How to become a home inspector in New York: A Complete Step-by-step beginner’s guide

With almost 19.6 million residents, New York is the fourth-most populous state in the United States. But it is not just about the numbers – experts have revealed that the real estate market in the state is one of the country’s strengths. Everyone is on the hunt for the perfect home in the state, and that means one thing: a huge demand for home inspection services!

If you are diving into the real estate scene, becoming a home inspector in New York can be a game-changing decision. In the bustling city with modern structures, you can expect home inspectors to command more than the average fee elsewhere. The numbers speak for themselves. Home inspectors in New York earn higher salaries than their counterparts in other states in the US.

If you are considering starting a career as a home inspector in New York, you are onto something big. Our step-by-step guide is there to help you. From getting the essential training to launching your career and positioning your business for success, we have answered the burning questions about becoming a home inspector in New York.

Ready to make your mark in the world of home inspections? Let’s get started. 

How To Become A Licensed Home Inspector in New York

How to Become a Licensed Home Inspector in New York 

To become a licensed home inspector in New York, you must complete an approved course, pass the qualifying exam, get insurance, and apply for your license. In this section, we will give a breakdown of not only how you can get a license but how you can build a successful home inspection business in the state. 

1. Complete a New York-Approved 140 hr. Home Inspection Course

The first step in starting your home inspection career in New York is to complete the 140-hour required training. Alternatively, you can opt for hands-on experience by clocking in at least 100 hours of unpaid home inspections, all under the supervision of a home inspector, professional engineer, or architect licensed by NYS. Going for the training route demands that you are well informed of the processes to help you have a seamless experience. 

New York has an eligibility criteria. Aspiring inspectors must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a GED to apply for licensure in the state. 

The 140-hour course is divided into two parts – 100 hours of classroom education and 40 hours of unpaid supervision. The course syllabus covers the various aspects of home inspection, which includes HVAC, electrical systems, structural systems, roofing, and plumbing. 

To choose the education program suited to your learning needs, go through the New York Department of State’s list of approved schools. You’ll find a variety of learning structures, offering both online and offline options to cater to your preferences.

2. Pass New York State home inspection exam or equivalent 

Once you are done with your home inspection coursework, then you are ready to move to the next milestone in your application process – take the exam. New York allows you two exam options, which are the National Home Inspector Examination and the New York State Home Inspection Exam. 

Both exams have different application processes, grading systems, and fees, so let’s go over them to help you make a decision. 

New York State Home Inspection Exam

The New York State Home Inspection Exam costs a non-refundable $50, and you are to pay the Department of State by check or debit card. You also need a current government-issued Identity Card in order to be eligible. The exam is in multiple-choice format and tests your knowledge of the 140-hour curriculum, covering the following aspects. 

  • License law; 
  • report writing; 
  • heating, cooling, and plumbing systems;
  •  insulation and ventilation; 
  • structural, exterior, and interior components
  • electrical systems. 

Participants have two and a half hours to complete the exam and will receive a notification of their exam success via mail. The state exam will not send your score, and results are reported as passed or failed. 

National Home Inspection Exam

The National Home Inspection Examination is the second option to take in securing your home inspection license in New York state. This is the national exam that tests home inspector aspirants on three performance domains, namely property and building inspection/site review, analysis of findings and reporting, and professional responsibilities. The exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions, 25 of which are unscored. The NHIE operates on a scoring scale between 200 and 800, with 500 being the passing score. The NHIE lasts for four hours and costs $225 in most states. The upside? You won’t be left hanging; you’ll receive your results on the very same day. In the event that you fail the exam, you are allowed to have another shot at it after 30 days, but be ready to pay an additional exam fee. 

3. Obtain general liability insurance ($150K per occurrence & $500K aggregate) 

Running a home inspection career without insurance is like walking a tightrope without a safety net – risky and potentially costly. In the state of New York, it’s not just a wise choice, it’s a requirement. The state requires that you obtain general liability insurance to protect you and your clients. The insurance coverage mandated by the state is a minimum of $150,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate.

A home inspection career is not immune to legal issues, and getting general liability insurance helps cover financial losses incurred in the process of carrying out your job. General Liability insurance specifically safeguards home inspectors against third-party lawsuits like property damage, bodily injury, and advertising injury. It can also include injuries to clients or any other person on the property during the course of an inspection. 

5. Apply for your New York home inspector license

With the course conquered, the exam passed, and your insurance proof in hand, you’re ready to step into the final lap – apply for your New York home inspector license. The application fee costs a non-refundable $250, effective for two years, after which the license can be renewed for $100

Complete your application, submit proof of the criteria mentioned above, and wait for the processing time. Keep in mind that the time of processing may vary from person to person based on the status of their application. To stay in the loop, check with the licensing authority and also double-check your application before submitting it. 

6. Continuing education (CE) & license renewal

Congratulations, you have gotten your license. You have fulfilled the state’s requirement and can now officially practice the profession in the state of New York. But you should know that the home inspector license in New York is only valid for two years, and you have to renew it to continue practicing. 

The good news is that renewal does not require that you go through the whole process again. Instead, you only have to complete the 24 hours of continuing education within the course of two years. This ensures compliance with current home inspection regulations and industry standards. Home inspectors can start applying for a fresh license within 90 days of the old one reaching its expiration date. 

7. Network to Promote Your Business

Landing home inspector jobs in a competitive state like New York can be a challenge, especially when you’re just starting. Career-wise, you have the option of either working with an established home inspection company or going solo. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. 

As an employed home inspector, getting new clients is basically your employer’s responsibility. Here, you can focus on your inspections without having to hustle for your next client. However, the downside is that you are only entitled to a salary, limiting your earning potential. 

If you decide to work independently, the responsibility falls on you to promote your business. Some days will be good, others not so much. To maintain a consistent flow of jobs and income, you must stay on top of your home inspection marketing game. Networking is one way to achieve this. 

To network, you can attend industry and networking events and join professional bodies. You can also utilize social media marketing to promote your business and reach a wider audience. With a well-designed home inspector website and a good marketing plan, you can set yourself apart from the crowd, gain visibility, and expand your client list. 

Joining local home inspector bodies and associations opens doors to realtors, real estate brokers, and other people in the construction industry. These connections can be goldmines for referrals and recommendations, ensuring a steady stream of job opportunities. The key is to stay engaged, build relationships, and make your mark in the industry.

8. Expand Your Home Inspection Services

Becoming an all-rounded home inspector is an excellent way to expand your services and cater to a wider range of client needs. When a home buyer wants to buy a house, they need more than the structure and electricals checked. That’s where additional services like termite, pest, or wind mitigation inspections come into play. 

These inspections require some level of training and certifications. The good thing is that they can seamlessly complement your home inspections. Not only do additional services add value to your services, but they also position you as a more experienced and versatile professional in the eyes of your clients. 

Once you have gotten the necessary training and certifications, you can add these services to your home inspections and begin marketing your business. You can also recommend these services to your clients, and they will thank you for the convenience of having all their inspection needs met in one go. 

The bottom line is that offering a broader range of services means more opportunities to make more money and get extra clients, which is a good bargain. Some of the certifications that can open up new avenues for your business include 4-point inspections, wind mitigation inspections, energy audit inspections, radon and mold inspections.

Key Takeaways on How To Become A Home Inspector in New York

Key takeaways from our guide on how to become a home inspector in New York 

Unlike some states, where licensing is not a legal requirement, New York takes it up a notch. Here, not only do home inspectors need a license, but a high school diploma or a GED is a prerequisite. These requirements emphasize the level of expertise expected from home inspectors in the state.

But you do not need to be scared of these requirements. Rather, consider them your ticket to becoming a sought-after home inspector. Once you have completed all the requirements, you can kick off your home inspection career in the Empire State. To recap, home inspectors in New York must complete the 140-hour training, take and pass the national or state exam, secure insurance, and apply for the license. 

After getting the license, you can begin hunting for home inspection leads, and the best way is to market your business. Utilize digital platforms and engage in networking to secure home inspection jobs. Also, strive to elevate your business by providing optimal services to your clients using the reliable Home Inspection Software from EZ HIS. To get a glimpse of the numerous benefits you’ll be enjoying, why not start your experience with our Free Trial? Also, level up your expertise by gaining additional knowledge. Leverage the student discount program to save up to 50% for six months. 



There are common questions aspiring home inspectors ask when contemplating a career in New York. We’ve gathered a few of these questions and provided answers below. 

How long does it take to become a home inspector in New York?

The duration it takes to be a home inspector in New York may vary from person to person. Let’s consider a scenario where you already have a high school diploma or GED and opt for the training route. The home inspector training is 140 hours, of which 40 hours is field experience. You and your school of choice determine the duration of the course. Regardless, the course can be completed in as fast a month. After the exam, apply for the exam and aim for the nearest date. Once you have passed your exam, get insurance and apply for your license. The process above can take a few months to complete, but individual pace and application processing can impact the timeframe. 

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

Aside from the compulsory fees, the cost of becoming a home inspector in New York is totally determined by how much you are willing to invest in your business. The following gives an overview of the expenses you might incur to be a fully established home inspector in New York. 

  • Home inspection course: $2,000 or more
  • Home Inspection Examination: $50 – $225
  • Home inspection application fee: $250
  • Insurance coverage: $600 – $1200 yearly, depending on the insurance company
  • Home inspection toolkit: $500 – $700 for a start
  • Business registration: $50 – $150
  • Home inspection software: $50 – $200 depending on subscription
  • Home Inspection Association member fee: $49 per month

How much money do New York home inspectors make?

The average home inspector salary in the state of New York is $55,439. Depending on where they live in the state, coupled with other factors like level of experience, salaries can range from $37,451 to over $82,068. 

Are home inspectors in demand in New York?

Yes. The vast size of the real estate market in New York makes the demand for home inspectors high. 

How often do I need to renew my NY home inspector’s license?

Every two years. Home inspectors in New York are required to renew their licenses every two years. This renewal also comes with the completion of the mandatory 24 hours of continuing education. The license can be renewed from as early as 90 days before the expiration of the valid one. 

How much do home inspections cost in New York? 

Home inspections in New York can cost between $300 and $500, depending on the size of the home and the inspector’s experience. Other factors affecting home inspection costs include the components of the home and whether or not the inspector will perform additional services like radon, mold, or termite inspection.

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