What to Look for in an Inspector

The State of Texas is one of the few states that regulate Home Inspectors. This is supposed to help insure that qualified and professional home inspectors are evaluating the condition of the homes in our great state.

Some of the large inspection firms hire Apprentice and Real Estate Inspectors to perform inspections under their Professional license and pay them a percentage of the inspection fee. This is an incentive based commission and it is in the Inspection firms and the apprentice or real estate inspectors’ best interest to rush through an inspection so they can do more inspections per day which equals to more pay for both of them. Do you really want someone rushing through the inspection of your multi-thousand dollar investment? Or would you rather have the professional with more experience and education inspect your investment?

Unfortunately the state of Texas has 3 levels of licensed inspectors: Apprentice Inspector, Real Estate Inspector, and Professional Inspector. The education requirements alone should be evidence enough! I have listed the requirements for each so you can be informed that there is a big difference between a Professional Inspector and the other two. These Requirements were taken directly from the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) website.

Application Requirements for an Apprentice Inspector:

  • No Classroom Hours Required

  1. Citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  2. Resident of Texas at the time application is filed
  3. Sponsored by a licensed Professional Inspector who is eligible to sponsor
  4. At least 18 years of age
  5. Found to be honest, trustworthy, & possessing integrity (Background Investigation through DPS)
  6. File the Apprentice Inspector License Application form
  7. Provide proof of financial responsibility($100,000 per occurrence)

 Application Requirements for a Real Estate Inspector:

  • Only 90 required classroom hours.

  1. Citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  2. Sponsored by a licensed professional inspector who is eligible to sponsor
  3. At least 18 years of age
  4. Satisfy the Commission’s requirements for honesty, integrity and trustworthiness (Background Investigation through DPS)
  5. Must be sponsored by a licensed Professional Inspector who must provide indirect supervision for all inspections performed by the Real Estate Inspector

Education and Experience Requirements

A real estate inspector applicant must complete 90 classroom hours of core real estate inspection courses as follows:

  • 10 hours in foundations
  • 8 hours in framing
  • 10 hours building enclosure
  • 10 hours in roof systems
  • 8 hours in plumbing systems
  • 10 hours in electrical systems
  • 10 hours in heating ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • 8 hours in appliances
  • 4 hours in Texas Standards of Practice
  • 4 hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing; and
  • 8 hours in Texas Legal/Ethics AND one of the following:
    1. Must have been actively licensed as an Apprentice Inspector for at least 3 months during the 12 month period prior to filing the Real Estate Inspector application AND must have completed 25 complete inspections while licensed as an Apprentice Inspector under the direct supervision of a qualified eligible licensed Professional Inspector. OR
    2. In addition to the 90 hours, must have completed an additional 32 hours in core inspection courses which must include 8 hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing, 8 hours in Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update; 16 additional hours in any core inspection subjects AND one of the following:
      1. 20 hours of field work through a ride along course AND 12 hours of an approved classroom or alternative delivery interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor; or
      2. 8 hours of approved live interactive webinar sessions AND 40 hours of an approved classroom or alternative delivery interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor; or
      3. Upon delivery of a Commission approved affidavit form that the applicant is unable to reasonably complete requirements i or ii listed above, complete 60 hours in an approved interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor. These must be completed prior to March 1, 2015 for credit to be awarded; OR
      4. 3 years of personal experience in a field directly related to home inspection, including but not limited to installing, servicing, repairing or maintaining the structural, mechanical and electrical systems found in improvements to real property. Must provide 2 affidavits from persons other than the applicant who has personal knowledge of the applicant’s work, detailing the time and nature of the applicant’s relevant experience. Each affidavit must be from a different source and include a contact telephone number and signature and must be notarized; OR
    3. In addition to the 90 hours, must have completed an additional 8 hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing and 8 hours in the Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update; AND have at least 2 years of experience as an active practicing licensed or registered architect, professional engineer, or engineer-in-training (and provide a license history documenting active practice under the license).

 Application Requirements for a Professional Inspector:

  • 450 required classroom hours
  1. Citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  2. At least 18 years of age
  3. Satisfy the Commission’s requirements for honesty, integrity and trustworthiness (Background Investigation through DPS)

Education and Experience Requirements

A professional inspector applicant must complete 130 classroom hours of core real estate inspection courses as follows. Core hours completed to obtain a real estate inspector license will count towards the professional inspector requirements listed below.

  • 10 hours in foundations
  • 8 hours in framing
  • 10 hours in building enclosure
  • 10 hours in roof systems
  • 8 hours in plumbing systems
  • 10 hours in electrical systems
  • 10 hours in heating ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • 8 hours in appliances
  • 4 hours in Texas Standards of Practice
  • 4 hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing
  • 8 hours in Texas Legal/Ethics
  • 8 additional hours in Texas Standard Report Form Writing
  • 8 hours in Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update
  • 24 additional hours in any core inspection subject(s) AND one of the following
    1. Must have been actively licensed as a Real Estate Inspector for at least 12 months during the 24 month period prior to filing the Professional Inspector application AND must have completed 175 inspections under indirect supervision while licensed as a Real Estate Inspector.OR
    2. In addition to the above 130 hours, must have completed an additional 200 classroom hours of core inspector education as follows:
      • 30 additional hours in foundations
      • 30 additional hours in framing
      • 24 additional hours in building enclosure
      • 24 additional hours in roof systems
      • 16 additional hours in plumbing systems
      • 24 additional hours electrical systems
      • 24 additional hours in heating ventilation, and air conditioning systems
      • 6 additional hours in appliances
      • 8 additional hours in Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update
      • 8 additional hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing
      • 6 additional hours in any core inspection subjects

AND

In addition to the 330 hours, one of the following requirements must be met:

      • 40 hours of field work through a ride along course AND 24 hours of approved classroom or alternative delivery interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor; OR
      • 16 hours of approved live interactive webinar sessions AND 80 hours of approved classroom or alternative delivery interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor; OR
      • Upon delivery of a Commission approved affidavit form that the applicant is unable to reasonably complete requirements i or ii listed above, complete 120 hours in an approved interactive experience training module presented by an approved instructor. These must be completed prior to March 1, 2015 for credit to be awarded; OR
      • 5 years of personal experience in a field directly related to home inspection, including but not limited to installing, servicing, repairing or maintaining the structural, mechanical and electrical systems found in improvements to real property. Must provide 2 affidavits from persons other than the applicant who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s work, detailing the time and nature of the applicant’s relevant experience. Each affidavit must be from a different source and include a contact telephone number and signature and must be notarized; OR
    1. In addition to the 130 hours, must have completed an additional 8 hours in Texas Standard Report Form/Report Writing and 8 hours in the Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update; AND have at least 3 years of experience as an active practicing licensed or registered architect, professional engineer, or engineer-in-training (provide a license history documenting active practice under that license).
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