View Full Version : Navigating the myriad of training programs

Nathan Ladner
04-26-2019, 01:53 PM
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? ICA? I'd like to have some structured training, whether it is online or live.

Any advice is appreciated.



Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Pierre Coulombe
04-28-2019, 08:34 PM
As an AHIT grad, I recommend their program. When I went through their training, I had a couple months of study using their literature and automated programs then had a three day live class with actual inspections included. I enjoyed it and was able to successfully pass the NHIE on the first attempt. (Passing the NHIE is a minimum standard for any legitimate inspector!)

Alternatively, check out michaelcasey.com. I know him personally and his training program for new inspectors is top notch. From his website, you'll be able to see and read about his credentials.

Avoid any training program that does not include any actual, hands-on inspection work. They are out there and they are a short-cut to getting you "certified" without actually knowing what you are doing.

This site has some great information throughout. I read through many posts and it helps reinforce what I've learned and seen on inspections.

Finally, welcome to the world of residential inspections. I'm kinda new at this, I've only been doing it for 8 years and have done well for myself. Good luck.

Markus Keller
04-29-2019, 07:03 AM
Sorry Nathan as a mechanical engineer you are disqualified from being an inspector. Nobody has 3 days time for an inspection so you can dissect the most minute details of the house. :D;)
Seriously though, yes find a program that provides for some amount of field training.
I don't know what its like down there but up here multi inspectors will take on a newbie, train him/her and help you get licensed (don't know if you have licensing down there).
Whether you go to a multi inspector firm, a current one man shop or on your own depends on a lot of factors. You may want to call around and talk to current inspectors to see what need there is in your area. You could also go to a local ASHI or NACHI meeting.
Some inspectors may not talk with you much because they see anyone as competition. Those are the guys you don't want to deal with anyway so good riddance. Other guys realize any new player is competition but that's not necessarily bad. If you have a special talent to bring to the table you aren't just competition but an asset. With your ME background maybe you get hooked up with an HI company that does lots of new construction consulting services. You could run load calc's etc. Now you aren't the competition, you are an asset that generates business.
Hope that helps.

Brian Hannigan
04-29-2019, 04:46 PM
As mentioned above, Michael Casey is an excellent teacher. As you research more you will find his name come up as a speaker and many inspection conferences across the country and he helps develop educational programs for inspection associations and conferences.

You will get hands on training while visiting So Cal.


Nathan Ladner
04-29-2019, 07:30 PM
Sorry Nathan as a mechanical engineer you are disqualified from being an inspector. Nobody has 3 days time for an inspection so you can dissect the most minute details of the house. :D

Ha... Markus has jokes! I could totally do it in 2.
Thanks for the reply. I've missed the last 2 ASHI south chapter meetings due to conflicts with my daughter's activities. The next one is May 18th. I will make it to that one so I can start to make some contacts with some of my local inspectors.

Lon Henderson
04-30-2019, 06:13 AM
Hi Nathan,
I'm one of the instructors at the InterNACHI school in Boulder. I've taught at Kaplan in the past. My biased two cents, is the Boulder school with the fantastic teaching tool, House of Horrors, hands-down is the finest school in the country. Many of our students have been to the ASHI and AHIT schools and affirm my assessment. Our student reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Our three principle instructors are in-the-trenches HIs with long experience and as I like to tell students, we are very different personalities with very different approaches to the business and inspecting, so you get a rounded education.

We get students from all over the world and backgrounds. But, traveling to lovely Boulder and spending a week in school is a major commitment and you should be seriously serious about a change in career.