Home inspectors inspect the structural quality and condition of newly constructed and previously owned homes. They are typically hired by prospective home owners to inspect the interior and exterior of a home they plan to purchase, including its foundation, exterior walls, roofing, plumbing and electrical and heating and cooling systems. They look for any violations of building codes but do not have the power to enforce compliance with these codes. Home owners looking to sell will have their home inspected before putting it on the market. Home inspectors report on the condition of the home while a real estate appraiser determines the monetary value of a property.
There are institutes, professional associations, and home inspection schools throughout the U.S. that train and provide certification to home inspectors. These programs typically require applicants complete a training or online training program, inspect several properties, and pass a comprehensive exam. Some schools also provide some business training and opportunities for networking, since many home inspectors are self-employed.
Most states require home inspectors to be state-licensed or certified. The requirements for licensure will vary by state, but applicants typically must complete a series of trial inspections, pass a state exam, and take continuing education courses. Home inspectors may be required by their state to purchase liability insurance.