How to become a
home inspector in

Last Updated: August 28, 2023

So you’ve decided to become a home inspector in Washington. Here at InspectorPro, we are excited for you and rooting you on! We know that you probably have a lot on your mind, from marketing to equipment, but have you also been thinking about the Washington home inspector requirements that you must fulfill to be licensed? Whether you have or haven’t don’t worry about it: we’ve got you covered with this list of Washington home inspector licensing requirements so that you don’t need to stress.

Learn how to become a home inspector in Washington with information on licensing and insurance requirements.

What are the Washington home inspector requirements?

The Washington State Department of Licensing enforces the licensing requirements to become a home inspector in Washington. Here is a simplified list of what you will need to do:

  • Complete a Washington-approved 120 hour home inspection course.
  • Complete 40 hours of supervised field training that covers at least 5 actual inspections (with reports).
  • Apply for and successfully pass the state-approved examinations.
  • If you are a pest inspector, obtain one of four insurance options:
    • $25,000 in E&O
    • $25,000 surety bond
    • $12,500 surety bond, plus $25,000 in nonoccurrence-based E&O
    • $25,000 assigned account

Once you have fulfilled these Washington home inspector requirements, you may apply online to get your license. Once your application has been approved, you may begin inspecting homes immediately! For more information on the major requirements, read further.

Complete a 120-hour training course.

To start on the list of Washington home inspector requirements, you must successfully complete a 120-hour home inspector training course. This course will teach you about the systems you will inspect, reporting practices, as well as how to run your inspection business successfully. Find a list of board-approved course providers on their website here. Each of these providers have met the standards to teach you what you need to know as a new Washington home inspector.

This course will teach you a lot about what it means to be a home inspector. As you strive to become a home inspector in Washington, you will want to develop skills, relationships, and your knowledge of home inspection practices. Aside from teaching you the necessary basics, this course can help you network with other inspectors, meet mentors for life, and ask any questions about marketing, inspecting, and report writing that you can think of.

Complete 40 hours of supervised in-field training and produce 5 reports.

In addition to your coursework, you must document that you completed 40 hours of in-field experiential training performing at least 5 separate inspections. For the 5 inspections, you must produce a report for each to submit alongside your inspection. You could complete this Washington home inspector requirement through a training school (many schools offer experiential courses where you inspect homes), or through an inspector who is willing to supervise you for this requirement.

Use this valuable experience to level up your home inspection skills with practical advice from the supervising home inspector. Ask any questions about the standards of practice, report writing, and tips of the trade that you can, and take notes! Then, write those 5 inspection reports with the goal of getting feedback and criticism so you can improve.

Pass the state-approved exam.

After completing both the in-class and in-field education requirements to become a home inspector in Washington, you will be ready to attempt the exam. You will apply online for your license (showing documentation that you have completed the previous requirements), and then the testing vendor will send you either an email or a letter providing information on how to schedule your exam, including your testing ID.

You will then go to the testing vendor’s website to schedule the exam using your testing ID. It will be in the “Real Estate” category, in the “Washington Home Inspector” program, and under the “Home Inspector Examination.” You will need to bring your photo ID to the testing center.

To prepare for this exam, review the Home Inspector Examination Candidate Handbook, as well as the notes and information from your courses. Also, ask other inspectors in your state about what parts of the exam they wish they had studied for more thoroughly. Prepare well and you will have no concerns about passing this exam!

For Pest Inspectors: Obtain Insurance.

Professional Liability / Errors and Omissions (E&O) Requirement

The Washington home inspector requirements, as established by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, require you to carry at least one of four options for insurance:

  • $25,000 in E&O
  • $25,000 surety bond
  • $12,500 surety bond, plus $25,000 in nonoccurrence-based E&O
  • $25,000 assigned account

For the first option, errors and omissions insurance (E&O), deals with protecting you when your clients accuse you of missing something during their inspection—or, at the very least, leaving it out of your report. Simply put, you’re protected when clients accuse you of not doing your job right. We recommend that you carry this insurance, as it has the most practical use for home inspectors. To learn more about this and general liability coverage (the other most popular coverage for home inspectors), read the article on our blog.

We recommend that, whether or not you are a pest inspector, you consider carrying both general liability and E&O for your business because it deserves proper protection.

Apply for E&O and/or GL Insurance

For the second option, surety bonds are typically cheaper, but they are only designed to protect third parties, while E&O insurance can actually lighten your financial and emotional burden while battling a claim. Explore the differences between bonds and insurance policies in our blog post.

The third option is just a mix of the first two, while the last option just means that you must provide proof that you have an assigned account with $25,000 set aside in case you have a claim.

Congratulations from InspectorPro

You have come a long way in completing the Washington home inspector requirements, and that means you have something to celebrate! Congratulations on taking a giant leap toward fulfilling your new dream. We hope that this list has been helpful for you in your journey. Reach out if you ever have questions, need help, or want to protect your business with the best coverage available. InspectorPro will always be happy and willing to serve you.