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Home Inspector

Home inspectors visually examine buildings and write reports about the condition of major components such as the roof, structure, exterior and insulation, and plumbing, electrical, heating and other systems.

  • Avg. Salary $86,191.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.98
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 3,500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Home and Property Inspector, Inspector

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Home Inspector is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Construction Inspectors
NOC code: 2264
METHODICAL

Interest in handling equipment and materials to inspect steel framework, concrete forms, reinforcing steel mesh and rods, concrete and pre-stressed concrete to ensure quality standards; and in inspecting construction sites to ensure safe working conditions are maintained

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing data from inspection of sites to verify that they conform to specifications and building codes, and from inspections and tests of electrical and plumbing installations to ensure that they comply with municipal, provincial and federal regulations

directive

Interest in speaking with purchasers to inspect, assess and provide reports on new and resale homes; and in inspecting existing buildings to identify and report on structural defects, fire hazards and other threats to safety

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Home inspectors visually inspect house and apartment systems and components, looking for damage or evidence of deterioration, amateur maintenance work or improperly installed components. They are hired by potential buyers or sellers to prepare detailed reports. Reports may be narrative or detailed checklists with notes about identified problems, how problems can be repaired and what will probably happen if repairs are not made. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, home inspectors cannot be involved in the sale of real estate or the repair of problems identified during inspections.

If they can do so without damaging finished surfaces, inspectors may probe structural components that show signs of deterioration. Otherwise, they note their observations in reports and may recommend further evaluation.

On building exteriors, home inspectors check items such as:

  • foundations
  • wall coverings, flashing and trim
  • doors and windows
  • attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and railings
  • eaves, soffits and fascias if they are accessible from ground level
  • vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls if they might adversely affect the building
  • walkways, patios and driveways.

On the roof, they check the roof covering, drainage systems, flashings and roof penetrations such as skylights and chimneys.

Inside, they check items such as:

  • plumbing systems (for example, water supply and distribution systems, fixtures and faucets, drains, vents, water heating equipment)
  • electrical systems (for example, service equipment and main disconnects, panels, conductors, over-current protection devices, a sampling of fixtures, switches and receptacles)
  • heating and air conditioning systems and fireplaces
  • walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, railings and a representative sampling of cabinets
  • insulation and ventilation.

Home inspectors do not check items such as chimneys that are not readily accessible or the operation of accessories such as air filters, water softeners or lawn sprinklers.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Self-employed home inspectors usually work from their own homes. Their hours of work are flexible but may be long when there is enough daylight to work evenings. Inspectors may work weekends to meet deadlines and accommodate clients' work schedules. The warmer months of the year usually are the busiest for home inspectors.

The work is physically and emotionally demanding. For example, home inspectors routinely are required to squeeze into tight spaces, lift items weighing up to 30 kilograms and climb onto roofs. To avoid injury, they must follow safety precautions when inspecting electrical systems, roofs and other components. Dealing with real estate agents who want to close sales quickly and clients who have unrealistic expectations can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Home inspectors need the following characteristics:

  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good interpersonal skills
  • good physical condition for climbing ladders and stairs
  • keen eyesight, hearing and sense of smell
  • integrity and the ability to disregard attempts to influence their reports
  • the ability to present bad news diplomatically and deal effectively with people when they are upset
  • the ability to understand complex technical documents such as manufacturers' specifications
  • excellent observation skills.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work, analyzing their observations and dealing with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most inspectors have a combination of education and training in one or more related fields (for example, journeyperson certification as a carpenter, electrician or plumber courses in architectural technology, civil engineering or civil engineering technology) plus extensive work experience in construction or maintenance. They need in-depth knowledge of:

  • new and old electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, roofing and structural systems
  • how different systems interact in a home
  • hazardous materials that have been used in home construction
  • causes and effects of deterioration in building systems and recommended remedies
  • safety standards.

In Alberta, home inspectors must be licensed by the provincial government. For official details on licensing requirements, such as approved education and designation, visit the Service Alberta website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Home Inspector

Home inspectors visually examine residential dwellings and write reports about the condition of major components such as the roof, structure, exterior and insulation, and plumbing, electrical, heating and other systems.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Fair Trading Act and Home Inspection Business Regulation, home inspection businesses and individual home inspectors must be licensed by Service Alberta.

What You Need

To qualify for a licence, inspectors must have 1 of the following: (1) a degree, diploma or certificate in home inspection from an approved educational school and a successfully completed test inspection, (2) a Registered Home Inspector designation from the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (Alberta), (3) a Certified Master Inspector designation from the Master Inspector Certification Board Inc. or (4) an approved home inspection designation or licence from an approved industry association or regulatory body. For official, detailed information about licensing requirements, contact Service Alberta or visit their website.

Working in Alberta

Home inspectors who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization in British Columbia may be eligible for licensing in Alberta if registered home inspectors in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Service Alberta
3rd Floor Commerce Place
10155 - 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 4L4
Phone number: 780-427-4088
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-877-427-4088
Fax number: 780-427-3033
Website: www.servicealberta.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Most home inspectors are self-employed. They are hired by people who want an unbiased opinion about the condition of a house or an apartment that they are thinking about buying or selling.

To start their own businesses, home inspectors need a reliable vehicle, a computer, tools (for example, ladder, moisture meter, gas detector, carbon monoxide detector) and the financial resources required to cover overhead costs until their businesses are established. Errors and omissions insurance is mandatory, because home inspectors may be sued or required to pay for repairing problems they did not detect.

Some inspectors purchase home inspection franchises that provide support, training and marketing services.

Home inspectors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2264: Construction inspectors. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,900 Albertans are employed in the Construction inspectors occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As home inspectors form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for home inspectors.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Incomes for self-employed home inspectors vary considerably:

  • from one inspector to another depending on the inspector's qualifications and business, marketing and customer service skills
  • from one season to another (spring through fall usually is busiest)
  • from one year to another depending on the level of activity in the local real estate market.

Construction inspectors
NOC code: 2264

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.43 $55.38 $35.47 $35.00
Overall $23.50 $60.58 $41.98 $45.00
Top $25.00 $73.85 $47.25 $50.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Oil & Gas Extraction
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

18%
18%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
    • Fabrication
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI National) website: cahpi.ca

Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors, Alberta (CAHPI Alberta) website: cahpi-ab.ca

Master Inspector Certification Board, Inc., Certified Master Inspector (CMI) website: certifiedmasterinspector.org

Safety Codes Council website: www.safetycodes.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 19, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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