How do I know if my home inspector is a professional engineer?

Most realtors and attorneys refer to a home inspection report as an “Engineer’s Report.” However, most people performing home inspections are not actually engineers! They may be licensed as “Home Inspectors,” but such licenses are not recognized by the State of New York as having the same level of competence and authority as an Engineer’s license. In fact, by law, only a Professional Engineer (P.E.) can give evaluations, recommendations and solutions regarding a structure and its systems.

A “Home Inspector” may comment on the condition of individual components within a system. But he/she cannot, for instance, legally state that “the steel i-beam in the basement is the correct size,” for this would be regarded as the practice of engineering, for which he/she is not licensed. If your inspector is not an engineer, they may recommend that you have certain issues looked at by an engineer for further information.

Don’t get caught in the scenario of having to decide whether or not to undertake the additional expense of another inspection. Ensure your inspector is a professional engineer, and you’ll only need one inspection to get all the details you need.

How to see if your Home Inspector is a Professional Engineer

Your inspector should have the designation “P.E.” (Professional Engineer) after their name or on their website.

Some people may refer to themselves as engineers because they work in a related field and/or may have graduated from an engineering college, but only those who have passed the New York State licensing process are legally allowed to call themselves an Engineer in New York State.

You can check your inspector’s credentials with an easy New York State verification search.

  1. Visit the NYS verification search site here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm
  2. In the menu, select “Professional Engineer”
  3. Type in the name of your inspector, last name first, without a comma in between. For example, “Coy Gerald”
  4. Click “Search”
  5. If your inspector is a licensed engineer, you should be able to view their license number and credentials, like this:

Name: COY GERALD L
Address: WEBSTER NY
Profession: PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING
License No: 075735
Date of Licensure : 08/03/98
Additional Qualification: N/A
Status: REGISTERED
Registered through last day of: 10/15

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