How to become a
home inspector in North Carolina
Now that you have decided to become a home inspector in North Carolina, you have a few preparations to take care of. First and foremost, you need to meet the North Carolina home inspector license requirements–but where can you find them? The Home Inspector Licensure Board (HILB) manages licenses for home inspectors in North Carolina, and you can find the specific requirements and details on their website.
But, you are probably busy setting everything else up for your inspection business, and you may not have the time to parse through the website looking for various requirements. To give you a leg up, we took the time to list them in a simple format below.
North Carolina Home Inspector Requirements
Before submitting your application and becoming an inspector, you have to meet various prerequisites to become a home inspector in North Carolina. The simple list of prerequisites are as follows:
- Have either a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent.
- Complete a 120-hour home inspection course approved by North Carolina.
- Complete 80-hours of in-field training with at least 10 site visits.
- Pass the North Carolina State Home Inspection Exam.
- Complete and pass a background check.
- Provide proof of required insurance (specifics below).
While the first North Carolina home inspector license requirement is easier to meet, assuming you have completed high school or the equivalent, the rest of the requirements require explanation.
Complete a home inspection course, field training, and site visits.
While the education requirements to become a home inspector in North Carolina are more thorough (and daunting) than many other states with a 120-hour course requirement, you will certainly have a better foundation for your inspections and your business practices. You can find a list of approved education programs on the HILB website.
Many of those courses will also offer 80 hours of in-field training, which will fulfill the other aspect of the education requirement. Important note: your field training must include visiting at least 10 homes.
Pass the state exam.
After finishing your education requirement, the North Carolina home inspector license requirements state that you must pass the North Carolina State Home Inspection Exam. The registration fee is $80. So long as you complete your coursework and field training, you will be in a good position to pass!
Criminal Background Check
You will need to pass a criminal background check in order to meet North Carolina home inspector requirements. There are various organizations who can run this check for you, such as:
- North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI)
- U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
In case you are worried, just know that having a criminal record does not mean your application will be automatically rejected. The board will review your record according to the state statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. 93B-8.1).
Provide proof of insurance.
In order to become a home inspector in North Carolina, you will need to provide a proof of insurance along with your application showing that you meet the following insurance requirements:
General Liability / Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Limits of $250,000 (per occurrence) / $250,000 (aggregate) or more
Professional Liability / Errors and Omissions (E&O) Requirement
One of three options:
- Limits of $250,000 (per occurrence) / $250,000 (aggregate) or more in E&O
- $5,000 in bonds
- $5,000 in assets
To further explain these North Carolina home inspector insurance requirements, general liability covers any property damage or bodily injury to others caused by your inspection. For example, whether you leave a running faucet on and cause water damage, or someone hurts themselves after following you up your ladder (which we do not recommend), you will be covered with general liability. You are required to have general liability insurance in North Carolina.
The second insurance requirement 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. Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance for home inspectors, also known as professional liability for home inspectors, does just that: you’re protected when clients accuse you of not doing your job right.
The North Carolina home inspector insurance requirements do give you options for this second type of insurance, however. While E&O is the most protective option, you can also decide to fulfill the requirement by carrying a surety bond or proving that you have at least $5,000 in available assets in the case of an error on your part.
Surety bonds are 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.
Once you have completed the prerequisites, applied, and received your license, it will be valid for one year. Renew your license at that time by meeting the following requirements:
- Complete 4 hours of board-developed continuing education courses.
- Complete 8 hours of continuing education elective courses.
We are excited for your journey into home inspection, and we are happy to help however we can. Reach out if you have questions, need help, or want to protect your business with the best coverage available. We are always grateful to serve you.