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Ndladner

Navigating the myriad of training classes offered

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I've been considering dropping my good paying, excessive overnight travel, corporate job to join the home inspection world. I'm a mechanical engineer and currently do inspections on boilers. Yes... I'm aware a house is not a boiler and I have plenty to learn. I've been reading enough to know I think this could be a great option for me. It'll be a pay cut, especially for the 1st year or 2 but it'll be worth it if I can stay home more often and watch the kids grow up.  We've got good savings and my wife is gainfully employed. 

I just recently found this site and have found many of the past articles to be useful. It does not seem like the ASHI School or AHIT is worth the money. I'm in Alabama so it is not required but I think it would be very helpful if I can find the right course. I've heard some good things about Kaplan but there is not much on here that I could find. What about ATI Training? InterNACHI?  I'd like to have some structured training, whether it is online or live. 

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

Nathan

Vestavia Hills, Alabama

 

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I have a little school in NY. The folks that pass through my doors have nothing but contempt for AHIT and I'm always shocked at their thorough lack of knowledge. Free schools know exactly what they're worth. 

I used to present for Kaplan- with any curriculum I suspect there is a great deal of difference between presenters. The Kaplan presentations were OK  but  left the presenter the challenge of expanding the conversation well beyond the slide content to include the necessary additional information for the student. I watched a lot of presenters also include plenty of inspection folklore and misconceptions. The schools are most valuable as tool to provide a window to see you don't know. Then, it's up to you to go out and get your real education.

Until you have an excellent grasp of the profession, stay away facebook forums and association forums; they're populated almost entirely of misinformation. 

Take your schooling, hang out here and read everything that isn't written by home inspectors. Stick to materials written by actual subject matter experts. There are a few exceptions: Electrical Inspections of Existing Dwellings and anything Code Check  .  Not surprisingly, those resources are excellent and written by the same authors..    

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I have yet to meet a major home inspection school student who didn't need to unlearn more than he or she learned at that school. 

Imagine a setting someone loose after a two-week mechanical engineering course taught by people who, themselves, might never have received proper training.  

Sadly, there are no *real* home inspection schools out there. The best training is an internship with another inspector. 

 

 

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Tried to reply earlier but it didn't post?? weird.   I think I said something like this:
Jim,

Thanks for the reply. I've heard more than 1 person say that so I'm certain there's quite a bit of truth to it. It's pretty sad. You'd think there would be at least one curriculum out there you could hang your hat on.  

Chad, Thanks for your reply too. I think you basically said the same thing as Jim but with a slight nod to training courses.

Nathan

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It is an individual dedication to learning that makes the inspector, not any of the schools.

You mentioned structured training - there is no educational standard anywhere in this country for home inspectors.  No training offered anywhere has any legs to stand on.  Only exception is the training offered above on Electrical Inspections of Existing Dwellings.  It is top tier, cannot be matched elsewhere, on account of both the author of that book and the guy who teaches it.  Both are stellar performers in our industry, both self taught.  I've a degree in EE and also self taught.  It's the only way to reach the top.  Jim Katen is one of the named authors of that book.  His advice above is the singular best advice that can be offered to a prospective inspector.  Learn from others, then takes the reins and learn on your own.

Edited by Marc

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Having a wife who is "gainfully employed" will be critical to your venture.  Get the Electrical Inspections of Existing Dwellings book, the code check books, read this forum, inspect houses of family members or friends to get a little practice at the beginning and keep reading and learning.  The learning curve in this business is huge and most of the learning you'll do is not in a traditional class room.

Try to find someone who will let you ride along with them and/or let you learn from them and don't be afraid to ask questions even if you think they are stupid.

 

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