Gaining experience

To give a little background, I am a culinary graduate and have been a chef for the past 20 years but I lost my spark and needed a new career change. I’m currently taking the courses and passing my exams but as I don’t have any experience nor do I know anything relative to home building I realized that as a woman with 0 knowledge that I’ll have to work harder than most. My question is how do I gain the hands on knowledge? I’ve reached out to a number of fellow NACHI members in my area asking if I could shadow them and haven’t gotten any responses. I’ve been looking online for inspection jobs but I honestly don’t feel like I’m ready for that yet. Not without some hands on training first.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Where are you located Kim?

Hello Kim. Welcome aboard. Larry will be along shortly to give some pointers.

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I live in Chester County Pennsylvania

Hi Kim, contact some CMIs or CPIs within 40 to 50 miles, or closer, to your area and communicate with them. Maybe one, or more, will help you. Some inspectors feel as though they are training their competition by ride-alongs or mentoring or hiring.

Here is the link for CMIs: Find a Certified Master Inspector®

And the link for CPIs: Find Certified Home Inspectors Near You - InterNACHI®

And Mentors: https://www.nachi.org/mentoring and https://www.nachi.org/my/mentoring

Also, you may want to take advantage of your Education Team at education@internachi.org for specific questions e.g. 15 Steps to Become a Successful Home Inspector - InterNACHI® and InterNACHI® Master Class for Home Inspectors .

P.S. Welcome to our forum. Enjoy!

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Kim, many of us know how to cook, but don’t know how to Chef. Culinary is a process with end results as is constructing and building a home. Very similar in ingredients, components and how it’s done. If you look at it this way, you should do fine.

Here is a good basic article on the process of building a home.

Once you have grasp of that, terminology and building science should be focused on. Much like mastering the perfect cake. What is the process through out.

Once you get familiar with process, inspecting consist of checking the process and making sure it was done the way it should have been. Does not matter what your previous background is if you understand what we look at and why. It will take time with many questions asked. That is the reason for these forums.

Welcome and Good Luck on your new venture!

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Thank you Thomas for the insight. I have looked at it from that perspective. Thank you for the article. I will definitely read it. I think it’s mostly the terminology that gets me. And you’re right, with time and questions I’ll have a much better understanding of it. But will I be ready to go out on my own and get a good job being the best inspector while representing InterNACHI without the hands on?

Typically, no. That hands on is important, Kim. :smile:

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Agreed! I just reached out to some mentors so hopefully I’ll get some replies…

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I see this question posted here very often (or some variation). I don’t think you can be a successful home inspector by taking some online class and not knowing anything about building a home. I watched the others in my AHIT training class - out of 16, 2 are inspecting - both of us had ‘trade’ experience. I imagine the failure rate is quite high for inspectors. I hear everyone say that it takes two years to get the business running productively if you work like hell. I never see any statistics on failure rates posted by InterNACHI, but I bet its way up there. If you want to get into the business you best get somebody to mentor you and show you the ropes. If you look at some of the questions posted on this and other boards it shows a complete lack of building knowledge, which can be overcome - but not by most.

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Thanks for the reply Alan. And I agree. Just like being a chef, I took the classes and earned my degree but that didn’t automatically make me a chef. I had to work my ass off to get to that status. Same with home inspecting. For the fact that many say I won’t succeed because of my lack of knowledge, well, then I don’t want to be put in that box. If that means I have to work harder than most then challenge accepted.

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Awesome first step Kim! You’ll do fine. Study concepts of home construction and find a mentor. :wink:

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Thanks Thomas I appreciate that.

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So, kinda curious… what prompted you to take on Home Inspecting as a career change?

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Hi Jeffrey. Well I’m very detail oriented and home construction isn’t something I know about. I’ve always been interested in the process but my career consumed all of my time. The pandemic has me not working as much right now so with extra time in my hands I’ve been researching my options and came across home inspection. Tbh it’s way more than I thought it would be but it’s not deterring me. Until I can find a mentor I’ve been doing reading, taking my exams, studying, watching videos… Just trying to learn as much as I can.

So what exactly was it that made you say “I wanna be a Home Inspector!”?

Kim.
Gaining some experience now will give you more confidence, help focus your studies, and very well may help you find work when you are ready to start your career.

Very soon you will have an Internachi training center just a 2 hour drive away where you can practice on the “House of Horrors” model. 1025 Alliance Park Dr, Bloomsburg, PA, United States. This is just 3 miles from my father-in-law’s house. As soon as Covid is over, I’ll be visiting. I have been to the one in Boulder, CO already.
https://northeasttraininginstitute.com/

Also, you can shadow an experienced inspector and learn a lot about how inspections are actually performed. I mentored a woman who was a veterinarian’s assistant before and now a year later she is fully licensed and insured and works with me and she is awesome.

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You can volunteer at some Habitat builds to gain additional perspective.

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Check www.habitatforhumanity.org for organizations near you.

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This is great! Thanks for the encouragement. Also, thanks for the news about the horror house. I was ready to fly out to Colorado once the pandemic eased up.

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