Starting pay for inspector in Michigan

Around here it’s 2 inspections a day for $200 when you work for someone.

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What are your thoughts on a commission (set 38% of every inspection) vs a set salary based on 40 hours a week (this includes on site inspection and report writing). Is 38% appropriate

In the same state?

Wages vary in every market regardless of the state. Investigate your market.

Whatever you feel comfortable with and can work out with the boss.

I’ll work in McDonalds before I will do 2 inspections for $200 for someone else long-term. If you did 180 paid inspections correctly, the boss did not have to correct them, you are more than ready to do it on your own. The rest is just running the business and getting clients, more on this below.

Why are you still working for your boss?

You need to know your worth! what does that mean?

a) can you work on your own? do you want to? do you have what it takes? do you know how? are you willing to learn? will you get enough clients if you go out on your own? what’s holding you back?
b) can you find a job working for someone else that pays more? call them and ask! tell them you want to work for them instead of your current boss :slight_smile:
c) What is the minimum you will work for long-term for someone doing 10 inspections a week?

If you don’t know the answers to above and you wish to get paid more, you need to find the answers. In other words, it’s up to you if you wish to get paid more. In this business you normally do not make decent money working for someone else.


Like Simon asked, why are you still working for your boss?

This profession lends itself to being on your own.

That said, there’s lots to consider and think about prior to running your own show.

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You should walk. That’s crazy.

The boss provides tools and equipment and pays for further education and advancements for his inspectors. I wake up look at my work calendar full and know where to go. There is no worry about self marketing or any overhead costs. He is a great boss and even paid for my car repair when I did not have enough money to fix it (because of the job lol). I see the company growing really fast and in a great direction and with opportunities for advancement as it grows.

I have absolutely no complaints except for the training wage not knowing if what he was paying me was reasonable. I also don’t know what other inspectors with 5 months experience are making.

If you don’t want and or cannot go out on your own, call around other multi-inspector firms and ask them how much they would pay someone with your experience. That is the only true way to find out. Pay varies greatly with area and company.


…AND… perks and benefits… which could be more valuable then the actual pay!!!


You should make $200.00 per inspection at the company cost of $350.00.

What company are you working at I need some training and I just passed my CPI exam im based out of Michigan.

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Based on the information you provided it seems you like and respect your employer. I would recommend for you to set up a meeting with him and discuss your future with the company. Explain to him you think you bring value to the organization and would like to be compensated for it. As an owner, believe me it is difficult to find and keep valuable employees.


If you ain’t greedy and want to be in control of your time & life there are very few professions which can deliver the bacon like being your own boss as a home inspector. The trick of course is being proficient in construction methods and technology while possessing strong communication skills, it looks a lot easier than it is in reality. Of course there will always be those those corporate types (spit) who can screw up a free lunch by introducing scientific management methods to extract profits from the labor of others who they can underpay while training their competition. Go figure.

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Going on your own is much more difficult than most people think.
On average, most people who try go out of business
See: What is the Survival Rate For Home Inspectors?

My crew under me do’t worry about going out of business. They don’t worry about marketing, they don’t worry how to make the phone ring, they know they’re going to get jobs to go to.

Meanwhile I pay for the NACHI memberships, I buy their tools, their ladders, I pay for all their insurance, (E&O and GL AND workman’s comp), milage, software, phones, etc. I even recently started offering health care benefits. Oh, and I even pay them while they’re in training.

Meanwhile, if they miss something, I’m the one getting sued, not them.

There is a value in being an employee inspector. They have no risk, no start up costs, no expenses, and I still pay way more than they would working most jobs once they’re trained.


I know we’re in a different market, but have done a fair amount of research on average pay, here is a range I’ve discovered.

Hourly: $25-$30 per hour

Salary: $60,000-$85,000

Percentage: 27.5% - 50% of inspection (and/or ancillary inspection) fees

Benefits may include: Mileage reimbursement OR monthly gasoline pay, full out work vehicle

Cell phone OR cell phone reimbursement

Medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 401k

Training and organization membership fees, license renewal costs

Paid time off, sick leave, other types of leave

OTHER (fringe) benefits: Gym membership, audiobook membership, charity matching

Intangible benefits: Scheduling flexibility, Autonomy,
Advancement opportunities, Healthy work culture and Work life balance

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Compensation for the amount of work you are doing seems low. Having said that, my understanding is that you have been working for your employer for 5 months.
You like your boss and get along well with him. He provides all the necessaries for you to do your job (even helped to get your wheels back on the road). I sense you are happy working for him as opposed to the thought of striking off on your own (which can be overwhelming and stressful). It seems you are more comfortable with security (employee) than risk (self-employed) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is your choice and what you are comfortable with as you move forward. You are working very hard for your money and bills need to be paid. If your boss is happy with you and if he values you as an asset to his business he will compensate you accordingly. Be patient. His timeline and yours need some tweaking that is all. Communicate honestly with your boss and let him know you are looking forward to discussing your future with his company. Ask for a day and time when you can do that. I know it’s easier said than done, but be patient and, keep learning. Good luck and it would be great if you could give us an update on how things are turning out for you.

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Thank you Geoffrey and thank you all for your response. Hearing from all of you gives me the sense that although we may not be in the same area, we look out for each other in this industry. I have scheduled a time to chat with my boss and hope all goes well. I realize my value to the company a little better now and what the pay in the industry is like too.

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Good luck. I would suggest you indicate that you are no longer in training and should receive more money. Usually, I’ve seen where inspectors get about 50% of the value of each inspection once they are able to be on their own with minimal oversight. After you get about a year’s worth of experience and have had no real issues, then you should expect another raise, but at the same time making sure you are offering more to the company than just doing basic inspections. In order to do that, get additional training and be able to do more ancillary inspections…that’s where the extra income is to the company. Sounds like you are doing that already. Good luck.