Steps to becoming a licensed Home Inspector in the state of Florida:
- 120 Hour Course
- Florida Home Inspector State Exam
- State License Application
- Wind Mitigation Certification
- Associations and Continual Education Units
Being a home inspector is a great asset for an individual purchasing a house or just getting an unbiased opinion of the current state of their home. A home inspector not only states when a house component has to be replaced, a home inspector also can flag a component to be monitored or replaced, avoiding a more costly repair down the road.
Becoming a licensed home inspector in the state of Florida can be a confusing journey, the purpose of this article is to help you navigate through the hoops and hurdles without the least amount of pain. Feel free to come back to this article as you accomplish each step of the journey. Our goal is to help you navigate all the way from the first step, taking your 120 hour course, all the way to the “end” which is joining an association, to strengthen your knowledge as you grow as a licensed home inspector.
120 Hour Course
In the state of Florida, the first step is to pass the 120 hour home inspection course. As of today, I only recommend two schools for this step. And believe it or not, I personally took both classes, because I didn’t want to miss out on any knowledge when I first started my own home inspection career.
The first choice if you are in south Florida and your schedule allows it, in-person class with Manny Gonzalez, at the General. Home Inspection Training Institute.
Instructor: Manny Gonzalez
Manny Gonzalez has over 20 years of experience and he is a legend within the industry. The amount of knowledge that you will get in his in-person training is priceless. His 120hr course is specific to Florida. Students will learn General Standard of Practice, Structures, Electrical System, HVAC System, Roof Covering, Plumbing System, Interior Components, Exterior Components, Site Conditions, Inspection Techniques, and Report Writing. Students will also learn about Insurance Inspections, Termites, Pools and more. This course is definitely worth the money and the time if you are serious about becoming an inspector.
If your schedule does not allow for in-person training your second option is the internachi online 120 hour course. Internachi is the biggest home inspector association in the United State, and they have online libraries full of knowledge for our grasp. If you consider yourself a disciplined student, that does not require someone telling you which subject to do next, or to keep up with your goals, and cannot commit to a structured class schedule this is the best option for you. The online course is divided in sections, easy to absorb, and it allows you to break it into portions, instead of absorbing everything in one sitting.
InterNACHI’s 120 Hour Pre-Licensing Course link: https://www.nachi.org
Both, in-person and online training, will cover the fundamentals of what every home inspector should know to do the basics of a home inspection.
Florida Home Inspector State Exam
Once you have the basics, the second step to obtain your Florida Home Inspector License is to take the Florida State Exam. We prompt the InterNACHI Florida Home Inspector Exam. The advantage of taking it with us, is that if you do not pass the first time, you get an opportunity to attempt to pass the exam a second time within the same day. Usually you only get one opportunity a day, and then there is a waiting period before retaking the test. Register Here!
You can register for the state exam with this link: (make sure you select Ramon Colon as your proctor!) Each attempt has a $133 fee, and you would have up to an hour for each attempt. Register Here!
The exam is composed of 120 questions sourced from:
- The InterNACHI 120 pre-licensing course
- Florida’s Home Inspectors Standard of Practice
- Wood-Destroying Organism course
The day of the test, you will need bring two things with you:
- Your InterNACHI username and password
- Picture ID
We will provide a computer for you to log in and take the test. Please remember no phones are allowed during the test. Once you pass the test we will redirect you to this link again to continue with the next step, the license application.
InterNACHI State Exam FAQ: https://www.nachi.org
State License Application
The application to apply for your state license can be found by clicking the image below and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
As of December 2021, you have to mail the following items with the completed application:
- $230 check to cover the application fee
- Complete the electronic fingerprints, this is done prior to submitting the application at an accepted fingerprint location. The Approved vendor list is in the link above.
- Make sure your name and last name are spelled correctly, legible, and exactly the same way on both the application and the fingerprint paperwork. (This recommendation comes from personal experience. When I applied, my license was delayed two months, because I sent my application without my middle initial, and the finger prints with my middle initial.)
- The fingerprint company of your choice will ask you for the OIR number to send your fingerprints to the right state department. For Home Inspectors the OIR is FL 924250Z, as of 03/01/2022. It is your responsibility to make sure this has not changed.
- Proof that you have General Liability insurance $300K.
- Proof of passing the state exam. A copy of your exam certificate is in your InterNACHI dashboard. If you are not a member, then you can email InterNACHI to the following email to request a exam certificate, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Proof that you pass your 120 hour course. This is a certificate given at the end of your course by the school of your choice. To obtain a copy of it you will have to contact the school where you did your 120 hours.
Wind Mitigation Certification
Once you have received your home inspector license number, if you haven’t done so already, my recommendation is to take the wind mitigation certification. Again I recommend the same two schools to get certified:
Manny Gonzalez’s General Home Inspection Training:
Instructor: Manny Gonzalez
InterNACHI’s Wind Mitigation Course
Associations and Continual Education Units
Once you are a licensed home inspector and you have completed your wind mitigation certification, then you can officially and legally start your licensed home inspection career.
As a home inspector the learning never stops, the state requires us to get at least 14 Continual Education Units (CEUs) for the renewal of our license every two years. The CEUs consist of 14 continual education hours approved by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Two hours must be focused on a wind mitigation course, and the remaining twelve hours can be education of any system of a home.
Florida Association of Building Inspectors, commonly known as FABI provides great technical and quality knowledge for Home Inspectors in the state of Florida. They have four conferences a year, and we are fortunate to have one of them in Broward county. For information on FABI’s conference please visit: https://fabi.org/
South Florida inspectors are the most equipped and qualified home inspectors, because not only do we have a FABI conference once a year in our backyard, we also have the local Home Inspector Association of South Florida, commonly known as HIASF. The biggest asset that HIASF has is that all of the classes are focused on properties of Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach counties. Aside from this, the courses give great opportunities to network with other seasoned inspectors in the industry. This is especially beneficial for the new inspectors, seeking experience. Among other benefits, the courses also give the opportunity to learn and network from licensed professionals in other fields, like electricians, roofers, etc. Which is a great resource for our clients when we recommend repairs in our inspections. For more information on HIASF visit their website at https://homeinspectorsofsouthflorida.com.
The journey of becoming a licensed home inspector is a lengthy process, but it is worth it. I became a licensed home inspector back in 2015, and the journey though it has had its peaks and valleys, is definitely a journey I would do twice. I hope that this article helps you find a clear path to your license and new career.