Can I be a home inspector with a felony?
Using a set protocol, states can issue or decline a home inspector certification; but will your felony influence the result? It might. The home inspector certification process varies by states, and some states might take a criminal record into account when issuing a license.
States where felons can’t be home inspectors:
The good news: Only a few states have laws about certifying felons as home inspectors, and it’s only outright illegal in one. In most states, home inspector certifications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, meaning you can become a home inspector with a felony as long as you fulfill other requirements.
Case-by-case certification reviews
If you've got a criminal record, your certification application will probably be reviewed by a group before being declined or approved. If you’re a convicted felon, members of the board consider a few extra things when reviewing your case:
- Nature and severity of the crime
- Relationship of the crime to home inspection services
- Extent to which a license might encourage similar activity
- Time elapsed since the crime
- Evidence of reformation
- Comprehensive criminal past
Tips for becoming a home inspector with a felony
No matter your state, you’ll most likely be required to undergo a full background check before you’re certified. This is standard for anyone trying to get a home inspection license—not just those with a criminal record.
1. Don't try to hide your felony.
When you get picked for a background check — and you will — your felony WILL show up, and it WILL affect your certification. Falsifying an application can be considered fraud, so not only will you be out a job, but your criminal record will get even longer.
2. Try to get your record expunged.
If you can, an expunged record will let you honestly say that you’ve never been convicted of a crime. Expungement laws vary by state; research yours to find out how to clear your record.
3. Become as qualified as possible with ATI's home inspection classes.
The more qualified you are, the more likely you are to get a job. It’s just a fact. When you sign up for a home inspection training course, get additional education, and keep up with it. The more qualified you are, the more likely a board is to ignore a felony. ATI offers home inspection courses online, in-person and for continuing education — you have no excuse for under-qualification.
Becoming a home inspector with a criminal record isn’t impossible. If you actually put in the work, you can still beat your competition, and come out on top.