Just getting started

Can someone help me? I am just getting started (just joined NACHI) and am taking my state exam in 2 weeks. My state requires I perform 25 inspections under the supervision of a licensed HI to become an Associate Home Inspector. I then must complete an additional 100 inspections that are signed off by the supervisor to become a Licensed Home Inspector. My questions is am I better off getting my business off the ground immediately and generating the 100 inspections on my own or should I work for a larger firm part time until I fill my requirements. I currently have a full time job and need the income. Any suggestions on how to get going would be much appreciated.


Hey, Scott.

No one has answered because no one other than you has the answer to those questions.

I’ve always been one to jump straight in and learn how to swim. Sometimes I start sinking and get a mouth full of water, but then self-preservation takes over and I do, indeed, learn how to swim.

Can you find a larger company that will take you on part-time and train you to be the competition? With some deception on your part, you might. Certainly if someone came to me (and they do at least once a quarter) and start by stating, “I want to get into home inspections. Can I work for you for a few months while I learn the ropes?”, well, the polite answer is “I’ve already hired everyone for this season.” My impolite answer is, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Sure, they’ve been honest, and I appreciate that, but I still have to look out for my interests first and foremost. And if they had lied about their interests, and I found out—for example, they might have told another emploee, “I’m only working here for a couple of months until I learn how to do home inspections”—then I have two problems on my hand: an employee who lied to me, and possible other employees upset that I would “train” someone to go out and possibly take business away from us, meaning taking business away from my employees, meaning taking salary, bonuses, and perks away from my employees. And with the liability in this industry, do I have confidence in a part-time employee doing what is necessary to limit the liability of my company?

So I can’t answer your questions, either, but perhaps I’ve provided a little help. And my recommendation would be to jump in with everything you’ve got. Well, not everything. Make sure you have a savings account with enough money in it to pay at least six months worth of your monthly bills.

Thanks for the feedback - that’s exactly what I was thinking. Much appreciated.


I have had a different experience than Russel.

When I first became a lawyer, I was hired by a large white-shoe firm in Philadelphia. Hanging out your shingle as a newly-minted lawyer is really hard because … well, because you don’t know anything. Really.

But you can learn quickly with some mentoring. In the legal profession, it is widely recognized that you lose a lot of young lawyers once they know the ropes. Oddly, no one seems to mind. Unless, you walk out the door with several clients, that is.

I am eternally grateful to the firm that gave me my start and have referred business to it that was too big for me to handle and lawyers in that firm have referred cases to me that were too small for their huge hourly rates, currently north of $400.

I have mentored a dozen young lawyers who subsequently left my employ and suffered no ill effects from their having done so. Now they name me as arbitrator in their cases or give me the 411 on an opposing lawyer they have worked against or let me use their offices when I am in their town. I do the same for them.

One guy, I invited to sit with me while I picked a jury, something I have a particular talent for. I showed him how to start working the jury in his favor even before they are impaneled. Every time he tries a case, he calls me to tell me how much the jury loved him.