Fully-online diploma and certificate programs are available in home inspection and can be found at a number of for-profit schools. There are generally no prerequisites for entry to these programs. Courses cover home inspection protocol, structural design, pest detection, roofing, plumbing and electrical inspection. Students may need to use a home inspection kit provided by the school to practice their skills independently.
Programs can be completed in less than one year, and general education courses are usually not required. Licensure may be needed to secure a home inspection job; since these requirements vary by state, students must check with their school to determine if the intended program provides any preparation for this process.
Home Inspector Diploma
Home inspectors are typically hired by buyers to look for building code violations and structural quality in houses before the buyer completes the purchase of a home. In an online home inspector diploma program, students learn the details of the home inspection job. Topics include interior and exterior inspections; electrical and mechanical inspections; heating, cooling and plumbing systems; construction methods; building codes; and structural design. Usually no specific amount of formal education is required to begin an online home inspector diploma program.
Information and Requirements
Home inspector diploma programs usually take from six months to a year to complete and may be accomplished entirely online using either a Windows-based or Mac computer. Exams are taken online, and students have access to instructors by phone, website, e-mail or regular mail.
Home inspector diploma programs teach students the skills necessary to determine whether or not a home is structurally sound and meets existing building codes. In addition to specifics on inspections, students learn the details of professional practice, such as marketing, finances, insurance, record-keeping and certification examinations.
The Inspection Process
This class gives a detailed overview of the inspection process, including inspector qualifications, disclosure and pre-inspection agreements as well as reporting formats and data collection. Topics also include professional standards and practices, building codes and tools of the trade. Additionally, students learn how to identify clients and gain referrals.
Students learn about architectural building styles and different types of structural systems as well as framing and structure inspection. Some areas of inspection explored include basements, doors, windows, stairways, attics, interior walls and house ventilation systems.
The Electrical System
Learn about safety and electrical hazards and how to inspect panel boxes, circuits and receptacles. Electrical theory and ground connections are covered along with wire types and sizes.
Explore the water supply and distribution process within the structural setting. Topics include water pressure and flow, drainage systems, wells, septic systems and waste disposal. Additionally, students learn about pumps and storage tanks as well as pressure switches and gauges.
There are many different types of roofs, and the inspector must be familiar with them all. Learn about pitched roofs and flat roofs as well as various roofing materials, from shingles to asphalt to wood.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), home inspectors fall under the category of construction and building inspectors. It was reported that for the 2018-2028 decade, employment of construction and building inspectors was predicted to increase by 7%. Home inspectors typically work for homebuyers interested in learning the condition of the properties they intend to purchase, but jobs may also be found with architectural or real estate firms. Some graduates open their own businesses. The BLS doesn't have wage information specifically for home inspectors. However, PayScale.com reported that as of 2019, the majority of home inspectors earned between $30,000 and $86,000 annually.
Continuing Education Information
The BLS noted that many states require home inspectors to be licensed, the requirements of which vary by state. Organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors have information regarding licensure requirements and continuing education information for home inspectors.
Online diploma programs in home inspection teach students skills for observing houses for building code violations and structural quality. Licensing may be required to work as a home inspector.