Starting an exciting career, such as being a home inspector, leaves you asking many questions. You may find yourself pondering what training to take, the licensing application process, and how to establish yourself as a trusted home inspector. Welcome to Georgia, where licensing is not a fundamental requirement to become a home inspector!
Having a license to perform home inspections is not a core prerequisite in Georgia. While this might sound like a money and time-saving measure on lengthy coursework and license application, it can be uncertain how to get started. While Georgia may not require a license, home inspections are highly regulated in the state. So, how do you adhere to these regulations without the necessary training.
If any of the above sounds familiar, our all-in-one guide is here to save the day. From getting the essential training to launching your career and positioning your business for success. We have tried to answer any questions you have about how to become a home inspector in Georgia.
Ready to start your home inspection career in Georgia? Let’s dive in.
How to become a home inspector in Georgia
Although Georgia is one of the states in the US where inspectors are not obligated to obtain a license, becoming a home inspector requires some processes. It is essential to note that there are strict laws that guide the profession within the state, and these laws implicitly necessitate a form of certification for compliance.
As a home inspector who aims to provide excellent services and keep up to date with industry standards, a license, and certification will give you a competitive advantage. A license will help you to establish your credibility as a professional home inspector. The process of becoming a home inspector is streamlined when you follow the steps below.
1. Review Georgia home inspector license requirements
Becoming a home inspector in a state that does not require licensure sounds great to upcoming and aspiring home inspectors. It means you’re free to kickstart your career without having to go through the long hours of courses and pass the exams like home inspectors in other states. That said, your future prospective clients, employers, realtors, and lenders aren’t likely to hire an inspector without formal training or some sort of certification.
Technically, you could become a home inspector overnight, however, there are different types of inspections and business practices that inspectors must legally abide by. Completing professional home inspection training from a reputable school will help you understand those practices and help establish you as a trusted expert.
Also, though not strict on license acquisition, the state of Georgia passed the Trade Practice Act (Chapter 3, Title 8) in 1994, prohibiting unethical home inspection practices and covering the requirements of written home inspection documents. Home inspectors in Georgia are required to provide clients with the following:
- Scope of work
- Visual inspection
- Written report
This law serves as a framework to ensure that home inspectors have the needed skills to practice the profession within the state. Despite the absence of a licensing requirement, the provision of the law implicitly recommends obtaining a license or certification. Acquiring a license in Georgia is beneficial as it aligns you with industry standards and establishes a foundation for success in the profession.
2. Register & pass the national home inspector examination
Going through a training program will equip you with the basic knowledge you need to perform accurate home inspections. These trainings are mostly 120 hours long and incorporate fieldwork experience, helping you develop practical skills necessary for your career.
If you took the course, then the only thing standing between you and that license is passing the exam. After going through the training, you can take the National Home Inspector Home Exam, which costs just $225 and can be taken anywhere. The exam tests applicants on performance domains that every home inspector is expected to know, including.
- Inspection methods
- Building Systems, including exterior systems, structural systems, roofing systems, electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, insulating and ventilating systems, plumbing systems, interior systems, and fireplace and chimney systems
- Professional practice
Applicants have four hours to complete the 200 multiple-choice questions. The exam is scaled from 200 to 800, and 500 is the passing score. Those who score less than that are allowed to retake after 30 days but with a separate exam fee. The NHIE is scored immediately, and you will leave the exam center with your official score sheet.
Why an exam? While not a state requirement, clients always prefer that home inspectors have some level of certification in order to work with them. The national exam can give you this. In a state where anyone can say that they are home inspectors, getting this license may be all you need to set yourself apart from other home inspectors and give you a smooth start to your career.
3. Get insurance coverage
It is always best practice to get insurance coverage as a home inspector. No matter how careful you are, there are still chances that your insurance will save you, your client, and your business. The two key types of insurance for home inspectors are General Liability (GL) and Errors and Omissions (EO).
General Liability protects mistakes you make in the discharge of your duties, such as property damage and bodily injury to a third party. In the case of any of these events, your GL can safeguard you from legal claims.
E&O, on the other hand, protects against inspection oversights or omissions that have led to financial loss for your client. If, for instance, you miss out on a vital record in your inspection report, you could be sued for it. The good thing is having an E&O can save the day.
4. Research inspection software
Being a home inspector in Georgia will require you to consciously strive to improve the quality of your service. One of the best ways you can achieve this is by using the best home inspection software. Home inspection software comes with modern features that can help you enhance accuracy and efficiency, improve inspection reports, and generally foster a more professional service.
The best home inspection software has features such as photo integration, customizable inspection report generation, mobile app version, report summary, and templates, among others. Home inspection software companies like EZ Home Inspection Software offer premium savings, such as a 50% student discount for the first six months.
To better cater to your clients and elevate your service, familiarize yourself with and invest in home inspection software
5. Build a website
Leveraging the digital age to complement your home inspector business is vital to give your business the necessary visibility and exposure. A professionally designed, high-quality home inspection website is a powerful marketing tool with loads of benefits. You get to establish your credibility, attract new clients, and show your level of expertise through reviews and ratings.
You do not need to have any knowledge of web design before you can build and start operating one. Some home inspection software providers offer website design services to take the pressure off. EZ HIS can help you build a functional and easy-to-use website to optimize user experience. Glance through our website design portfolio to check some of our work.
6. Buy home inspection tools & equipment
One way to know an experienced home inspector is by their tools. You don’t need every tool that’s available to start your career. Some tools are essential to performing comprehensive inspections. As you scale up and become better, you can get extra inspection tools and equipment to make your work easier and faster.
With the right tools, you can identify issues, assess home components effectively, and generate detailed reports for your clients.
7. Network & join relevant associations
Are you sitting in the office, waiting for your next client? There is a faster way to get clients and have your schedule filled with home inspection appointments/bookings. Network. As a new inspector in town, getting regular gigs can be challenging, given the competition. Nevertheless, proactively promoting your home inspection business can quickly help you establish your presence and attract clients in the industry.
Home inspector networking involves joining a home inspection association or attending industry events to build relationships with professionals in the real estate industry. This can be real estate brokers, agents, or anyone capable of giving referrals and providing opportunities for work. Also, actively participating in industry-related activities can enhance your connections and visibility, helping you expand your client base and secure more home inspection appointments.
Some of the relevant associations that you can join include:
- North American Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)
- Georgia Association of Home Inspectors (GAHI)
- International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
8. Use marketing & social media to promote your brand
Referrals can give you new customers, but there is something even more powerful. Incorporating digital marketing and social media to boost your home inspection marketing efforts can take your business to the next level. It works by bringing your services directly to the doorstep of those who need them. Potential clients can go through your portfolio and testimonials and book an appointment without the need for physical meetings.
What’s more? By actively sharing valuable insights through content creation, you can position yourself as an expert in the field of home inspection and establish credibility among your audience. Social media also helps you build relationships with prospective clients. Through the common activities of liking, commenting, sharing, and reposting, your business can reach the right people and expand your client list.
Wrapping Up Our Step-By-Step Guide on How to Become a Home Inspector
Becoming a successful home inspector involves a strategic blend of various factors. These include getting an education, practical experience, and certification, even in Georgia, where licensing is not mandatory. It encompasses everything it takes to take your career to the next level and gives you the professionalism that realtors and clients seek when selecting an inspector to work with.
As you have read in the article, there are other crucial steps you need to acquaint yourself with. These steps include understanding state regulations, obtaining insurance, building a website, and consistently marketing your business to attract clients. Once you have completed all the steps, you are well on your way to the path of success.
Also, consider streamlining your home inspection duties with a professional toolkit like EZ Home Inspection Software. Specifically tailored to help you conduct home inspections seamlessly and generate comprehensive reports. Don’t just settle for the first software you come across. Do some research, read reviews, ask your network, and most importantly find software that you’re comfortable using. As mentioned previously, EZ HIS offers a 50% student discount (first 6 months) that will help you save some money while trying our home inspection software. Not eligible for the student discount? No worries, you can unlock the benefits enjoyed by our other users with our Free Trial.
Aspiring home inspectors ask a lot of questions when considering becoming a home inspector in Georgia, and we have compiled a couple of them and provided the answers. Let’s answer some of your questions below:
Are home inspectors regulated in Georgia?
While you don’t need a license to practice as a home inspector in Georgia, there are state regulations that home inspectors must strictly adhere to. The Georgia Trade Practice Act of 1994 (Chapter 3, Title 8) prohibits unethical home inspection practices and outlines requirements for home inspection reporting. Home inspectors are required by law to provide a scope of work, do a visual inspection, and provide a written report.
Do you need a license to become a home inspector in Georgia?
No, you are not required by law to get a license before becoming a home inspector in Georgia. However, clients, employers, real estate agents, and realtors will need some license or certification to verify that you can practice the profession and that you are legitimate.
How long does it take to become a home inspector in Georgia?
Since you do not need a license to become a home inspector in Georgia, you can become a home inspector almost immediately. As mentioned previously, we strongly recommend enrolling in home inspector training. Typically, training is 120 hours and can be completed in a few weeks. After the coursework, take and pass the National Home Inspector Exam, and then you can embark on your career.
How much does it cost to become a home inspector in Georgia?
The general cost of becoming a home inspector in Georgia is totally dependent on you, but let’s provide an overview.
- Home inspection courses vary, between $600-2000, or more
- Home Inspection Examinations range from $200 – 250
- Insurance ranges between $600-1200 yearly, depending on the insurance company
- Home inspection tools $500-700 for a start
- Business registration $50-150
- Home inspection software $50-200 depending on subscription
- Home Inspection Association member fee is $49 per month
How much money do Georgia home inspectors make?
The average home inspector salary in Georgia, according to ZipRecruiter, is $51,024 per annum and $24.53 per hour. This figure can either be higher or lower than this, depending on the home inspector’s experience and other factors. In essence, the earning potential of a home inspector in Georgia can be as low as $24,909 and as high as $75,572.
How much do home inspections cost in Georgia?
On average, home inspection costs in Georgia range from $300 to $500. Home size and inspector experience both influence the cost of home inspections.
If an inspector spends 3 hours on each inspection, they can perform three inspections per day and 20 in a week, totaling about 80 for a full calendar month. However, considering the time it takes to prepare inspection reports and the availability of inspection jobs, home inspectors typically perform 5-10 inspections per week, making it 20-40 inspections monthly.