texas depends on the choice of the candidate. But it’s not an easy journey. Once you submit your application and it’s approved, you’ll have 12 months to train, take classes, pass exams, and eventually become licensed.

Here are some key takeaways to remember as you decide if this career is best for you.

  • Remember — you need to start as an apprentice or take 64 extra education hours
  • You have 12 months to complete the progression from Apprentice Inspector to Licensed Real Estate Inspector
  • Texas requires continuing education every two years
  • You must become a Professional Real Estate Inspector to start your own business

Once you become a licensed Real Estate Inspector, you’ll likely need additional resources to help you fill out reports, complete inspections, take care of customers, market your business, and more. When you do, consider HomeGauge as your one-stop-shop for everything you need to succeed as a Texas Home Inspector.

FAQs

How hard is it to become a Home Inspector in Texas?

It’s not easy. In fact, becoming a licensed Real Estate Inspector in Texas is one of the most time-sensitive. Once you start your apprenticeship, you have 12 months to complete the process. If you cannot finish it in that time, you need to start over. Texas is very proud of its standards, and Home Inspectors in Texas who can start their business are rewarded with exceptional earning potential.

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

Yes. The State of Texas Real Estate Commission TREC has a multiple-step process for becoming a licensed Real Estate Inspector. The process starts with becoming an apprentice, then a licensed Real Estate Inspector. Eventually, you’ll have to become a Professional Real Estate Inspector to start your business.

What can TREC do?

TREC stands for the Texas Real Estate Commission. They are the governing body that approves and oversees all real estate transactions and those involved in the transactions of properties. Real Estate Inspectors, or Home Inspectors, are a significant part of this process. TREC can provide the guidelines and directives to retain your license but also has the final say on who is approved and have licenses pulled for violations.

Do you have to use a TREC contract in Texas?

Yes. As a licensed Real Estate Inspector, you must use TREC contracts. This is due to the contract being a public record. The TREC website has these forms available for all licensed Inspectors to access and use.

How much do Home Inspectors make in Texas?

The average salary for a Professional Real Estate Inspector in Texas can exceed $100,000 annually or an estimated $50 per hour. To become a Professional Real Estate Inspector, all candidates must complete the training and education required by the TREC.

Can I skip straight to being a Professional Real Estate Inspector?

While the TREC has a pathway for candidates to skip the apprenticeship, they do not offer a direct path to becoming a Professional Real Estate Inspector. All candidates are required to first become a licensed Real Estate Inspector, then work under the indirect supervision of a Professional Inspector.

What’s the best Home Inspector training in Texas?

The State of Texas requires all Real Estate Inspectors to complete specific training hours and education before taking the TREC exam. One of their requirements is to complete onsite training, which provides a valuable experience that helps the new candidate transition into this profession. There are 9 approved training programs that offer education courses, each of which will help a candidate with the education portion.

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