I looked back a few pages but missed it if this is an overly asked question…my apologies if I’m being redundant or in the wrong spot.

I am new to the home inspection arena, beginning the transition from a different career and trying to create a solid path of education and knowledge so that I will be taken seriously by potential employers and/or trainers.

My background includes 23 years in law enforcement including many years as a detective, patrol cop, compliance inspection back in my Coast Guard days and SWAT hostage negotiator. My experience also includes high level accident reconstruction and investigative experience and I have been court certified as an expert witness in several areas. My communication ability, report writing skills and evidence gathering (i.e. picture taking as it relates to this field) abilities are fairly well developed. I also have two college degrees and am very open and adaptive to training and education. Working with minimal to no supervision and meeting obligations are also not problems. I have basic building and systems knowledge and am physically fit to do the work.

My point in blabbering about my experience is to show what I hope are solid parallels between my current business and home inspections and that I’ve put serious thought into this transition (not how great I think I might be). I’ve obviously started InterNACHI online training but from what I have found so far, finding someone willing to take on a newcomer is a bit of a challenge.

I would greatly appreciate any guidance or recommendations anyone is willing to provide on how to successfully get into this business and align myself with quality people to become a solid, credible worker. I am currently in North Carolina but may possibly relocate back to Houston, TX for family reasons.

How do I convert my background into something an inspection business owner would find attractive and worth opening up opportunities to? Practical next steps after online training is done? I’d like to be as ready to go as possible before I pull the pin on my current job…I’ve grown sort of used to eating and paying the bills.

Hopefully I haven’t asked stupid questions or made too big a fool of myself…I’ve seen some folks ask questions and get flamed pretty hard on here. Again, any assistance is greatly appreciated and if you just can’t resist…flame away. :twisted:


Start with Control Panel top left so we know where you live .
Read this forum lots of great info is continually posted here .
Take the NACHI courses they are free and will increase you knowledge big time .

It seems as though you have a solid background that would allow you to easily slide into a portion of this job; speaking with people, observing, recording, and reporting. As far as home inspecting goes I don’t know your current technical skills in the field, knowing what you’re looking at. Which is a very important important piece of the puzzle but this can be learned from the education here and field training.

I’m not clear from your post if you are looking to work for a multi inspector company or go it alone. If your looking to work for someone I would do some research in your area and contact the companies. I’m sure they could offer you insight into what they are looking for.

If going it alone is your goal along with the educational classes offered here I would recommend trying to locate someone in your area to shadow. This will give you the opportunity to get the field training that is needed previous to trying to get your own fee paid inspections. I also recommend that you start paying attention to the marketing section of this MB.

There are many steps needed to launch a business. Get all your ducks in a row so when the time comes your ready to hit the ground running.

Best of luck!

Welcome John!

Now that the cranky, senile, old geezer from Canada that fails to read and comprehend others posts is out of the way…

I agree with Chip’s post, and also a note that IF you are seriously considering moving to TX… you need to research THEIR requirements and start fulfilling them NOW as they are the most stringent in the country (to my knowledge). I would hate for you to go in assuming you are gold, and wind up with no income for years while you attempt to play catch-up!

As for mentoring/tag-alongs, plan on traveling 100+ miles from the area you plan to operate in. Most do not want to help out the future competition. As much as I don’t mind competition, I don’t need any more direct in my local area.

Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to reply everybody, I appreciate it.

Info I didn’t provide in the first post:

The move to Texas is a big if right now and if it were to happen it wouldn’t be until late spring/early summer of 2017. I do have the benefit of retirement income to work with, so I can make it for a good while but really would rather get up and working sooner rather than later. I have the benefit of several months to finish the online portion and then pursue the field training or shadowing part time as my time allows. I’m trying to figure out if what I do here in NC is transferable to TX, I don’t see any reciprocity between the two states for licensing.

My technical knowledge is that of an experienced homeowner but I don’t have any great trade knowledge. My strength is attitude and ability to learn and take direction. I get the general concepts but need a bit of guidance as I learn. I think I mostly need a good teacher to get experience with the ins and outs. Once I get on my feet I retain and progress quickly most of the time.

I’m not looking to run my own business. I’d prefer to be an employee or contractor as I don’t really want to deal with the business headaches. I’d rather follow assignments and concern myself with returning with a quality finished product with minimal need for supervision.

To those of you that hire inspectors/employees…do you even bother with new guys in the business or do you only take those with years of direct experience? Am I kidding myself about getting in and up working with a quality company? Does what I am shooting for sound realistic?

Thank you again for the help.


I don’t think there is.

As Jeffrey Jonas mentioned, Texas has it’s own rules and regulations that are unique to Texas, even down to how the report looks.

And outside of the legal side, every area has it’s own codes, common practices and way of doing things.

Just based on my own experience, what’s common in many states is uncommon in California, and vise versa. Even in Los Angeles, I have pay attention to if I’m in the city limits or outside of the city limits, as some requirements and common practices change.

If you’re planing on staying in NC, then look up Preston Sandlin of Inspection Carolina. He runs a multi-inspector firm, and I believe he’s hired both seasoned and newbie inspectors at different points.

He occasionally reads this board, but not very often.

If you are in Texas, meet me here this weekend:

Does nobody pay attention anymore?

(John) Jake… let the above be a lesson for you on how important it is to pay attention to, and listen to, your Clients in this business! NOTHING pisses a Client off more than being ignored!

Come to the convention and check out the area.

I personal find your credentials impressive. I am gearing up over the winter to hire next year and I would prefer somebody that has the personality and drive over a “seasoned” inspector. I don’t much like teaching an old dog new tricks and that is about what I would have to do.

The problem that you will run into is finding a company that is hiring in the area that you are looking to live in. Most companies are single or team inspectors consisting of family. In my area there is no inspection company that is a multi firm that does not consist of a father an son or brother ect. so most don’t hire.

Good luck to you though and it seems like you are a successful person in what ever you try to do.

Just to elaborate:

Florida and California are the two most difficult exams (contractor and inspector licensing) IMHO. Of course, your mileage may vary, as the saying goes.

It takes awhile to build trust and relationships in a new area and in a new field, and the larger companies will have business already.

Your reporting and observation skills will be very important, however prepare to spend some serious time learning. Anyone who is honest on here will admit they still are learning (building science is not static, after all) and being new to the field you will have to invest some energy and time. if you do all the classes here, it is a good start, but it is only a start. I really wouldn’t attempt going it alone until you’ve worked with another inspector, for both you and your future client’s sake.

And as hinted at above, do not expect reciprocity in any state, if you relocate, with inspection licensing, it is even more nascent (as in non-existent) than contractor license reciprocity.


California does not have Inspector licensing, and Florida is probably the EASIEST!

If you are referring the NHIE, well, that’s just a f*cked up exam altogether!

It was lumped all together in one sentence, both states and contractor exams, this was overly general and confusing. Thank you for clarifying for the O.P.

Edit: I have dealt with the DPRB in FL and have lived and worked in both FL and CA.