How to become a
home inspector in
Last Updated: August 28, 2023
When you decide to become a home inspector in Rhode Island, you are embarking on an amazing journey! Whether you have construction and contracting experience, or you are starting from scratch, you can become a great inspector–but first, you have to meet the Rhode Island home inspector requirements. We wanted to help you out, so we researched those requirements below so that you don’t have to.
The Rhode Island Home Inspector Requirements
The Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board established and regulates the Rhode Island home inspector license requirements. There are two levels of licensure that you can obtain: An Associate Home Inspector License, or a Home Inspector License. While the Home Inspector license requires you to perform 50 more inspections than the Associate Home Inspector license, that is the only substantial difference. Here are the requirements for both of these licenses:
- Have a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent.
- Pass the PSI National Home Inspector Examination.
- Documentation of 50 supervised inspections (for an Associate Home Inspector license) or 100 inspections (for a Home Inspector license).
- Obtain errors and omissions insurance and general liability insurance with minimum limits of $500,000.
- Provide evidence of Workers’ Compensation Coverage (if you have employees).
With how these two licenses are set up, it is fairly simple to first obtain your Associate Home Inspector license by completing 50 supervised inspections, and then you can apply for a Home Inspector license after completing 50 more inspections.
Once you have everything ready, submit your application, along with the $200 fee, and you’ll be ready to inspect homes! But, we provide a breakdown of the major Rhode Island home inspector requirements below.
Pass the National Home Inspector Examination.
After passing the education component of the Rhode Island home inspector license requirements, you should be ready to take the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE), which is administered by PSI.
The NHIE contains around 200 questions and will cover various aspects of home inspections, including how to set up and run your business. To prepare, we recommend that you take the exam after you have completed an education course, as it will help you pass on your first try. If you are still unsure, ask other inspectors about how they prepared (and how they would better prepare with hindsight). Finally, consider studying the prep material that NHIE offers. We know that you will pass it with flying colors!
Perform in-field inspections.
Whether you perform paid or unpaid inspections, the Rhode Island home inspector requirements are clear: you are required to perform inspections and gain field experience before getting your license. Now, if you are just starting out, and you want to get an Associate home inspector license, you are required to perform 50 inspections while supervised by a licensed Home Inspector (not an Associate Home Inspector). Document these inspections (including who supervised them), and submit them along with your application.
As stated earlier, you can become a fully licensed Home Inspector if you provide documentation of at least 50 additional inspections (100 total), which do not need to be supervised. Whether supervised or unsupervised, use this period of time to hone your craft: ask your supervising inspector for suggestions on report writing, inspection practices, and any other questions you may have. If you use this time well, you will take a huge step on the way to become a home inspector in Rhode Island.
Before you have begun inspecting, you may not be convinced about the purpose of insurance, even if it is in the Rhode Island home inspector requirements. Simply put, you are inspecting one of the biggest expenses in your clients’ lives: their homes. If you mess up by breaking something or not reporting a defeat, they will not take it lightly–and neither should you, which is where insurance comes in. The Rhode Island home inspector insurance requirements are as follows:
Professional Liability / Errors and Omissions (E&O)
Limits of $500,000 / $500,000 or more.
General Liability / Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Limits of $500,000 / $500,000 or more.
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, often referred to as professional liability coverage for home inspectors, protects you when your clients accuse you of missing something during their inspection, like signs of roof damage—or, at the very least, not mentioning it in your report. In other words, you’re protected when clients accuse you of not doing your job right. Obtaining E&O insurance is one of the most important steps on the road to become a home inspector in Rhode Island, as it can protect you from expensive and stressful lawsuits and claims.
General liability covers any property damage or bodily injury to others caused by your inspection. For example, whether you overflow the sink while testing it and cause water damage, or someone hurts themselves after following you up your ladder, you will be covered with general liability.
If you have employees in Rhode Island, you need to provide them with Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Workers’ compensation requirements come from the Rhode Island Department of Businesses and Professions. (See Chapter § 5-65.1-10..)
Congratulations from InspectorPro
We are incredibly excited for your new journey into the world of home inspecting! We are always happy to help you however we can along the way. Reach out if you have questions, need help, or want to protect your business with the best coverage available. We at InspectorPro are grateful to serve you.