The home inspection business is a good industry to be in. Real estate inspections are always needed and a home inspector is the one who does these. However, it does require following state regulations for certification, training, and passing tests to become a home inspector. Every state is different.
How much is a home inspector’s salary? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States national average for a home inspector salary is $58,000 or $28/hour. But, you could make significantly more.
Let’s take a look at why this is important to know, how to become a home inspector etc.
Why You Want to Know How Much a Home Inspector Salary Is
Some people may think that taking an exam is all that is needed to be a home inspector. As with any profession, there are state regulations and you have to be trained to do your job well. It also takes time to build-up to the average of $58,000 or more and you will get there if you take the approach correctly.
Thinking that the salary will happen right away? Then this profession is not for you. You need to have the certification, courses, skills, referrals, and establish the relationships to start making a good salary. This can take time to build up to.
Additionally, if you are working for yourself, you will have to pay business/marketing expenses which can easily eat into your salary.
Some people will work full-time in this field while others will work as a part-time home inspector. It depends on how much money you want to make and what your schedule/budget allows.
A Home Inspectors Job
Now you know about the home inspector salary, so let’s take a look at the job of a home inspector. A home is the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime so hiring a certified home inspector to check out this pending purchase is important. A home inspector follows a checklist of specific areas to check in a home such as grounds, foundation, exterior, garage, electrical, and cooling system. They also check heating, plumbing, roof, interior, kitchen, and bathrooms. Some will check a swimming pool or hot tub as well.
At the end of the inspection, the home inspector will provide the prospective home buyer a report with information about what was found in the home and recommendations.
Also, many will earn additional certification in areas to check for mold and well inspections to name a few. Even though a home inspection is not required, it is always highly recommended. This makes it a good career choice as there is a lot of demand for home inspectors and there is always a lot of business.
Knowing a lot of information and being good at what you do is important. Relationship building is also key.
Along with the areas the home inspector needs to be well versed in, every state has specific requirements for licensure. In Florida, the requirements are passing the exam, proof of study of a course that is not less than 120 hours and covers 8 areas of the home, fingerprints, insurance, and paying a fee. However, this should be considered the minimum as on-the-job training is highly recommended by most professional home inspectors.
Joining a Professional Organization
Joining a professional organization for the field is important as this is how a home inspector will keep up with the latest information and regulations. Two of the best ones are InterNachi and ASHI. You don’t need to join both, but check out each one to see what is better for you. They have different membership levels and provide educational information, testing information, and allow you to become part of their directory. The directory is where a lot of homeowners will find a home inspector in their area.
Finding a Company to Work For or Go Into Your Own Business
After licensure, most inspectors want to be an employed home inspector. Some will join a home inspection company after their licensure to get a feel for what the job is like, have home inspectors training with others, getting referrals, etc. On the other hand, some may go off on their own and start their own home inspection business. As stated earlier, the average salary for a home inspector is $58,000.
How Much Are Home Inspection Companies Paying?
We took a poll on our private Facebook Group of multi-inspector company owners. Here’s what they are paying on average:
50k Salary – 4 Votes
40K Salary – 1 Vote
100K Salary – 1 Vote
Typically, as your salary gets larger, you are responsible for more expenses or there are fewer benefits are you receiving from the company. But each position is different so be sure to interview a few companies and talk about the total job package.
Here are some big No No’s for Home Inspectors.
Best Ways To Grow Your Home Inspector Salary/Pay
1. Homebuyers want someone certified, licensed, and experienced. We know everyone has to start somewhere but get the experience first so you can provide a great service and make a great name for yourself.
2. Cheaper doesn’t mean better – you may think lowering your price will make you more competitive, and it may but don’t lower it too much or you look like someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and lacks experience.
3. Incomplete home inspection reports- these are a big red flag and you won’t have a business for too long if your reports are incomplete. There is nothing wrong with asking to shadow others and get the experience you need before you head out on your own. Talk with other home inspectors and attend conferences to increase your knowledge.
4. Get Good Insurance– every ethical home inspector has good insurance that covers him/her in case a mistake is made. Some new inspectors may try to skip that step to save money or skip the insurance all together but it isn’t worth it.
5. Referral from a Real Estate Agent – sometimes an agent and an inspector have a referral relationship and the inspector might not have the credentials needed. Continue to check for reviews of agents and agents in the area by looking on ASHI or InterNACHI sites.
6. Do Your Job Well & Build Relationships – building a business and referral network takes time. If you do your job well and provide great service, you will be well on your way to earning more referrals from real estate agents.
Home Inspector Salary Insight From Multi-Inspector Company Owners
When I started in home inspections the industry was fairly new and there weren’t many guidelines or resources when it came to inspector pay. Much information was regionalized or even company by company, and it still is in many cases. My perspective on home inspector wages is to ensure the entire compensation package is fair for both the inspector and the owner.
Consider what can be included- wages, benefits, time off, training, certifications, tools, software, vehicles, and insurance (workers comp, liability and E&O) to name a few. Put together an attractive package and be able to have an in-depth conversation about it with candidates. It’s not just a paycheck but the totality of the package that is important in maintaining a strong team.
Another point is how to pay inspectors. And while there may be no definitive right or wrong answer- piecemeal, percentage, salary, hourly; several considerations should be assessed when creating a compensation package. Understanding the rules and regulations within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on how to pay a home inspector, especially in regards to proper classification, wages and overtime is important. Many companies are not aware of the issues that can arise by misclassifying or improperly reporting/paying in accordance with the FLSA. Secondly, have a good relationship with a local attorney who is versed in the FLSA, and who can guide and help you create a strong foundation for building and compensating a great team. Investing now will pay off in the future.”
If you choose to work for another company there are questions that you should ask your potential employer. Will you be hired as a 1099 contractor or a W2 employee? The general rule (and best guideline) is if that company will be in control of your schedule, you are a W2 or should be a W2 employee. There are many debates about this subject, so researching what is best for you is of utmost importance.
The next question is what will the employer be paying for on your behalf? If you are a 1099 contractor, the typical employer will pay very little and you will be responsible for everything from your personal taxes, mileage tracking, continuing education, and even tools. If you are a W2 employee, the employer will typically pay much more however, how “much” more will depend on if you are paid a salary or percentage. Also, if you are paid a percentage, how much of a percentage will depend on what else the employer will pay for on your behalf. For example, a lower percentage usually means more expenses paid for on your behalf or, more tools provided to you such as equipment, gas cards, or even a vehicle.
In addition to the questions above, you should ask the employer what benefits are available to you. Some inspection companies offer vacation or unlimited time off. Some offer IRA’s or a 401K and lastly some also provide health insurance. As you can see, the options for pay and benefits can vary greatly. We highly recommend researching your options and digging deep into what your desires and motivations are so you can find the perfect fit for your future in our wonderful profession.
Home inspectors salaries will vary according to experience, the company he/she works for, and the going rate in the state or area in which they live. Going into this business should be because you want to help other people and help home buyers and sellers with a purchase or a sale.
A genuine desire to help others get a good home, or point out things that need to be fixed should be the focus of the home inspector. Along with providing good ethical service will help you go a long way.
Thank you to our network of multi-inspectors for helping us with our research and data. Check out their sites if they are in your area to see if you can apply!
Boggs Inspection Services – Washington State | Avalon Home Inspections – Atlanta, GA | All Coast Home Inspections – Houston, TX | Down Home Inspections – Gainsville, FL | Home Inspection Geeks – Chicago, IL | Austin Home Inspections – Austin, TX