Home and building inspectors must pass certain certifications in order to become licensed. They must have also taken certain training courses. It's not easy to be an inspector, as there are many guidelines and rules to follow. Background knowledge of real estate, structural and mechanical engineering, and/or construction are pluses, but not necessarily required.
Skill sets to have in the inspection business include great communication and interpersonal skills, flexible schedules, computer skills to fill out and file reports, and general knowledge of the real estate business. Obviously, technical proficiency in inspecting a home or other structure is required. This can occur through a combination of courses and on-the-job training.
It's important to be able to work well with people, and spend time on-site. Crawling under homes and in attics is a common occurrence, so inspectors also need to have a thick skin when it comes to these less savory aspects of the job.
Inspectors offer many services, including water testing and radon testing, as well as checking for pests like termites in houses, apartments, and offices. They must make sure the entire structure is sound, with no cracks in the foundation, no water damage, and proper ventilation. They must also make sure the structure has clear exits in case of fire, the plumbing is working correctly, the electric heat is working, and the roof is sound.
While home and building inspectors have a set list of check marks to make during their assessment of a residential house, apartment, or commercial office building, the reporting style is different between professionals. Many use online software to enter their reports. They are then printed out and given to all parties.
All inspectors must be certified, providing quality, efficient reports for all types of residential and commercial home and building inspections.