To be a home inspector, you must also be in good physical condition yourself! You will be out and about every day, walking, climbing, crawling, and poking. A certain degree of physical strength, agility, and stamina will serve you well.
Since you are most likely to begin this career as a solo practitioner, it is essential that you be a self-starter with the drive to succeed. Entrepreneurs enjoy many benefits in owning their own business, including being their own boss and shaping their own future. If you are one of those people who works well independently and wants to build a meaningful livelihood, then home inspection offers you a real opportunity.
The home inspection business is also a people business. It is possible to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills by studying and practicing, but you also need to have a certain temperament in order to be successful.
To begin with, it's important to understand the role that the home inspector plays in this complicated business transaction, the real estate purchase. A lot is at stake, and all parties involved are looking to the home inspector for professional, objective information to help them decide the best course. To earn their respect and trust, the inspector must have, in addition to knowledge, the sensitivity and tact to appreciate everyone's concerns, and a cool head to know how to cope with delicate situations. In other words, if you enjoy meeting and helping people, you have one of the prerequisites of being a good home inspector.
Home inspection also requires good teaching and communication skills. You might be a technical wizard at analyzing the condition of the home, but you must have, in addition, the patience to explain your findings, and the ability to do so in a way that lay people can understand. While this is something you can learn how to do, a natural teaching ability will enhance the service you deliver and make your job easier.
Finally, any hands-on experience in contracting, or one of the building trades, will certainly be an asset and a jump start for you in the home inspection profession, if you have the people skills to go with the knowledge. A background in architecture or engineering is also a plus. However, knowing how to design and build homes is very different from knowing how to inspect them afterwards. Home inspectors need to learn what clues to look for and where to look for them in order to determine the condition a home is in. They must understand how the systems and components of the home work together, as well as how and why they fail. This takes us to Step Two: Training.