NHLA Inspector Training School

Hardwood Lumber Grading Taught by the Experts

Welcome to the NHLA Inspector Training School located in Memphis, Tennessee, at the headquarters of the National Hardwood Lumber Association.

When the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) was founded in 1898, its primary goal was to establish "uniformity of inspecting hardwood lumber." The creation of the NHLA Rules Book for Grading Hardwood Lumber gave the industry a set of regulations. The Rules acted as a foundation for hardwood ideals, which helped to stabilize the entire industry. Before the Rules were established, prices were determined willy-nilly without any standard. Once the Rules were in place, order reigned where chaos once stood.

By the 1940s, the need for qualified lumber inspectors grew so rapidly that NHLA opened a training school for grading lumber. What was meant to be a pilot program to gauge interest soon evolved into the full-fledged NHLA Inspector Training School (ITS) we know today. ITS has seen more than 7,500 students graduate.

Earn your certificate in grading hardwood lumber by attending Inspector Training school.

99% Job Placement Rate

As little as 8 Weeks to Graduate

2 Learning

Globally Recognized Certificate

Endless Growth Opportunities

About the Program

The NHLA Inspector Training School offers the only Hardwood Lumber Inspector certificate program in the world. Due to the reputation of the School, graduates are often in high demand, and many companies require their inspectors to be trained by NHLA.

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Two Learning Options

Flexibility is important to the students of Inspector Training School. NHLA offers two learning options for those interested in earning their certificate in hardwood lumber inspection.

In-Person Inspector Training School Program

This course mixes hands-on training, testing, in-class lecturing, one-on-one training with the instructor, group study, and more. Students who successfully fulfill all program requirements will receive a certificate of completion.

Hybrid Online Inspector Training School Program

The Inspector Training School Online Training Program allows students to receive a certificate of completion in a hybrid learning environment. This program mixes in-person education with a more flexible remote learning opportunity. Students who successfully complete both the in-person and online program requirements will receive a certificate of completion.

The Hybrid Online Inspector Training Program is composed of 3 Modules:


Module 1 is a two-week course that includes hands-on training and in-class lectures at NHLA Headquarters in Memphis, TN. Once Module 1 is complete, students can register
for Module 2.


Module 2 is all online. Students can spend up to one year studying online from work, home, or anywhere with a WiFi connection. Once successfully finished with Module 2, students can register for Module 3. 


Module 3 is three weeks of training in Memphis, TN. In this Module, students will be taking tests and grading lumber, and students can meet with our instructors for one-on-one guidance.

Admission Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to sharpen their mathematical skills before attending class, and we recommend taking the Inspector Training School Assessment.

Tuition and Scholarship

Scholarship opportunities are available to all applicants of the Inspector Training School. Learn how earning your certificate can be easy and affordable today!

Is the NHLA Inspector Training School Right for You?

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Check out all of our upcoming courses, and learn more about the different ways you can earn your certificate from the NHLA Inspector Training School. 

Student Life

Memphis is the apex of Southern Culture; from blues and barbecues to famous landmarks and art galleries, there is always something to do while you’re not in the classroom.


Have any questions or need assistance deciding which learning option will work best for you? Our staff would love to help! Give us a call at 901-377-1818, or contact our Inspector Training School staff to request more information.