What Is the Typical Salary of a Home Inspector?

If you're looking for a career that requires knowledge of construction, electrical, plumbing and other building-related fields, becoming a home inspector could be the right choice for you. Read on to learn how the salary of a home inspector varies by the type of work, experience level and location. Schools offering Home Inspection degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

A home inspector examines new and existing structures, mainly single family homes, to detect any building code violations, structural defects or weaknesses in plumbing, electrical or other systems. Most often this is done on behalf of a home buyer or seller, with many home inspectors offering these services as self-employed contractors. Workers in this field are considered part of the construction and building inspection industry.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012 construction and building inspectors had a median annual wage of $53,450 (www.bls.gov). The lowest ten percent of salaries reported were $32,050 or under, while those in the highest ten percent made $83,760 or more a year, according to the BLS. PayScale.com reported in January 2014 that most home inspectors earned between $25,223 and $86,831 annually.

Salaries by Industry

Your employer and the type of work performed will have a bearing on the salary of construction and building inspectors. The BLS noted that in May 2012, individuals who worked for waste treatment and disposal companies made the highest average wage of $76,190, while those who worked for state government made a much lower average wage of $50,680. Local government and architectural and engineering services firms employed the most construction and building inspectors, and mean wages in these industries were $55,600 and $54,060, respectively.

Salaries by Location

According to the BLS, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania were states with the highest construction and building inspector employment in May 2012. Mean wages for the states ranged from $47,430-$73,290. The BLS also reported that states with the top mean pay for this profession included the District of Columbia ($74,700), California ($73,290), Nevada ($70,960), Alaska ($67,710) and Washington ($65,680). The lowest mean pay range was $27,730-$46,860 and was found in states that included South Dakota, Maine, Indiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Idaho.

Salaries by Experience

According to a January 2014 PayScale.com report, home inspectors who had less than a year of experience made salaries of $29,479-$51,613. Earnings increased to $24,083-$60,820 with 1-4 years of experience, and inspectors with 5-9 years of experience earned $18,246-$123,291.

Career Advancement

If you'd like to earn a higher salary as a home inspector, you can pursue education, certification and membership in home inspection associations, including the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). The BLS reported that undertaking these tasks, which should be completed along with the licensing or certification that many states require, could lead to higher salaries.

Education and Certification

Some schools offer certificate programs that prepare you for you're a home inspection license. In these programs you'll study the principles of inspection and how they apply to major systems, including heating, air conditioning, plumbing, insulation and more. You'll also learn how to write accurate reports and receive an introduction to ethics.

Becoming a Certified Real Estate Inspector (CRI) through NAHI is not necessary to work as a home inspector, but it could help you obtain a higher salary. You must complete 250 paid inspections to qualify, as well as successfully pass an examination to receive certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • University of Alaska

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