Best order to take courses to become a CPI

Hello All,

I am quite interested in the Home Inspection field and becoming a Certified Professional Inspector. I have started to complete some of the courses and I am now curious if I am taking the courses in the proper order. Not to say that there is a right or wrong order to take the courses, it just seems as though there would be a logical order to take the courses in order to get the most out of the information provided. I started to just take the courses in the order they are listed and I’m rethinking that strategy and wondering if anyone has a better order or comments on this post.

Thanks for the help and I am truly grateful for the input,

For me I took the shortest first!


  Have you thought about in which order you will inspect? 


  • Exterior – siding, doors, windows, stairs, decks, porches, balconies, driveway, swales, walkway, patio, leaders, gutters, chimneys, fascia, soffit, columns, posts, piers, paint, finish and stain, etc.

  • Structure – foundation, basement, crawlspace, settlement cracks, brick and brick veneer, etc.

  • Roofing – ladder safety, attic, roofing materials, flashing / counter-flashing, trusses and framing, etc.

  • **Plumbing **– water service entry, well type, piping, bathrooms, laundry rooms, drains, traps, dishwashers, hot water heaters, water meter and sump pumps, etc.

  • **Electrical **– service, main panels, sub panels, breakers / fuses, circuits, conductor sizes, receptacle outlets, polarity, grounding and bonding, etc.

  • Heating and Air – hydronic, gas, steam, oil, electric, split systems, heat pumps, radiant heating, wood and coal stoves, etc.

  • **Interior **– doors, windows, wall surfaces, interior finishes, flooring, ceilings, handrails, guardrails, staircases, living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms and garages, etc.

  • Insulation and Ventilation – types of insulation, whole house / attic fans and different types of venting, etc.

  • Fireplaces – firebox, crown, hearth, damper, chimney, draft, smoke shelf, mantle, ash dump, chimney liner / flue and pre-fab units, etc.

  • Specialty Inspections – manufactured / modular homes, new home / phase, pool, spa, wdi / wdo, septic, water, lead, mold and radon, etc.

How are you going to have your Home Inspection Reporting Software set up, so that you can communicate your evaluation with your clients?

ExteriorStructureRoofing – **Plumbing **– **Electrical **– Heating and Air – **Interior **– Insulation and VentilationFireplacesSpecialty Inspections – ****

  • If you’ve read to this point, then you get the idea.

I believe that this will help you to retain your training and apply your knowledge when you get out there inspecting.

Remember safety first. – Stay safe man.

Thanks Larry and Michael for the input. Much appreciated. Once again something I didn’t really consider, as far as, training in the order of what my operations will be. Thanks again.

Agree with Mike above, but another alternative would be to take your lessons in the normal progression that a typical home is constructed. This way will assist in understanding how a home works together as a system… ie. building science.

There is no “right or wrong” way. It’s a personal thing. When I do my CE’s, (not required in my state), I simply choose what I “feel like” of “need a refresher on” that day. I am not one to sit at a desk all day, for any reason, so I better be interested in the subject to get me to pay attention to the course and not be daydreaming of better ways to spend my free time!

Hope that helps.

Thanks Jeffery as well.

I probably should have stated in the original post that I am not a newbie to homes, home construction, restoration, remodeling or “building science”, etc. I am, however, new to the HI portion (with the exception of the inspections I have had done on home purchases). That is the main reason I was asking if there is a good order to take the courses. I don’t want to miss some helpful information that would have been good to know for taking this course or that course only because I didn’t do them in a good order? I am not sure if that makes sense…

I do appreciate the replies I am receiving and thanks for taking the time to do so.

of come on…you have to place Electrical ahead of plumbing…be real now…:wink:

Plumbing has been around a lot longer than electricity. :wink:

I would start with the foundation and work my way up.

Just start. The order doesn’t matter.

They often come in the same trench, so… which came first… the sparky or the (butt) cracker? :mrgreen: