What is a Certified Master Inspector®? If you are an experienced home inspector, then you may already know. The designation of Certified Master Inspector® has been heralded by many as being “the highest designation in the home inspection industry”. 

But what does it really mean to be a Certified Master Inspector®? How does a home inspector become a CMI? Is the designation only for home inspectors? What are the benefits?

We will discuss all of these questions below:

What is a Certified Master Inspector®?

According to the official website, a Certified Master Inspector® (more commonly called a CMI) is basically six things. As quoted from their website, a CMI is:

  • Experienced
  • Established
  • Professional
  • Educated
  • Vetted
  • The Best

Those statements are pretty bold, especially the last one. Do they stand up though? Well, that could be very subjective, but in our opinion they pretty much do, and here is why.

First, a CMI has to complete 1,000 fee-paid inspections and/or complete that many hours of training and education – combined. That is a huge feat. I know many inspectors who never hit that in all of their careers. Anyone who is going to complete that many inspections and that many hours of training is going to be pretty well equipped.

That raises the question of a “lopsided” application. In other words, if I never completed an inspection in my life, but I have 1,000 hours of training, would I be able to become a CMI? The question is actually answered on their website at the bottom of their Become a CMI page. They state that they have never received an application like that yet, and if they did that they reserve the right to deny an experience/education-lopsided application.

So that being said, do just the numbers count? What if I did 1,000 inspections/hours of training one year, would I be able to be a CMI? Nope. An inspector needs to have been in the inspection industry for at least three years. It also requires that a CMI:

All pretty straightforward stuff, but it definitely helps weed out those who would try to take advantage of the designation. 

Who Are CMI’s? What Are the Benefits?

CMI’s, from what I personally see, are for the most part home inspectors. But according to what we have read, it can be used in many other industries that are inspection related as well.

We tried to find other industries using the Certified Master Inspector® designation, but none really as prominent as the home inspection industry. In close second were commercial property inspectors, like those that belong to CCPIA

I imagine inspectors in the energy inspection world of things would be happy to use it as well. Other industries may also include mold inspectors/assessors, roof technicians, pool inspectors, chimney inspectors…. anything that includes inspecting a building or something in/around it presumably. 

So what are the benefits of becoming a CMI? Can’t someone who has that experience and knowledge just do his own thing? Yes, of course he can. But when I visit my doctor, I like to see all his degrees and certifications on the wall. Those give me more confidence in him than him just telling me he has experience. It is the same with the CMI designation.

It tells consumers what you are capable of, creates confidence in your services, and helps sell your services. It sets a home inspector (or other inspectors) apart from their competition and is a great selling point for you and your company.

Also, CMI’s also have an entire page of benefits and resources to choose from. Everything from trade table displays to free mugs and a lot more. The CMI Board definitely likes to take care of its members.

Certified Master Inspector


If you are an experienced inspector on the fence about becoming a CMI, you may want to think about taking the plunge. There are many benefits to becoming one, and I have never met a CMI that wasn’t glad he worked to become one and has that designation.

Also, check out our home inspection software, learn about NACHI and ASHI, or how to market to real estate agents.