Changing careers is risky. Should you quit your job and live off your savings while you get your next venture off the ground? Many businesses require you to go "all in" from the start. But home inspecting isn't one of them. The nature of the business is friendly to part-timers. In fact, Ben Gromicko, the President of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, actually recommends that inspectors begin part-time.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you're thinking about becoming a home inspector part-time.
It's quite common for inspections to happen on weekends and in the late afternoons when there's still daylight. An average Spectora inspection takes two or three hours and the report writing is largely done during the inspection.
Spectora inspectors make about $450 per inspection in 2022, not including possible add-ons like radon, or mold testing. No matter who you are, making $450 to work a few hours on a Saturday morning is a good deal.
If you do the math, even three inspections a month can net you more than $16,000 in a year and that's not nothing. Realtors who are happy with your work will keep referring you. Eventually, you'll know when to make the leap to full-time.
Becoming a home inspector will cost money, but the investment is fairly modest compared to other businesses. In our cost breakdown article, we estimate that it could cost about $1,200 on the low end if you keep costs at a minimum. A more realistic estimate is $2,500. Fortunately, you often don't have to pay it all upfront, you can upgrade your equipment and tech as you go along, and the high profitability of home inspection means even a part-timer will recoup their losses in their first year.
About half of the states require a license of some sort to be a home inspector. Here's a full map of each state's license requirements. Licensing is often (but not always) straightforward and involves proving that you have been properly trained, passing a background check, and getting insurance. The upside to a licensing process is that they tend to keep non-serious inspectors out of the industry.
Other states, like California, have zero licensing requirements. This means that you're a home inspector if you say you are. In these states, getting certified, insured, and set up with a professional website and software is critical to establish your credentials and trustworthiness.
Are there too many home inspectors? The data says no. In fact, based on the National Association of Realtors projected home sales in 2022, with an estimated 30,000 home inspectors (according to InterNACHI), there are 190 homes for every home inspector in America. Particularly for part-time inspectors, that's more than enough.
Want to learn more? Read on about why home inspecting might be the best side hustle of 2022.