In New Jersey, the home inspection industry is regulated by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. What does that mean? For prospective home inspectors, it means there's a formalized process for obtaining and maintaining a home inspection license.
Here are the steps you need to take to become a home inspector in New Jersey.
You'll probably have this one under your belt, but New Jersey Home inspectors must have either a high school diploma or GED.
Because New Jersey regulates the home inspection industry, home inspectors must complete training to become licensed.
Inspectors in the Garden State must take 180 hours of classroom education and complete at least 40 hours of supervised inspections in the field to meet training requirements. Unfortunately, you cannot get paid for any inspections during the training process.
Yes, that's a lot of training before you begin your career, but taking a state-approved training course will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a home inspector.
Time to prove you retained some knowledge over your 180 hours of education; passing the National Home Inspectors Exam (NHIE) is the next step toward becoming a licensed New Jersey home inspector.
The NHIE consists of 200 questions (25 of which are not scored), and is broken up into three sections:
It costs $225 to take the exam, and while you can retake the NHIE as many times as you need to pass, you'll have to wait 30 days between attempts and pay the fee each time.
Accidents happen, no matter how careful you are. Stay protected with insurance coverage.
Even if you wanted to take the risk and waive coverage, you don't have the option in New Jersey; home inspectors are required to purchase errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, with a minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.
Once you're a licensed home inspector, it's time to start your own company or join a multi-inspector firm.
Whether you're starting your own home inspection business or joining an existing company, there are a few things you'll need before you actually start inspecting homes.
If you're licensed in another state and move to New Jersey, you can qualify for reciprocal licensing so long as the licensing requirements meet New Jersey's standards. Contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to ensure your license qualifies.
Yes, every New Jersey home inspector must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years in order to renew their license. You can find a list of 2023 approved CE providers here.
Figuring out pricing is tricky; you need to charge enough to be profitable, but you can risk losing business if you price inspections too high. The general rule of thumb is that you never want to lower the price of an inspection over the course of your career, so make sure you value your inspection high enough right off the bat.
The average cost of a home inspection in New Jersey is $500, so if you're just starting out you can base what you charge on that number. Be sure to research your local area as well; here's how much a home inspection costs in every zip code.