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How to Become a Home Inspector in New York

Olivia Oksenhorn 12/23/22 12:00 PM

Thinking of becoming a home inspector? Home inspectors must be licensed in New York, and the state has relatively exhaustive training and education requirements compared to other states in the U.S. 

New York home inspectors are regulated by the New York Department of State and must follow their guidelines. Here's our comprehensive guide for how to become a home inspector in New York. 

1. Complete Education and/or Training

In New York, home inspectors must complete 140 hours of an approved course or perform 100 supervised home inspections before they are able to get a license.    

Complete an Approved 140-Hour Home Inspection Course

To become a licensed home inspector in New York, you must complete an approved 140-hour education course. Of those 140 hours, 40 must be field training with a licensed home inspector.

The New York Department of State has a list of approved qualifying schools, so make sure you choose one that has been approved. Courses like those offered by ICA will prepare you to start inspecting homes in New York and ensure you have all the necessary information and training before jumping in.  

Perform 100 Home Inspections Under Direct Supervision

If classroom education isn't your jam, you can alternatively perform 100 home inspections under direct supervision. These inspections can be paid or unpaid, but all must be done with a licensed inspector. 

2. Pass the NYS Written Exam or the NHIE

In New York, you're required to pass an exam to become a home inspector. You have two options: the National Home Inspector Exam or the New York State Home Inspector License Examination. 

3. Provide Proof of Insurance

Before becoming a home inspector, you'll need to provide proof of insurance. In New York, home inspectors are required to carry a minimum of $150,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate in general liability insurance coverage. 

General liability insurance will protect you on the job in the event that you cause damage or injury to property or people outside of your inspection process. For example, if your ladder falls and damages the property you're inspecting, liability insurance will cover the cost.   

4. Apply for Your License and Pay a $250 Application Fee

After completing training, passing your exam, and providing proof of insurance, you can apply to become a licensed home inspector. There is a $250 fee to apply, but you'll be able to pay that off in no time once you start inspecting.   

5. Start Inspecting

Find Your Software

All good home inspections are done with quality software.  

Good home inspection software will be cloud-based, highly customizable, and protect the data of you and your clients. It's a good idea to shop around and figure out which software meets your needs, but make sure to read reviews as not all software is created equal. 

spectora free trial cta 

Get Your Home Inspector Toolkit

You'll need to build your home inspector toolkit before you start inspecting. For the basics, you'll need a ladder, a flashlight, a gas leak detector, a camera, and a backpack. Tools like a thermal imaging camera or a drone can level up your home inspections and may set you apart from competitors in your area. 

Market Your Business

Congratulations, you're a home inspector! But you need to market your business. There are many marketing strategies for home inspectors, but for a start, you should have a great website, build a social media presence, connect with realtors, and start getting Google reviews. 

We're in the digital age and many inspectors get a large share of their business online. While in-person, face-to-face connection is valuable, you'll also need to put time and resources into your business's digital presence.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I have to renew my license?

New York home inspectors are required to renew their licenses every two years. Additionally, home inspectors must complete 24 hours of continuing education in the two-year period before renewing their license.    

How old do I have to be to become a home inspector?

In New York, home inspectors must be at least 18 years old. You'll also have to have a high school degree or GED to apply. 

Are home inspectors licensed in New York?

Yes, home inspectors in New York are required to be licensed. Home inspectors are regulated by the New York Department of State and must meet all their requirements to practice as a home inspector. 

Am I a licensed home inspector in New York if I am licensed in another state?

If you have your home inspector's license in another state and move to New York, the Department of State will review your proof of licensure in that state with your application. If the education and training are equivalent, the requirements will be waived and you will receive a license. 

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