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Retire to a Rewarding Career in Home Inspection

By Published On: June 22nd, 2023Categories: Home Inspection Career Guide0 Comments

Nowadays, more Americans are working beyond retirement — and often, by choice. Meanwhile, home inspection has grown into an industry dominated by inspectors 55 and older, with demand booming.

Whether you’re retired and want a low-stress encore career, nearing retirement and making plans, or you’re just curious about the future – home inspection may be your ideal second act. Let’s explore.

6 reasons why home inspection is a great post-retirement career.

There are many reasons why home inspection makes a great post-retirement career. Here are six BIG ones.

1. It’s flexible and easy to do part time.

Home inspection is one of those rare livelihoods you can do part-time and on your own terms. Since your work is appointment-based, you can set your own schedule and choose the days you work. You’re in control. When you compare this to traditional (and schedule-dependent) part-time jobs for retirees, you simply can’t beat the flexibility of home inspection.

2. Your income is limitless.

Even on a part-time basis, your income as a home inspector is limitless. That’s because it all depends on the volume of home inspections you handle per week. It’s also remarkably easy to figure out how many home inspections you need to do per month to earn the kind of supplemental income you want. Use our home inspector salary calculator to find out how much you can earn as a part-time home inspector in your state.

3. It’s an easy transition if you’ve worked in a trade.

Are you retiring from a trade, such as construction, contracting, or another technical service? Home inspection makes for an even easier transition when you’re coming from a similar field. You can apply all the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired during your previous career to home inspection. Plus, it’s less physically demanding. So, if it’s time to slow down, becoming a home inspector may be ideal.

4. Experience isn’t required.

If you’ve worked in a trade before, great! But it’s certainly not required. You can succeed as a home inspector no matter your career background. The beauty of home inspection training is that you’ll learn everything from the ground up with no experience or prerequisites required.

5. Training doesn’t take long.

You probably don’t want to spend another few years learning a new career as a retiree. Who does? Fortunately, you can complete home inspection training in as little as three weeks. Of course, this depends on your state’s home inspector license requirements and the format of the training required (live classroom, online, or both). In most states, however, you can start working as a home inspector in one to two months tops.

6. It’s enjoyable.

If a second career sparks images of boring desk work and paper-pushing in your golden years, think again. Working as a home inspector is enjoyable! You’ll interact with clients, get lots of exercise, think on your feet, take your tools for a spin, and most importantly, help people. You’ll help your clients make better real estate investment decisions. It’s a livelihood you can feel good about.

3 challenges of a career in home inspection.

All the attractive benefits of home inspection aside, there are a few challenges you’ll want to consider before jumping in.

1. It can be physically demanding for some.

Mobility is a big part of your job as a home inspector. You’ll be walking in and around homes, bending down to look at things like plumbing and electrical outlets, and climbing ladders to peer over roofs, for example. You need to have a fair amount of physical stamina to complete a standard two-to-three-hour home inspection. Still, home inspection may be less strenuous if you’re coming from a more physically demanding career.

2. There will always be a learning curve.

In home inspection, no matter how much training you have, there’s always a learning curve. And this isn’t a bad thing. Every house is different, home systems vary, and home inspection standards can be updated. That’s why it’s important to stay fresh with Continuing Education (CE), certifications, and professional development courses after you complete your initial training. This goes for both seasoned home inspectors with decades of experience and newer ones establishing a new venture.

3. There’s a lot of competition.

There can be a lot of competition among home inspectors in your local market. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, though. There are countless ways to differentiate yourself and your business from your competition and keep client leads rolling in. You’ll learn key business and marketing strategies during your home inspection training. Beyond your training, you can find tons of (free!) resources and tips for building your business with just a little regular research. Here’s a good place to start.

How to start a retirement career in home inspection.

Becoming a home inspector and establishing your business, at any stage, starts with these basic steps.

1. Research your state’s home inspector licensing requirements.

Before you do anything, find out if your state requires you to earn a license to be a home inspector. You can find out your state’s license requirements here.

2. Complete home inspection training.

Whether you’re required to be licensed or not, you need to complete a home inspection training program. It’s important that you understand the best practices, code of ethics, and standards of home inspection. Clients want to work with someone who knows what they’re doing! Find out more about what’s involved in training here.

3. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam (if required).

Some states require you to take and pass the National Home Inspector Exam® (NHIE). This is a standard competency exam that tests your knowledge in home inspection. You might consider taking the NHIE even if you live in a state where it isn’t required. Passing it will set you apart from your competition. Here are a few of our insider tips.

4. Apply for your home inspector license (if it’s required).

Next, you’ll need to apply for your home inspection license if it’s required in your state. This process usually involves:

  • Filling out an application and submitting it to your state licensing department
  • Submitting proof that you’ve completed home inspection training
  • Providing proof of your passing NHIE score if required
  • Showing proof of home inspector insurance coverage

5. Decide if you’ll work for yourself or join a home inspection company.

After completing the previous steps, you’re ready to launch your new encore career as a home inspector! You can choose to work for yourself and launch your own business. Or you can join an established home inspection company – and often still enjoy a part-time schedule. Read this blog for help on deciding your path.

How to succeed as a home inspector.

There are a million ways to succeed as a home inspector – and lots of resources out there to help you. The great news is that you don’t have to master everything at once. Start by becoming an expert inspector through best-in-class training. Then, while you’re in the field serving your clients, work on building your business a little bit at a time (and continue to enjoy the slower pace of retirement!).

Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Network. Network with real estate agents in your community who can connect you with buyer and seller clients. Check out this blog for networking tips.
  • Create a website. Showcase your services on a great website that gets you found in local searches.
  • Be active on social media. Become active on social media and gain a following by sharing home maintenance tips and inspection stories.
  • Get certified in other services. Become certified in additional services that are in demand in your locale, whether regionally or seasonally.
  • Ask for recommendations. Word-of-mouth marketing is often the most effective kind. Ask your clients to recommend you to their family and friends or share a review on your website or social media.

Learn more home inspection business-building tips here.

We’ll help you find out if an encore career in home inspection is right for you.

At AHIT, we’ve been training expert home inspectors from all backgrounds, ages, and stages since 1993. We offer industry-leading live classroom and online training as well as invaluable hands-on field training that prepares you to succeed on day one of your new career. See why so many students choose us and read their success stories! You can also call and speak to a career advisor for guidance at 800-441-9411. Our advisors are available seven days a week.

About the Author: Ashley Roe

Ashley Roe is a Content Specialist with AHIT and The CE Shop. She writes regularly about home inspection and appraisal. With a reporter's eye and a passion for learning, Ashley stays current on what's happening within each industry. Her goal is to create engaging, relevant, and useful content that both informs and inspires readers.

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