Congratulations, you passed the Washington State Home Inspector Exam and the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE)!!! Now what? You need to answer this question: Should I join a home inspection business or start my own home inspection business?

Self-Employed or Employed?

You have probably already thought about this question before you even started the process of getting your license, but now that you have your license you have a better understanding of the industry. Therefore, now would be a good time to revisit this question and weigh all the pros and cons again. Most Home Inspectors, about 60 – 70% work for themselves, and even though working for yourself comes with freedom, it can carry a lot more responsibility. Choosing to work for an inspection company can relieve the burden of start-up costs, and give you some immediate income, but you will have less control over your schedule. Here are 5 questions to help you decide, just remember to answer the questions based on your personal situation. Whatever your decision is, it’s important to understand the requirements and costs to upkeep your license.

Requirements and Cost

When you are first licensed, your license will expire on your second birthday following the issuance of your license. Then your license will expire every 2 years on your birthday. So, the first period to complete your continuing education will be less than 2 years. Washington state requires you to complete 24 hours of continuing education every renewal period. All of these need to be completed in that 2 year period, not before because these hours can’t be carried over to the next 2 years.

You will get a renewal reminder in the mail 60 Days before your license expires, so you want to make sure you login to your secure access account and update your address if you move. The fee for renewing your license is $375 if renewed on time, otherwise it is $435.

Continuing Education

Most industries with professional licenses require completion of continuing education, yet most people view it as a burden. As a Home Inspector there is always something to learn, or grow your knowledge on. Many people that have been in this industry for years are still learning new things. One of the best pieces of advice I can offer as you continue in your home inspection career, whether it’s on your own or working for someone else, is to always keep learning. Joining a professional trade association or group is a great avenue to find new things to learn. View your continuing education as an investment in you, not a requirement from the Department of Licensing. ​