The home inspection industry is experiencing a growth spurt. The combination of an older workforce preparing to retire and the expansion of residential properties across the United States has created a need for qualified candidates. In some US states, this career path starts with becoming an Apprentice Home Inspector.
Becoming an Apprentice Home Inspector is easier than you may think. In fact, 22 US states did not regulate Home Inspectors in 2023. Other states with regulations and requirements of being a licensed Home Inspector have relaxed requirements for those wanting to start as an intern.
You can start this career path with the proper qualifications and training in a few simple steps.
This article will provide a general overview of what it takes to become a home inspection apprentice. We will focus on the steps for starting a home inspection apprenticeship in Texas — as it’s one of the most demanding in the United States.
Our team will also answer some frequently asked questions about the home inspection industry.
So — let’s get started.
What is An Apprentice Home Inspector?
An Apprentice Home Inspector is working towards becoming a licensed Home Inspector. This apprentice typically works under the direct supervision of a trained and experienced home inspection professional, such as a certified Home Inspector (HI) or licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
Some apprenticeships for home inspection jobs are closer to on-the-job education vs. a paid internship. Other full-time apprenticeship programs are paid.
Most entry level home inspection apprentices have a high school diploma or GED. Others have college education in construction management, or several years of construction industry experience.
After gaining the appropriate experience and completing other educational requirements, they will be allowed to take the Real Estate Inspector exam (if required in the state you wish to practice).
What Does an Apprentice Home Inspector Do?
An Apprentice Home Inspector will conduct home inspections under the direct supervision of a licensed Home Inspector, Professional Engineer, or other experienced professional. They will learn best practices for completing home inspections, working with clients, completing a detailed written report and technical information about the home inspection industry.
Any candidate for apprenticeship for home inspection should be familiar with inspecting homes for safety and compliance with standards established by local building codes.
In fact, most private apprentice positions will require the candidate to showcase their comprehension of residential electrical, plumbing, structural, and mechanical systems.
The Home Inspector apprentice should also be able to diagnose problems in residential structures and provide solutions for improving their condition.
Additionally, Apprentice Home Inspectors should understand building technology, energy efficiency, and environmental considerations well.
How Long Do You Need to Be an Apprentice to Be a Home Inspector?
The length of the Apprentice Home Inspector program varies from state to state. In Texas, Apprentice Home Inspectors must complete 120 hours of classroom instruction and 1,500 hours of supervised field experience.
This requirement is slightly higher for those looking to become certified in additional areas, such as mold or radon mitigation.
It is important to note that working under supervision does not necessarily count as apprentice time.
For example, to be eligible for apprentice status in Texas, apprentices must complete the appropriate paperwork with their local Home Inspector licensing board after completing the on-the-job and classroom instruction.
How to Become an Apprentice Home Inspector in 6 Steps? Full Guide for Home Inspection Apprentices
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, the career path to becoming a Home Inspector is exceptionally diverse. There are 38 US states that have regulatory oversight for certified Home Inspectors.
However, only a few have established criteria for becoming an apprentice. But it is extremely important to contact your state licensing board for Home Inspectors or the top Home Inspector associations (such as InterNACHI and ASHI) for guidance.
If you live in a state with no regulations on being a Home Inspector or apprentice, you’ll want to contact an experienced Home Inspector in your area to inquire about potential internship programs.
In non regulated states, an Inspector apprentice will likely require a drivers license, construction experience, such as being an electrician or plumber.
They will also need to demonstrate practical knowledge of building code and property inspection regulations. Again — it’s vital to check with individual experienced building Inspectors for their requirements.
For purposes of clarity, we’ve researched the requirements and steps for becoming an official home inspection apprentice in the State of Texas.
The steps below are the most stringent. Successful completion of an Apprentice Home Inspector training program will lead to being a Professional Home Inspector.
Step 1 — Meet the Qualifications
The first step for becoming an Apprentice Home Inspector is to determine the qualifications for where you intend to practice. The State of Texas requires any candidate to meet specific general requirements prior to applying for the apprenticeship program.
- The candidate must be a citizen of the US or a lawfully admitted alien. DACA recipients do not qualify as lawfully admitted aliens in Texas.
- They must be 18 years of age.
- The candidate must be sponsored by a Professional Inspector. This Professional Inspector needs to have submitted at least 200 inspections and obtained written notice from TREC of eligibility to sponsor.
How to Complete Step 1 — Pro Tips
To determine what the qualifications are, complete the following research.
- Determine if your state has regulatory requirements for Home Inspectors. We wrote an article that outlines which states have requirements that you can access.
- If the state is regulated, contact the regulatory body that oversees these programs, and ask about apprentice programs and requirements.
- If the state is not regulated, find an experienced Home Inspector in your area, and inquire about becoming an apprentice or training under their leadership.
Step 2 — Fill Out the Application
The Apprentice Home Inspector will then need to submit an application to the local state Home Inspector licensing board.
This must be done within 30 days of completing the required 120 hours of classroom instruction in Texas. The application typically requires a fee to be paid and varies from state to state.
How to Complete Step 2 — Pro Tips
You’ll know whether this step is required when you reach out to the state regulatory board. It might be a good idea to sign up for a membership with NACHI or ASHI — as those organizations have programs for new Home Inspector candidates that can help with education and training.
Step 3 — Get Your Fingerprints Taken
According to Texas law, all residents who apply to become an Apprentice Home Inspector must have their fingerprints on record with the state Department of Public Safety (DPS). This is required to complete the background check.
Most states that have requirements for apprenticeships will complete a background check. Unfortunately, prints you already submitted for other organizations will not apply in this situation.
How to Complete Step 3 — Pro Tips
If your state requires a background check and fingerprints, you can visit a local police station to have the fingerprint card completed. You can likely submit the background check via the law enforcement office or the regulatory board in your state.
Step 4 — Pass Your Background Check
If you plan to become a Licensed Home Inspector in Texas, the issuance of your license depends on passing an extensive background check. If further investigation into your background is required, expect there will be some delay before you receive a formal response.
How to Complete Step 4 — Pro Tips
This step is self-explanatory. If you’re going to be a Home Inspector, you need to have a clean criminal background. If your state has licensing requirements, a background check is typically required before taking regulatory exams.
Step 5 — Meet the Insurance Requirements
Before you can receive your license to serve as an Apprentice Home Inspector, you must submit evidence of professional liability insurance or any other coverage conforming to the regulations of the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1102 Subchapter G ($100,000 per occurrence).
Once you receive your insurance coverage, you’ll need to fill out any appropriate state forms and submit them to their regulatory office.
How to Complete Step 5 — Pro Tips
Finding insurance to be an Apprentice Home Inspector is easier when you work with HomeGauge. Being a HomeGauge Inspector earns you reduced premiums on Errors & Omissions and General Liability/Off Premises coverage through our preferred provider, OREP.
Step 6 — Find an Apprenticeship Opportunity
This is obviously the most critical step for becoming an Apprentice Home Inspector. Some states have sponsored programs — that will pair you with an experienced Home Inspector to complete your on-the-job or field training.
In other states that are not regulated it is a bit more challenging to find an apprenticeship opportunity.
How to Complete Step 6 — Pro Tips
If you want to become an exceptional Home Inspector, we’d suggest signing up for an education program that is offered by InterNACHI or ASHI. These online courses allow you to complete the educational training at your pace.
Further, nearly every state that requires passing the National Home Inspector Exam requires you to complete education from one of these two organizations.
What is an Apprentice Home Inspector Salary?
Salary for Apprentice Home Inspectors will vary depending on the state. However, Apprentice Home Inspector salaries are lower than those of a fully licensed Home Inspector.
Starting pay as an apprentice is often at or slightly above minimum wage. In contrast, experienced Apprentice Home Inspector salaries can range from $25-30/hour.
Final Points on Home Inspection Apprenticeship
Completing an internship or apprenticeship is a smart idea if you want to become a Home Inspector. While online courses can provide technical guidance and best practices, there isn’t a replacement for real-world experience.
As you complete your journey to becoming an exceptional Home Inspector, it’s a great idea to start looking into companies that offer tools, resources, and solutions that will help you operate your home inspection business.
HomeGauge offers multiple solutions for a new or experienced Home Inspector. From providing desktop and mobile software solutions for invoicing customers and writing inspection reports to scheduling appointments and marketing their businesses, HomeGauge offers turnkey business solutions for Home Inspectors.
Contact our team today if you’d like to learn more about becoming an Apprentice Home Inspector or the multiple business solutions offered by HomeGauge.
How hard is it to become a Home Inspector?
Becoming a Home Inspector is not necessarily tricky, but it does require dedication and commitment. Many states have licensing requirements requiring completing educational courses and passing the National Home Inspector Exam.
Additionally, Apprentice Home Inspectors must meet insurance requirements before they can receive their license to operate as Apprentice Home Inspectors.
Do you need a license to become a Home Inspector?
Most states require Home Inspectors to be licensed. Depending on the state, requirements may include insurance coverage and passing an exam. You can check with your local municipality or regulatory office for specific regulations for Home Inspectors in your area.
Can an Apprentice Home Inspector write a TREC report?
Yes, Apprentice Home Inspectors are allowed to write a TREC report. This report is often referred to as an apprentice-level home inspection report.
However, Apprentice Home Inspectors must be supervised by a licensed Home Inspector, and the apprentice’s reports should indicate that they were written under the supervision of a licensed professional.
How much does an Apprentice Home Inspector make in Texas?
Apprentice Home Inspectors in Texas typically make between $25-30/hour. However, Apprentice Home Inspector salaries can vary depending on experience and location.
Some apprentice jobs are non-paid, especially in states with no regulatory requirements or oversight. This type of on-the-job training is crucial for anyone choosing to be a professional Home Inspector.
Is the National Home Inspector Exam multiple choice?
Yes, the National Home Inspector Exam is typically multiple-choice. The exam covers various home inspection topics, such as building codes and regulations, residential construction, and business operations.
Depending on your state’s requirements, you may need to pass one or more parts of the exam to obtain a license.