Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Residential Home Inspection

Residential Home Inspection Certificate

If you’d like a fast-track option to setting up your own professional home inspection business—or a career with a home inspection company—then you should consider this course.

As of September 1, 2009, Washington State requires all home inspectors in the state to be licensed. BTC’s Fundamentals of Home Inspection Course was the first to receive approval from the Department of Licensing. This intensive, full-time course combines classroom instruction with hands-on lab and inspection work, including training on the topic of identifying wood destroying organisms.

Home inspectors examine and report on a home’s systems and structure—from the roof to the substructure crawl space, basement or slab foundation. Typically, inspectors set up their own inspection business and work for real-estate purchasers or are hired by home inspection companies or firms specializing in architectural, engineering, and related services.

If you enjoy the challenge of working with homes of all ages, sizes, and conditions, this is the program for you!

This four-week course is offered several times during the year.

Employment Information

$57,886 starting annual wage

$69,888 average annual wage

$82,056 potential annual wage

Employment and wage data sources


Jobs & Employment

As the population grows and the volume of real estate transactions increases, greater emphasis on home inspections should result in strong demand for home inspectors. Most graduates of the RHI program go into business on their own but there should be job opportunities for inspectors in existing home inspection firms as well.

The average annual wage in this field is $69,888, with an earning potential of about $82,056 per year.*

*For details regarding BTC career wages and placement, visit btc.ctc.edu/careerservices.

Potential Positions

Home inspectors examine and report on a home’s systems and structure—from the roof to the basement. Typically, inspectors work for real-estate purchasers and related service companies.

The majority of home inspectors are self employed and work on behalf of potential real estate purchasers.

Courses

Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

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Courses are from the 2018-19 Catalog

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS15 credits

  • Quarter 1
  • RHI 111Fundamentals of Home Inspection12 credits

    This course will teach students the fundamentals of residential home inspection. Students will receive classroom instruction in Washington State laws and rules; business practices; legal issues; communication; structural components; exteriors; roofing; plumbing; electrical systems; heating and cooling systems; interiors; insulation and ventilation; fireplaces, chimneys and solid fuel burning appliances; site and grading; attached garages and carports; wood destroying organisms, conducive conditions and pests; alternate construction methods; environmental conditions or hazardous materials; building codes; and product quality and safety issues. Students will gain the technical knowledge required to pursue a career in the field of home inspection. Fundamentals of Home Inspection will fulfill the education pre-licensing requirements of the state and will prepare students for a career in home inspection.


    Future Offerings
    7/9-7/26DAILY 8:00a-5:00pSMITH SOpenings: 1
    Register for this class
    10/1-10/19DAILY 8:00a-5:00pSMITH SOpenings: 10
    Register for this class
  • RHI 112Home Inspection Field Training3 credits

    This course will build on the information covered in the Fundamentals of Home Inspection course by providing an additional forty (40) hours of supervised field training. This field training will include supervised hands-on inspections at a minimum of five residences along with five completed student reports which are required to successfully meet Washington State standards. The report writing is in addition to the 40 hours of field training and will completed off-site and out of class time by students.

    Prerequisite:
    RHI 111

    Future Offerings
    7/27-9/4DAILY 8:00a-5:00pSMITH SOpenings: 2
    Register for this class
    10/22-11/9DAILY 8:00a-5:00pSMITH SOpenings: 10
    Register for this class
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS15 credits

Entry Information

Check out the information below to learn how you can get started!

When Can I Start?


The Residential Home Inspection program is offered each quarter. The program consists of two core courses: RHI 111 and RHI 112. For schedule information, please visit the take-a-class section of BTC's website and search by Department Residential Home Inspection. This Program is offered on the BTC campus. For questions, contact lead Instructor Steve Smith at ssmith@btc.edu or 360-752-8796.

Pre-Program Course Requirements


  • A personal laptop that is Windows compatible with Wi-Fi and Word processing capability is required for participants.
  • It is recommended that students have good basic academic skills.
  • For field training (RHI 112), students must have flashlight(s), protective coveralls and basic respirators or face masks.

Program Application/Forms


  • Students may enroll in this part-time program’s classes without taking a placement exam, but prior to enrolling, students must complete a College Admission form. Keyboard, typing and computer skills are necessary to complete program requirements.

Physical Requirements


  • Anyone interested in becoming a home inspector should be aware that it is a very “physical” job that requires some amount of dexterity and strength, as well as a willingness/ability to get in tight spaces such as crawl spaces and attics, within industry standards. Traversing roofs is expected of home inspectors when it is safe to do so and this sometimes requires moving cumbersome ladders around the home. Home inspectors must be able and willing to work in all kinds of weather conditions and be prepared to do so.

What Are My Next Steps?


  1. Apply to BTC and Financial Aid
  2. Take the ACCUPLACER/Placement Test
  3. Attend an Advising & Registration Session
  4. Prepare to Attend

Program Outcomes

The goal of this program is to prepare entry-level home inspectors who are able to pass the state licensing exam and successfully work in the field of residential home inspection. Adhering to the core curriculum for residential home inspection, the student will gain expertise in the theory and application of professional methods of performing building inspections.

  • RHI 111: Students will be able to describe the systems and components found in homes and be prepared to carry out non invasive home inspections per WA State laws at residential properties while employing special training and education.
  • RHI 112: Students will complete five thorough home inspection reports that meets state standards.

Steven L. Smith - Instructor image

Steven L. Smith

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


360 752-8796
ssmith@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Steven L. Smith has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2005. He was promoted to lead in...

    • Steven L. Smith has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2005. He was promoted to lead instructor of the program in 2006. Smith is an industry veteran, having operated King of the House Home Inspection in Bellingham for many years. For 30 years, prior to becoming a home inspector, Steve was a federally licensed radio broadcast chief engineer, and, also, the owner of a commercial radio station. More than a decade ago, he was selected as an original member of the Washington State Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board -- serving two terms and involved in drafting many of the laws that currently regulate home inspectors. Smith was formally trained as a home inspector at BTC in 2004 and he opened his inspection firm in 2005.


Charles Buell - Instructor image

Charles Buell

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


N/A
cbuell@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Charles Buell has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2004. He is an industry veteran, ha...

    • Charles Buell has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2004. He is an industry veteran, having operated Charles Buell Inspections. The firm services primarily Seattle, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Prior to becoming a home inspector, Charles was a general contractor for 30 years. He has served two terms on the Washington State Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board and Buell has been on the National Technical Review Committee of the prestigious industry organization ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). Buell was formally trained as a home inspector at BTC in 2004 and he opened his inspection business that same year.


Curtis Brown - Instructor image

Curtis Brown

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


N/A
CBrown@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Curtis Brown has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2010. He operates Curtis C Home Insp...

    • Curtis Brown has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2010. He operates Curtis C Home Inspection Service. The firm serves the northwest corner of Washington State. Prior to becoming a home inspector, Curtis acquired 35 years of experience in residential and commercial construction. Brown was formally trained as a home inspector at BTC in 2007 and he opened his inspection firm that same year.


Donald Hester - Instructor image

Donald Hester

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


dhester@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Don Hester has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2014. He operates NCW Home Inspections...

    • Don Hester has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2014. He operates NCW Home Inspections in Eastern Washington. The firm is based in Wenatchee, but it services all of North Central Washington. He is the program’s Eastern Washington expert. Prior to becoming a home inspector, Don was employed as a union roofer and as a carpenter and glazier. Also, he spent 25 years in biotechnology specializing in materials management and procurement. He was a founding member of one of Seattle's first industrial HazMat Teams. Don has served on the Washington State Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board and as interim lead instructor of home inspection at BTC. Hester was formally trained as a home inspector at BTC in 2010 and he opened his inspection firm that same year.


Rick D. Pen - Instructor image

Rick D. Pen

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


N/A
rpen@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Rick Pen has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2006. He is an industry veteran, having ...

    • Rick Pen has been an instructor of Residential Home Inspection Training at Bellingham Technical College since 2006. He is an industry veteran, having operated Dependable Home Inspections in Whatcom County for many years. Prior to becoming a home inspector, Rick spent several years as a contractor and a remodeler. His experience included performing repairs and remodeling projects at both old and new homes. Pen was formally trained as a home inspector at BTC in 2004 and he opened his inspection business that same year.


Dylan Chalk - Instructor image

Dylan Chalk

Area of Instruction


Residential Home Inspection

Contact Info


dchalk@btc.edu
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Background


Profile
Dylan Chalk joined the team of Bellingham Technical College Residential Home Inspection training instructors in 2017. He is the owner and operator of ...

    • Dylan Chalk joined the team of Bellingham Technical College Residential Home Inspection training instructors in 2017. He is the owner and operator of Orca Inspection Services based on Bainbridge Island. Dylan serves the greater Seattle-Tacoma metro area. He has been a home inspector since 2003 and has performed more than 5,500 structural home inspections. Chalk is a member of, and a frequent continuing education presenter for, the American Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and he is vice-president of the ASHI chapter in Western Washington. In addition to holding home inspector and structural pest inspector licenses, Chalk has many other career accomplishments: author of The Confident House Hunter - Cedar Fort Press 2016; owner of Dylan Chalk House Talk real estate school; co-founder of ScribeWare LLC report writing software. Dylan is knowledgeable, articulate and an excellent presenter. We are pleased that he has become part of the BTC Residential Home Inspection training faculty.