September 11, 2015

Home Construction on the Rise

Residential Inspector Training Prepares for Jobs

An anticipated spike in Northern Nevada’s real estate market should lead to more job opportunities for home inspectors. To respond to the need, Western Nevada College offers Residential Home Inspector classes this fall.

A series of short classes begin in late October on the Carson City Campus to train the needed employees.

“I see it turning around for inspectors because of all the homes that are going to be sold,” said Donna Proper, a program officer for the Nevada Real Estate Division who approves the education for Inspectors of Structures. “Business is picking up because of all the homes that are selling and the need for 25,000 homes in the next five years because of Tesla’s presence in the area.”

Construction Instructor Robert Ford said that WNC is the only institute of higher learning in Nevada that offers the complete series of four classes to prepare students for the state pre-licensing examination.

One school in Las Vegas also offers a program to certify home inspectors, but WNC is the only college in the Nevada System of Higher Education that offers the complete set of courses.

“We need to generate more interest in all of these opportunities we have,” Ford said. “Nevada passed a law that there were specific things that you have to learn to pass that comprehensive exam.”

The training begins with Certified Inspectors of Structures-Residential (CONS 260), then proceed to Under Floor Inspections-Certified Inspector (CONS 261), Above Floor Inspections for Certified Inspector (CONS 262) and, finally, Supervised Residential Inspection for Certification (CONS 263). The sequence of classes begins on Friday, Oct. 23. All four will be taught by Ford.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, approximately 77 percent of the homes sold in the United States and Canada are inspected before they are bought. Home inspectors commonly are self-employed, with pay ranging from $32,000 to $82,000 per year.

“When you go out and do an inspection and come back with a professional-looking portfolio of that inspection, with pictures and descriptions on the side of each picture of what you have found or any discrepancies, and you put a detailed report at the end of that, then that looks good,” Ford said. “That person, whether it be a developer, real estate person or a bank, they are going to call you back because you’ve got this professional portfolio that you have presented.”

Ford plans to supplement his lectures with home inspection instructional videos and out-of-the classroom visits to old buildings and state facilities. In subsequent classes, students will make supervised inspections and prepare reports.

“We’ll crawl under an old building and explain the things you to need to look for and recognize when you are inspecting older buildings,” Ford said.

Building code changes are also an important topic in the classes, as inspectors need to stay abreast of these requirements.
“I’m excited about it because I know about all of these new technologies and new applications and we’ll be able to bring that into the classroom,” Ford said.

Ford said that his sense of accomplishment won’t come just from students completing the series of courses.

“When they pass the exam for their real estate license, that’s when we know we are succeeding,” he said.
The Nevada Real Estate Division outsources the Inspectors of Structures exam, which is administered by PSI Services LLC for a $100 fee per exam. The two-hour exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions.

For more information about the Inspectors of Structures classes, contact Ford at or 775-445-3353.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198

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