Nearly one third of all U.S. states have no certification or training programs in place for housing inspectors. Those that do often have very lax requirements for home inspectors, and often require only a basic application and written exam [source: Solomon]. This means that a so-called home inspector may have just about as much experience as you do at evaluating the condition of a house.
Steer clear of these inexperienced inspectors and look for professionals certified by a trusted organization within the home inspection industry. The American Society of Home Inspectors requires applicants to inspect at least 250 houses in order to earn membership, while the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has similarly stringent requirements [source: Solomon] .
Even inspectors who don't belong to these organizations may be highly qualified. To weed out the inexperienced candidates, ask each inspector about his or her previous experience with residential home inspections.