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A home inspector plays an important role in the home buying process. They are trained professionals who examine the condition of a home and provide a detailed report to the potential buyer.
The home inspection report will detail any major problems with the home that should be addressed before purchase. For example, is there a water leakage problem? What is the condition of the furnace and water heater? Does the window, door, or roof need to be replaced soon?
Personally, I always hired a home inspector before closing any of my real estate transactions. It helps me to understand the property better and make sure that there are no hidden surprises.
A home inspector can also provide valuable information about energy efficiency, safety concerns, and maintenance tips.
So if you’re thinking of becoming a home inspector in Oregon, this is the perfect career guide for you.
To become a home inspector in Oregon, the candidate must complete the 20 qualifying points, pass the National Home Inspector exam, and submit an application and fee to the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) is the State agency that issues licenses to qualified home inspectors, sets standards for the profession, and oversees and regulates the home inspection industry.
To save you time, I read through all the home inspector licensing rules on the Oregon Construction Contractors Board website and did extensive research on this career.
In this article, you’ll learn the steps to becoming a certified home inspector in Oregon, income updates, and FAQs on this profession. I’m confident this will give you a better idea of whether being a home inspector is right for you.
Before we start, I want to disclose that the information in this post is for general information only and is not intended to provide any advice. Although I tried my best to obtain the info as accurately as possible, they are subject to change without any notice and are not guaranteed to be error-free. You should always follow your State Laws and home inspection best practices.
Table of Contents
- 4 Steps to Become a Certified Home Inspector in Oregon
- A Story of an Oregon Certified Home Inspector: James Hazelwood (Video)
FAQ on the Home Inspector Profession in Oregon
- Who needs to be certified?
- How long does it take to become a home inspector in Oregon?
- How much does it take to become a home inspector in Oregon?
- What’s next after you become an Oregon Certified Home Inspector?
- How much do home inspectors make in Oregon?
- Is there a demand for home inspectors in Oregon?
- (Video) Oregon Certified Home Inspector License Requirement
- Other Helpful Resources:
4 Steps to Become a Certified Home Inspector in Oregon
Step 1: Complete 20 qualifying points
Oregon uses a 20 points system as one of the requirements of being a certified home inspector. Different activities account for different points. Below is the chart with more details.
|College credit courses (3 credit hours)|
– Home Inspection (10 points)
– Remodeling (1 point)
– Engineering (1 point)
– Architecture (1 point)
– Building design (1 point)
– Building technology (1 point)
– Real estate (1 point)
|Approved subjects from approved providers (minimum 3 hours)|
– Report writing (1 point)
– Communication skills (1 point)
– Business practices (1 point)
– Legal issues (1 point)
– Ethics (1 point)
– Building codes (1 point)
|Ride-along with a Home Inspector (1 point each)|
Each inspection must be
Accompanied by an Oregon Certified Home Inspector.
You must also complete a Home Inspector Certification Application, which includes date of inspection, address inspected, inspector’s name, signature and Certified Home Inspector number
|Inspection experience (4 points for each 12 months)|
You can work as an inspector and get a letter from your employer or a resume constitutes proof.
It must include the dates
worked and the name of the business worked for.
|Construction experience (2 points for each 12 months)|
You can work in the construction industry and get a letter from your employer or a resume constitutes proof.
It must include the dates worked and the name of the business worked for.
|OCHI recommendation (1/2 point each|
You can get a recommendation from an Oregon Certified Home Inspector and get a letter from the inspector on their letterhead
It must include the name of the inspector and their Certified Home Inspector number.
|Building Codes certification (1 point each)|
Proof constitutes a copy of a building codes certification issued by a government agency
As you can see, obtaining college credit courses on home inspection could account for 10 points. So if you are still in college and planning to pursue a home inspection career, you may consider taking such a course.
I like the “Ride-along with a Home Inspector” option. It allows you to gain actual field experience beyond textbook learning. You may find an Oregon Certified Home Inspector in the CCB License Database or the NHIE Database.
Alternatively, you may try searching through LinkedIn. This is how I build my connection with many real estate professionals.
Furthermore, I would suggest taking home inspector courses from an approved education provider. It allows you to develop an-depth knowledge of home inspection. And you will eventually need it in the work field.
Step 2: Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
The Board needs to ensure you have adequate home inspection knowledge, so the next step is to pass the National Home Inspector Exam.
This is a 4-hour exam consisting of 200 multiple choice questions (25 are pretest questions and will not be scored)
It covers 3 major domains, including:
- Property and Building Inspection/Site Review (63%)
- Analysis of Findings and Reporting (25%)
- Professional Responsibilities (12%)
The National Home Inspector Examination is “scale scored” from 200 to 800, with 500 as the passing score. Here’s a Study Guide for the Oregon Home Inspector Certificate Test.
The exam is maintained by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) and administered by PSI. There’s an exam fee of $225.
Step 3: Register with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board
To get certified, you must complete and submit the Home Inspector Certification Application to the CCB. The application is pretty straightforward, where you will provide basic info such as your full name, date of birth, phone number, and mailing address.
In addition to the completed Certification Application, you also need to attach copies of ALL qualifying points documentation, your PSI exam score report, and a $150 application fee.
You may make a check payable to the Construction Contractors Board or provide your credit card info on the application.
Once all the necessary documents are ready, you may mail them to:
- CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS BOARD, PO Box 14140, Salem OR 97309-5052, or fax them to 503-373-2155.
Step 4: Renew the license
All certified home inspectors in Oregon must renew their licenses every two years. There is a renewal fee of $150.
Besides the application, you must complete 30 hours for each license cycle. You may take approved courses on the following subjects: Home inspection, report writing, communication skills, business practices, construction, renovation, lead-based paint, legal issues, ethics, building codes, and home inspector standards.
There are other ways to obtain CE credit. For example, you may accompany a plumbing, electrical, or heating/air conditioning contractor on a repair or maintenance job that lasts at least four hours. However, they must be licensed by the Oregon Building Codes Division.
Another way is to host ride-alongs with home inspector applicants. So this time, you’ll be like a mentor sharing your site experience with the newbies. I like this option as this allows you to contribute back to the home inspection industry. And it’s also a good opportunity to refresh the home inspection basic knowledge.
But either way, you must complete a ride-along credit form.
Keep in mind that if you fail to renew the home inspector license or do not complete the 30-hour of continuing education requirement, not only that your certification will expire, but the CCB may also fine you up to $5,000 for each home inspection performed while you’re not certified.
A Story of an Oregon Certified Home Inspector: James Hazelwood (Video)
FAQ on the Home Inspector Profession in Oregon
Who needs to be certified?
According to the CCB, if you perform residential home inspections for more than one structural component, then you must be certified.
When they say “structural component,” it may include built-in kitchen appliances, central air conditioning, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, interiors, insulation and ventilation, and site.
Note that being certified is not only needed for performing the inspection, but you’ll also need it even if you just advertise or place bids on the job.
However, the key is that if you examine “only one” component, you are not required to be certified by the CCB. For example, you don’t need to get a home inspector license if you are performing ONLY one of the following:
- ONLY inspects lead-based paint
- ONLY inspects cross connections
- ONLY tests the air for radon
- ONLY performs pest and dry rot or wood-destroying organism (termites and other pests) inspections
There are other situations where a certified home inspector license is not needed (i.e., if you are inspecting for code compliance for government jurisdictions or performing energy audits). Though, other licensing requirements may apply depending on the job nature.
How long does it take to become a home inspector in Oregon?
It takes about one month to become a home inspector in Oregon. But it depends on the time you take to fulfill the 20 qualifying points and pass the National Home Inspector Exam.
However, one way to speed up is by taking home inspector courses from an approved education provider. I’ve seen one where their 60 hours course package could fulfill the 20 points requirement.
If you study full-time (i.e., 8 hours a day), completing the course program should take about 1-2 weeks. Then the rest will be the time it takes to pass the exam and to go through the certified registration with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
How much does it take to become a home inspector in Oregon?
It takes $400 to become a home inspector in Oregon, including the $150 application fee and $250 exam fee.
Though there are different ways you can obtain the 20 qualifying points, if you wish to fast-track by taking online courses, I’ve seen an approved education provider with a course package of $595.
And if you want greater confidence in passing the exam on the first trial, you may invest in exam prep. Usually, that would be $100 more.
Of course, these are just the entrance fee for obtaining the license. If you want to run a home inspection business, you need to account for other business expenses such as car, gas, phone, offices, websites, marketing, home inspection equipment and software, legal and accounting fees, surety bond and insurance.
What’s next after you become an Oregon Certified Home Inspector?
You may work for a company that is licensed by the Construction Contractors Board.
Alternatively, you may start your own business. If you only do home inspections and not construction work, you may obtain the home inspector services contractor endorsement. There is an additional $325 license fee every two years.
There are many benefits of running your own home inspecting business. You are in control of your own destiny, you can set your own hours, and you get to be your own boss. You also have the potential to make more money if your business is successful.
On the other hand, it could take time to build a sustainable client base. At the initial stage of the business, you could be spending a significant amount of time prospecting for new business and building relationships with clients and referral partners.
Once again, you also need to account for business expenses as discussed above.
How much do home inspectors make in Oregon?
According to ZipRecruiter (Sept 20, 2022), home inspectors in Oregon make an average yearly income of $56,443. The annual income range typically ranges between $44,493 to $67,728. Top earning Oregon home inspectors make over $79,099.
Oregon home inspector income depends on several factors, including experience, geographical location, size of the property, and the type of inspection performed.
Home inspectors in Oregon who have been in the business for several years can expect to earn more than those just starting out. Inspectors who work in areas with a high cost of living, such as Portland, can also expect to make more than those who work in other parts of the state.
Be sure to check out our “Oregon Home Inspector Income Guide“
Is there a demand for home inspectors in Oregon?
Oregon has a population of over 4.176 million. According to Redfin, in Aug 2022, in just a month alone, there were 16,539 homes for sale in Oregon. And a home inspection report plays an important role in the home buying process.
I just searched on the CCB Home Inspector License Database, and there were 2014 records of Certified Home Inspector. However, as I reviewed the list, there was a mixture of active licensees and expired licensees.
But as long as people want to find out more about the home they purchase, there will be demand for home inspectors in Oregon.
Personally, I always hire a home inspector before closing any of my real estate transactions. It helps me to understand the property better and make sure that there are no hidden surprises.
(Video) Oregon Certified Home Inspector License Requirement
Other Helpful Resources:
- How Much do Home Inspector Make in Oregon? (Full Income Guide)
- How to Pass the Home Inspector Exam? (coming soon)
- Oregon Real Estate Inspector’s Association
- Oregon Home Inspection Consumer Notice
- Home Inspector Standards of Behavior and Standards of Practice Administrative Rules
(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on this site may contain views and opinions from individual not related to JCHQ Publishing. They do not necessarily reflect our view or position.
- Oregon Construction Contractors Board
- National Home Inspector Examination Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
- ZipRecruiter – Home Inspector Oregon (source)
- RedFin – Oregon Housing Market (source)