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How to Become a Home Inspector in Michigan

Olivia Oksenhorn 1/26/23 8:57 AM

Michigan doesn't regulate home inspectors, so you are not legally required to complete home inspector education or become licensed to operate as a home inspector in the state. But it can be worthwhile to get certified and pass the National Home Inspector Exam.  

It can be complicated to understand what you need to do to become a professional home inspector in an unregulated state, but our comprehensive guide will help you prepare to hit the ground running as a home inspector in Michigan. 

Prepare with a Home Inspector Course

Michigan does not have formal education requirements for prospective home inspectors. However, completing a state-recognized home inspection course is highly recommended. 

There's a plain and simple explanation as to why investing in a certification course is worthwhile: it makes you reputable. 

Agents and clients alike will trust you more if you can show that you are reliably trained and properly educated. A certification course will also teach you business and industry best practices, which are crucial to know if you plan on starting your own company.

Education courses like those offered by ICA will adequately prepare you to inspect homes in your state. 

As a bonus, a certification course will set you apart from your uncertified competition. 

Take (and Pass) the National Home Inspection Exam

Home inspectors in Michigan are not required to become licensed. But similar to taking a certification course, passing the NHIE has its benefits. As a licensed home inspector, you'll have more credibility. 

Passing the NHIE is no walk in the park. The test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, 25 of which are not scored. While you can take the exam multiple times, you will have to wait 30 days between tests, and each time, you'll have to pay the $225 exam fee.    

Register Your Business or Join a Home Inspection Company

After you complete your education and licensing, you have two options for launching your career:

  1. Start your own home inspection business
  2. Join a multi-inspector company

If you value independence and want to build your own business, starting a home inspection company might be the option for you. If mentorship and learning under the guidance of home inspectors in the field is important for you, it's probably best to join an existing home inspection company.

Inspectors starting their own businesses will need to register as either a sole proprietor or as an LLC in Michigan. 

There are pros and cons to both options, but all that matters is choosing the right career path for you. 

Get Insurance Coverage

Insurance is a "must-have" for home inspectors. 

Because Michigan is an unregulate state, you don't legally need insurance coverage to be a home inspector — but accidents happen and it's best to be prepared. 

General liability insurance and/or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance are generally affordable and will save you money in the event that a worst-case scenario does happen on the job. To evaluate your options, shop for insurance online or speak to a professional who understands the needs of your business.    

Join a Professional Home Inspector Association

Joining an association of professional home inspectors is an excellent way to network and a worthwhile tool for growing as a home inspection professional. Seasoned home inspectors can give you valuable advice as you're starting out. Additionally, home inspection can be a relatively isolated job day-to-day, an association can give you a sense of community. 

Start Inspecting

After certification, licensing, getting insurance coverage, and registering your business (if you're striking out on your own), it's time to start inspecting homes. 

To actually inspect a home, you'll need to take a few more steps:

  1. Build out your home inspector toolkit: you'll need the basics (like a ladder and flashlight), and you can spend more on tools that can up your inspection game (like a thermal imaging camera or a drone). 
  2.  Find your software: not all software is created equal, so it's important to do your research. The best software is user-friendly, delivers clean reports, and saves you time and energy on the job.   
  3. Start marketing your business: from cold-calling realtors to building a social presence to SEO, you have many options for how you market your business. Stuck on ideas? Check out our home inspector marketing ideas for 2023

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Frequently Asked Questions

 How much do home inspectors make in Michigan?

The average cost of a home inspection in Michigan is $402, as of 2022. If a full-time home inspector does 100 home inspections in a calendar year, they could expect to make a salary of $40,200. With add-on inspection services such as mold and radon, inspectors can increase their average revenue per inspection.   

Do I need a license to be a home inspector in Michigan?

No, Michigan does not require home inspectors to be licensed. Regardless, prospective home inspectors in Michigan should consider becoming licensed as it will build trust with agents and homebuyers.  

What are the requirements for becoming a home inspector in Michigan?

There are no official prerequisites for becoming a home inspector in Michigan, as the state doesn't regulate the industry. However, industry experts still recommend completing education and licensing as it gives home inspectors the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be successful and thorough. 

Multi-inspector companies may also require new hires to have a high school diploma or GED.  


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