Which course to take first?

Hi everyone!

I’m going to Toronto to take an IR course in December.
ITC is putting it on. I want to get into Residential and Commercial Thermography. Should I take Thermography Level 1, Building Sciences,
or Residential auditing? The reason I ask is because they all seem similar in design. Which one would be more helpful? These courses don’t seem to have pre-requisites so I’m looking for members who have had these experiences.

Thank you,

Teck 9 Home Inspections

Level I actually is a “certification” (use loosely in these parts).

The others focus on the subject matter of the application.

You must understand Level I before you can do anything.
Building Science (I took Level I & II and Building Science) crams level I into one to 1.5 days of the course. If your a quick learner and you have an experienced class you will come away with a lot.

If you know Home Inspection/ Construction Level I is where you likely need to go. It’s step #1 of 3. Continuing education is required. The other courses cover this. So take them later.

I don’t’think the “certified” IR course here qualifies you for any continuing ed as the instructor is not even a Level I yet. The standards out there generally require a Level III to teach any certification.

David fails to mention that he ask me if I would let him teach
my class back when he was less than a Level II. He does not
want people to know that because he now claims only Level III
can teach classes, which is not true and he knows it. David
has been angry at me ever since he got turned down, but I
ignore him most of the time.

If someone wants to point out an error in our IR class, please
do. It was written by by me and a Level II thermographer
as an entry level course into thermal imaging and buidling
science. Many say it is better than a level one course.

The INFRARED CERTIFICATION takes 112 hours and level one
takes 32 hours.

  1. You or your inspection company must own, lease or be renting an infrared camera.
  2. You must be a member in good standing of InterNACHI. Membership requirements are at: http://www.nachi.org/membership.htm
  3. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Electrical course (free), including all quizzes within, and pass its final exam.
  4. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Plumbing course (free), including all quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  5. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Roofing course (free), including all quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  6. You must complete InterNACHI’s online HVAC course (free), including all quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  7. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Structural course (free), including all quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  8. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Exterior Inspection course (free), including all quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  9. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior Inspection course (free), including all the quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  10. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Moisture Intrusion Inspection course (free), including all the quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  11. You must complete InterNACHI’s online Energy Audit course (free), including all the quizzes within and pass its final exam.
  12. You must take at least 16 hours (two days) of Continuing Education devoted to infrared cameras/thermal imagery or building science in addition to the online courses required for InterNACHI membership and the courses listed above.
  13. You must sign and return the application/affidavit to InterNACHI.

BTW… the vast majority of Level III guys come out of fields other than building inspections and they will tell you they would never attempt to do an IR building inspection because they are not qualified. That’s what they tell me all the time.

Any Level III guys out there want to challenge that?

Titles mean nothing if you do not have experience in the field your doing IR. This too is a fact that David does not like people to know about. Your title does not qualify you for anything in the real world of IR.

I would start with Level 1 and progress to the other more specific applications. Online training is a waste of money. Don’t be fooled by the BS here. Sign up at the Snell Message Board or ITC Message Board and ask trained professionals for advise.

Why do Snell and ITC teach online courses?

I agree!!! I’ve been in the IR business for four years now. I started with Flirs/ITC building science and am going to level 1 next month. Hope to do level 2 in March.

The best advise I can give is start with level 1 and progress from there. Take a path of industry recognized training and you won’t regret it. These courses are not cheap and why would you want to throw money away on a cheap certification that most in the industry do not recognize.

Total waste of time and money/

That’s my point. If you are going to do only home inspections, buy a cheap camera, get the cheap training and cheap certification and pray that what you learned at a webinar will keep you out of court. If you are going to do commercial inspections, electrical inspections, PPDM, Equine or other applications, you are wasting $500 on a worthless webinar.
Here’s what one nationally recognized building professional had to say on this subject:
***It was recently pointed out to me that InterNACHI is offering “Introduction To Infrared Thermography Online Video Course”. I have been told that this course qualifies the InterNACHI Home Inspectors to advertise that they are “Certified” Thermographers.
We have had no rain in Central Florida for 21 days but yet a quick Thermal Assessment by this InterNACHI Certified Thermographer found a home to be free of any water intrusion.

The stain on the ceiling and wall along with the homeowners report confirmed, for me, that the leak was active the last time it rained and that there have been no repairs to the roof to correct the leak.

In this case the inspector used his camera to impress the client. Bells and Whistles. He was hired to find the leak so that it could be repaired before the next rain. The images taken by the InterNACHI inspector that I reviewed were taken in the middle of the day. The home is block construction on the first floor and wood frame on the second. Far too many issues with the thermal inspection to even begin to discuss. Needless to say once again a camera owner was paid to provide a service that he was not qualified to provide and clearly his online training was not sufficient.

I find it amazing that there are inspectors out there that will consider themselves Certified Thermographers after only a few hours of training. ***

Our IR class is for home inspections and light commercial only. I recommend the same thing.

HUNDREDS are now running their IR business from taking our IR class only. The proof is
in the pudding.

Cha chig$$$

Does FLIR or youself make any cha ching$…? :mrgreen:

All the posts have been somewhat helpful, although pretty conflicting. I do want to take an IR course, and I would like to perform energy audits, for homes and commercial. I believe the ITC course for building sciences has a level 1 certification. I took the Nachi course on IR, and I wouldn’t consider it a certification, just a certificate. If I’m to spend $1900 for a 3-4 day course, Lets say I get certification for building sciences, will that allow me to do IR inspections even though I have no previous IR inspections? I could take the thermography class which has a level 1 certification but where does that get me? I guess my thoughts are if I’m going to go and get certified, I would like to use the certification asap so I can benefit from my education. I guess I could take neither and say I’m certified through Nachi and save $1900. Is the ITC just a money grab?

Jarrod Northage
Tech 9 Home Inspections

If you want to do RESNET or BPI energy audits (with an IR camera as part of your service - it is not required)… then you need to follow the RESNET infrared standards for thermal imaging.

Have you read the RESNET standards?

FLIR-ITC building science courses will not give you a level one certification.

If you have not finished the 112 hours of courses required to be INFRARED CERTIFIED, then you are not certified by InterNACHI.

What IR class did you take so far?

I don’t like to get into arguments. Sometimes reasonable people can disagree. But . . .

I don’t agree that online is a waste of money. I took Infraspection’s online Level I. It requires a proctored exam at the end. The online versions can be less informative if you don’t have a camera yet. It’s a good idea to take the camera out and actually DO THE EXERCISES. But know yourself. I do OK without having face-time with the instructor. Some people do not.

Why did I take online? TRAVEL! I live 2 hours from the nearest airport. Unless your final destination is St. Louis or Dallas, you always have to catch a connecting flight. So I would have $1200 into the course before I paid for the course.

As far as certifications, I don’t have any issues with the INACHI “IR Certified”. It is quite a bit of training. And you don’t have to take John’s INACHI course to get the certifications Maybe some out there aren’t applying the standards correctly. But being a Level I doesn’tgive you an instant level of morality either.

One of the most successfull thermographers I know has only a level I.

My suggestion: Get the Level I

Hope that helped


Thanks for the replies, I took the NachiTV Building science and Thermography, and recieved my certificate. Where do I find the rest of the IR courses?

John I found your link on a previous post. I’ll check it out. I was on the ITC webite and did a short course on a specific model i7 to see if it interested me but I’m going to get a bcam sd instead.

Jarrod, your statement about ITC being a money grab tells me you have no clue about this industry. No offence but ITC is one of the world leaders in Infrared training and their training is not only superb but well recognized by industry leaders.

You should do some more homework, call ITC and talk to someone. For that matter call The Snell group or Inframation. All three are well recognized.
If your serious about this business there is no cheap training that will pay off in large dividends later. If your only going to use if as a flashy add on to your inspection business than by all means go get the cheap training. Only problem is, and this is what I think the experienced Thermographers like myself are trying to tell you is that this will lead you down a path away from home inspections. A path that pays better per hour than any job I’ve previously had. But to get to that point you need good training. One of the top instructors in the country told me a while back that if money is tight hold off on buying another /better camera but do the training, good training, the kind of training that this industry is starting to demand.

As far as energy audits go, once you have your level I and your fairly comfortable inspecting houses you can take the BPI course. But, to do a proper audit you will need a blower door, cost 2500.00 add another 1000.00 for you BPI certification plus software, I use TREAT which cost me 450.00 but am thinking of trying Homegauge.

Anyway, your best bet is to take a level I course. Good luck!!

I’m just curious about a couple things. Nachi’s course is around 140 hours.Free as far as* I know. Taking a 40hour course that’s $1900 plus expenses comes to $3500. Seems Like a no brainer. Seems like some of you are saying that Nachi’s educational tools mean nothing. So why did you guys join. Why would Nachi offer such an extensive course if their not going to back you. Why wouldn’t Nachi’s certification be enough? *

I was just reading the Nachi requirements for Certification, and it states that an extra 16 hours of IR training is needed. So not really free. Thanks to all who have replied to this post. Very informative forum. This forum has put me on the right path too success.



Yup, exactly that.

Now tell me why I should pay you more than $99 for a home inspection?