Advantages of Infrared Certifications?

So far this place or the members from this place have helped me tremendously with my past needs or questions so I’m gonna keep firing away until I get run off.

I’m still on the fence as to weather or not I should start with the Snell 1-3 Levels.

I’m mainly trying to figure out if there are really any other advantages that I haven’t thought about.

I took John’s course, which I did enjoy, but for the main reason of being able to use the Infrared Certifed Logo and claim I was Infrared Certified from a course that was affiliated or backed by a reputable place such as InterNachi . Of course I hoped i would learn from the class but I know I can easily learn from reading a book, studying online, and continuing to read IR forums so learning wasn’t the #1 reason.

This is the way I’m thinking:

1.) I can already claim I am Infrared Certified.

2.) I have the little piece of paper(certificate) that seems to make people feel more confident in who they hire. Most people wouldn’t have the slightest clue weather you paid $500 or $2500 for the certification.

3.) I’m self-employed so it’s not like the more degrees or certificates I have than the easier it will be to get a raise, or in my case more inspections

4.) I would assume that I can discover or learn everything they teach in the classes from the internet or books without having to pay $5k+ for the classes.

I may be looking at all of this the wrong way so please feel free to correct me if you see it differently.

If the future of being an Infrared home or building inspector is going to stay the same for many more years than it doesn’t seem like there is a need for me to put a huge emphasis or rush on obtaining Level I II & III.

If the future is soon going to change and Level I II & III are going to be adopted and possibly a requirement for a national standard for being an IR inspector than I think it’s much more important.

Does anybody know of any other major advantages to being Level 1-3 certified other than getting the knowledge in a shorter period of time and also being able to claim your more certified?


Personally I would not recommend I,II,III if you are going to stay within building diagnostics. I would go level I then a building and roof course. Then get some experience, about 6 months worth. At that point figure out if you want to do electro-mechanical, then add on level II.

Another option is to do level I then check out United Infrared. UI is owned partially by Greg Stockton. He is easily the best and most profitable IR company in the country. Greg is also a really great guy. His partner, Peter Hopkins, is probably the leading authority in the country in equine IR and is really good on the IR marketing front.


I see Scott Wood recently joined United Infrared. He was my instructor for the ITC Building Science Thermographer Certification course a few years ago. Great instructor.

Brandon, your post basically sums up reality correctly.

If you’re happy with where you are with your certification, then there is no need to go any further. I personally am going to get Level I and Level II and build an IR business separate from my home inspection business. I have invested $10k in the last week for a new camera and registering another S Corp, logo design etc.

Get the training that is geared for your application, not just another certificate.

Hey Jason,

Thanks for the sharing the info about Infrared United. That looks like something I’m going to be interested in getting involved with. I could definitely benefit with a little marketing help.

Do you know if Greg or Peter are hard folks to get up with and which do you think would be the best one to get in contact with regarding information on the Utah area?

The equine imaging looks like it would be a really neat job. I know some of those race horses are worth more than price of 3 houses combined so I’m curious to know what the going rate for a horse inspection is?

It also seems like you wouldn’t have near the liability inspecting a horse as a commercial building. I just don’t know if Utah has enough race horses to support a full-time Infrared Horse Inspector but what do I know.

I do know you just gave me my reason as to why I think I should move along with Level 1 at the minimum.


Hey Linas,

I am currently happy where I’m at but I’ve only been doing Infrared Inspections for a couple years now. I could easily see myself getting board with residential infrared home inspections after another 2-3 years and following in your footsteps with an all IR business.

If you don’t mind me asking, what camera did you choose for you new IR business? Do you have a main area such as Equine, Commercial roofs, commercial block walls, Electronics, etc… that your leaning towards or did you buy a camera that could do most all of it so you could advertise most all of it.

Would you happen to know what resolution and thermal sensitivity the majority of the equine thermagraphers are using?

I was going to get the FLIR B300 but was convinced by a few thermographers that the T300 would allow me to expand my capabilities to include high temp applications. So I will persue all avenues of opportunity. As far as equine thermography, David Andersen has done some and will answer any questions. Just PM him.

Either use your “Alleged” Certified status or don’t use “Certification” it at all!
There is no comparison between them.

Certification IS required in more advanced industries.

John’s Certification only “waters down” what certification is all about!

I am not going to discuss this further.
Simply compare John McKenna with John Snell, Jim Sefferin, (and seeing John thinks these guys don’t know crap because they are Lvl III’s and haven’t done a Home Inspection yet) Scott Wood who is a Lvl II with lots of building background.

Lvl I - III is not the goal. It’s about learning.
I would never have learned what I needed if it was not for these guys I mentioned. You get to meet and associate with these guys and tap into their vast experience which goes way beyond “book learning” when you get in a jam.

…or you can just come here and tap the vast knowledge of John McKenna.

Dear Brandon:

Thermographer certification is a topic that has been covered several times at our content-based website, IRINFO.ORG. You may find the following past Tips to be of interest:

The Value of Level III Certification

Thermography and ASNT Certification

How Much Certfcation Do You Need

While thermal imagers can be quite useful as an adjunctive tool for home inspections, a much greater potential can be found in dedicated inspections for commercial and industrial inspections. Applications include, but are not limited to: electrical distribution systems, mechanical systems, steam systems, building envelopes and low slope roofing systems.

For thermographers who elect to work in the commercial arena, the gross income potential for the above work can easily exceed $200,000 per year for a single thermographer and one imaging system. Best of all, commercial work is often easier to sell and provides a greater return for your sales efforts. Because many types of commercial infrared inspections repeat annually, you can build on ongoing book of business and equity in your company.

The above applications along with marketing these types of inspections are covered in the Infraspection Institute Level I Certified Infrared Thermographer training course. This course is available through open enrollment classes and through our Distance Learning Program. It is also approved by the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors and qualifies for 32 hours of continuing education units.

Should you elect to join us for our upcoming annual conference, IR/INFO, you can qualify for a FREE Level I Course. Details are available on our Special Offer page.

Feel free to give me a call should you have questions or require further information. We look forward to working with you and supporting your future thermographic endeavors.

Brandon, I highly recommend Jim Seffrin’s course (and as Jim explained, it is approved for InterNACHI CE)… I just don’t recommend it for non-members.

In fact, I think issuing IR certificates to non-members should be outlawed, as it incorrectly implies to consumers, and maybe even to the students themselves, that they are qualified to use the IR camera on a home or commercial property inspection. They are not, unless they are inspectors as well. The camera is a tool, like a hammer. Being able to sing a hammer or drive a nail doesn’t make you a carpenter.

Much of what makes the tool (camera) useful on an inspection is an understanding of roofing leaks, plumbing leaks, mold, ventilation, stucco, EIFS, grading, downspouts, gutters, french drains, HVAC, insulation, energy efficiency, condensation, etc. InterNACHI’s membership requirements include taking our comprehensive courses on these subjects.

That is why we refuse to issue the Infrared Certified professional designation to non-inspectors (you must be a member of InterNACHI). Our position regarding IR certifications being issued to non-inspectors is reflected in the requirements to become Infrared Certified. The Infrared Certifiedis a designation unique and particular to home and commercial inspection professionals.

Education is key, more is better. The more you understand how IR works will allow you to better understand and diagnose and interpret the radiometric picture. This also means you need lots of stick time and you also must understand what your pointing it at how it should look under normal conditions and have an understanding of why it looks wrong and the cause as well.
getting your feet wet with a basic course could be just enough information to make you dangerous and unaware of the surroundings your looking at with the camera. If your only doing building diagnostics then Johns course would be a basic starter course, followed by a building sciences course and roof course coupled with the water intrusion. Then getting a structure course would be advisable so you have a better understanding of what it should look like.
It would be nice to say there is an easy answer but its not. IR is a tool that in the right knowledgeable hands can be awesome, in the wrong hands can be a liability.
Only you can choose how you wish to pursue the field. Also having, knowing and understanding all the added standards of practice is another hotdog that needs to be added and digested as well.

Scratch the question about the costs of a horse scan. I found all the answers about equine imaging I was looking for by reading through Peter’s stories. $300 bucks for a full body horse scan seems to be the going rate.

From everything I’ve been reading, I believe Infraspection Institute + Level I + United Infrared CommercialScanIR may be a good path to obtaining my goals in the Northern Utah area.

So many opportunities and so many choices!

It would be nice to get up with a few of you who have made some of these choices and may can offer some advice on the upsides and downsides of those choices.

Level I is a prerequisite for most other advanced IR certifications you pursue, whether it’s through Infraspection Institute or FLIR/ITC. Experience and a desire to succeed is the key.

It very common for a certain industry to develop “in-house”
training for it’s thermographers. Nicks above post is exactly
right that your background in construction is needed to do
a proper IR scan of residential or commercial buildings.

If you would like to see for yourself, simply go find a Level III
thermographer who has never had a construction background
and ask him his opinion of a variety of IR images of various
building defects. All the ones I have talked to have told me they
would be the first to admit that they would never attempt to
diagnose images regarding building defects.

I have never heard any Level III thermographer say their
IR certification qualified them to do building inspection. I have
no idea where David A. gets that idea.

When I sat next to Level II, & III thermographers during the
building science course I took with FLIR-ITC, they said just
trying to get a passing grade in that IR class was hard enough
like it was, let alone to go out and make the foolish mistake
of attempting to do a real life home inspection. I had to
admire their common sense and humility.


You must be a member in good standing of InterNACHI.
Membership requirements are at:
Offical iNACHI Thermal Imaging & Building Science course… 16 hrs
($500 - comes with free iNACHI membership)

All classes below are FREE to members
Electrical course… 4 hrs
Plumbing course… 8 hrs
Roofing course… 4 hrs
HVAC course… 12 hrs
Structural course… 4 hrs
Exterior Inspection course… 16 hrs
Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior Inspection course… 14 hrs
Moisture Intrusion Inspection course… 8 hrs
Energy Audit course… 24 hrs

This adds up to 110 hours plus the initial requirements of courses and testing when joining InterNACHI.

From what I gathered at the United Infrared site, you pay them a 10-15% referral fee on all jobs you get. ($25 for each referral) If it is an annual inspection, you pay United the referral fee for every follow up/annual inspection for that job. The roof IR module is an additional $2500 for their training. ITC has a roofing inspection class for less than half of that cost.
Their IR Energy scan module is $1500 to train you to do their $299 basic energy scans without a blower door (what’s up with that Jason, no blower door?):stuck_out_tongue: No BPI or RESNET Certification here. I charge $349 for an IR energy scan.
If you use a blower door you get $399.
United may be a place for a new start up infrared business if you have no experience.

**RESNET Adopts Guidelines for Thermographic
Inspections of Buildings **
RESNET has broken new ground in performance testing by adopting the nation’s first procedures for incorporating the thermographic inspections in the energy ratings and audits of buildings. The thermal imaging technology has advanced significantly in the past few years and the price of equipment has grown more affordable.
The guidelines provides guidance on the use of infrared thermography for the inspection of low rise, three stories or less, wood or steel frame, residential and light commercial buildings. The purposes of the guidelines are to:

  • Provide for the means by which raters and energy auditors can obtain a RESNET advanced certification in infrared thermography.
  • Provide inspection guidance in using infrared thermography for air intrusion and insulation inspections.
  • Provide a possible substitute for an insulation inspection on a new building where viewing of the insulation installation was not accomplished before the drywall was applied.

The guidelines includes information for:

  • Using an infrared imaging system to determine radiation differences associated with surface temperature variations of a building enclosure
  • Determining whether the areas being viewed meet the specifications in The guideline and in the RESNET 2006 Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating System Standards.
  • Documenting the type and extent of any observed anomalies,
  • Locating the primary areas needing further physical inspection,
  • Providing an indication of thermal insulation performance and continuity,
  • Indicating areas affected by air and convection when an infrared imaging system is used in combination with blower door operation.

The guidelines were drafted by the RESNET Infrared Scanning Task Force. The task force based the guidelines on existing ASTM and ISO thermographic standards as well as Canadian and United Kingdom standards.

It is the intent that RESNET will incorporate the guidelines into the RESNET national home energy rating standards when the work on developing the new chapter on performance testing is completed.

To download the standard click on

Resnet Approved Training