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I sent an email to find out some stats. The questions I asked were

1. How many inspectors are in the industry?

2. How many have taken the test?

3. How many have passed the test?

Here is the response I recieved.

The number of home inspectors in the US is unknown because there are no federal requirements. However, the number is generally estimated to be 20-25,000.

EBPHI has administered about 18,000 examinations since October 1999.

We do not calculate an aggregate, historical pass rate for all years, but the pass rate for January-July 2007 is 77%.

I just thought I would share the info.

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On a side note: The pass rate has gone up over the past four years. Back in 2002 the pass rate was around 63%. As the schools have learned to teach better and to teach to the exams subjects or the exam blueprint the scores pass rate has increased.

This is why a new study (RDS) is performed every 4-5 years and a new exam blueprint is produced. The is also done due to the changes that take place in the profession.

The new RDS and test redesign will result in the pass ratio dropping back down into the mid 60's again. Over 3-5 years the ratio will go up again and in 2011 a new study and exam blueprint will be produced. It is a never ending process in an exam like this. This is all in addition the annual changing of the exams.

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John, I mean this is a good way, so don't get nuttsy on me. Did you contact any other exam providers? Did you have an idea about the answer you would receive? Do you have an opinion about the number of home inspectors?

As regards the NHIE, they are an entity that develops tests and testing and have no stake in the home inspection business. I know we could/should discuss the issue, but it always turns nasty and is quite difficult to keep the discussion at an intellectual level.

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Thanks John,

I once spent thousands of dollars trying to find the number of home inspectors in just one state. Used every trick and resource I could think about. Even paid office help to comb thru every phone book, googled everything, attended meetings of every fringe inspector assoc and contacted hundreds of real estate agents. The resulting figure was less than valid, but the best a concentrated effort could produce. Meanwhile, others were doing the same thing(less enthusiastically) and all of us came up with figures that were "hundreds" apart. The problem was, who is a home inspector? I even came up with 50+ real estate agents that did their own inspections!

Some organizations claim membership of 10,000+-, 7,000+-, 4,000+- etc. If we do the simple math we see there should be at least 40,000 inspectors in the US. But many hold dual membership, many hold membership and don't inspect and of course we have the builders that do 20-30 per year for their "friends". It is my opinion there are approx 15,000 inspectors that do 90% of the inspections.

In the "good ole days" it was not unusual to hear about an inspector that did 700+ per year and the inspectors that would advertise five years in business and 10,000 inspections. An so it goes - - -

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"It is my opinion there are approx 15,000 inspectors that do 90% of the inspections."

I think you are right about this. Coming at it from another angle:

Home sales are expected to be about 5.7 million in 2007. Estimates are 80% are inspected which is 4.56 million. If each full time inspector inspects 300 homes per year, that also works out to about 15,000 inspectors.

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In Alabama when that started registering and then licensing inspector they have given each inspector a number. At this time the inspectors numbers are up to 1020s but there is only 320 that has active licenses. We have to pass the NHIE to get a license.

There are some that did not get a license, and some that did not renew with the state that is still doing inspections.

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Hi all,

This is a really cool site. I'm a newbie in tn. where the NHIE is required. Passed it about three weeks ago. I put my app. in with the state two weeks ago, still waiting for lic.

Can't wait to get started and share my experiences with you all.

Have a Great Day!

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Personally, I think the 25,000 number is low. I think it might have been valid 5 - 6 years ago, but the number of new clueless folks jumping into the business seems to have mushroomed a lot over the past 5-6 years. I think the proliferation of home inspection "schools" that are spitting out classes of minimally-trained new inspectors in 7 to 10 day increments, combined with a drop-off in new housing starts and subsequent layoffs is fueling it. Plus, it seems like every state's vocational rehab arm thinks that the ideal work for a carpenter who can't knock nails anymore is the home inspection business and they're paying for these folks' reeducation and keeping all of these "schools" alive. Now, you could look at that and say, "Wow, then the numbers must be pretty high," but that's not necessarily so either, because those schools aren't, for the most part, teaching these people how to survive in business. It's not enough just to know how to inspect; one has to know how to do the books, take care of taxes, deal with suppliers, write competently - that includes spelling and grammar - manage one's time, do research, etc., etc. If the figure that a couple of ITA instructors have told me are true, fully 80% of their graduates are out of the business within 5 years. With that kind of fluctuation, putting a number on it is like trying to herd cats.

About two or three weeks ago, I talked to the fellow who is doing the sunrise study on home inspectors for the Department of Licensing here in Washington State. He said that he's having a helluva time trying to figure out what the actual number of inspectors is and he works for the state. He says that the associations claim to represent home inspectors, but that his research has indicated that fully 2/3 of inspectors in the state don't belong to any association at all; that's only counting the ones who're registered with the Department of Revenue. He says he has no way to put his finger on how many are out there doing them who aren't registered with the department of revenue and he doesn't know how many are still registered but have gone out of business. What he's relatively sure of, though, is that the numbers that he can actually verify are probably very low.

Someone above mentioned an average of 300 inspections a year. I think that's unrealistic. Not everyone is doing 300 inspections a year. In fact, I'd venture a guess that most of the profession doesn't do 300 a year and that the true average is much lower - how much is anyone's guess. In some areas inspections of pre-existing homes are very common while in others they're not so common. It's the same with new construction. So, trying to base your numbers on the number of homes sold just doesn't work.

The NHIE is what it is - a test of the basic skills needed for a home inspector to be able to do a barely adequate home inspection. Passage of the NHIE is not necessarily, in my opinion, the mark of an extremely competent home inspector, and, since it isn't required in most states, knowing the percentage of persons who have passed it is interesting but irrelevant.

There are always going to be people operating outside of known numbers in every profession, but we'll never have even a reasonably close estimate of how many inspectors there are in this country, until there are laws in place that require every home inspector that's practicing in every state to at least register with that state, as we now have with doctors, engineers, electricians, plumbers, surveyors. Consumers will never really know what to expect from an inspection country-wide, until there's a single uniform standard of practice and code of ethics in place for the profession; and we'll never know what the true average competency of this profession is until there is a peer review process in place that every single home inspector, regardless of time in the business or number of inspections completed, must go through in order prove, beyond a doubt, that he or she is actually as competent as he or she claims to be.



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Welcome aboard Paul and congrats on the NHIE pass. I'm new to this gig too. I have learned a great deal by asking questions on this forum. I'm sure others wound up learning from my questions too.

We are ready to learn from your questions. Don't be shy and ask away. Like Brian G. says, roll with the punches and you'll be fine.

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