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Become An Appraiser

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Working As An Appraiser

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Appraiser Do

Appraisers and assessors of real estate provide an estimate of the value of land and the buildings on the land usually before it is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed.

Duties

Appraisers and assessors of real estate typically do the following:

  • Verify legal descriptions of real estate properties in public records
  • Inspect new and existing properties, noting the characteristics
  • Photograph the interior and exterior of properties
  • Analyze “comparables,” or similar nearby properties, to help provide values
  • Prepare written reports on the property values
  • Prepare and maintain current data on each real estate property 

Appraisers and assessors work in localities that they are familiar with so that they know any environmental or other concerns that may affect the property's value.

Appraisers typically value one property at a time, and they often specialize in a certain type of real estate:

  • Commercial appraisers specialize in income producing property, such as office buildings, stores, and hotels.
  • Residential appraisers focus on appraising property in which people live, such as single family homes and condominiums. They only appraise properties that house one to four units.

When evaluating a property's value, appraisers note the characteristics of the property and surrounding area, such as a view or noisy highway nearby. They also consider the overall condition of a building, including its foundation and roof or any renovations that may have been done. Appraisers photograph the outside of the building and some of the interior features to document its condition. After visiting the property, the appraiser analyzes the property relative to comparable home sales, including lease records, location, view, previous appraisals, and income potential. During the entire process, appraisers record their research, observations, and methods used in providing an estimate of the property’s value.

Assessors value properties for property tax assessments. Most work for local governments. Unlike appraisers, who generally focus on one property at a time, assessors often value an entire neighborhood of homes at once by using mass appraisal techniques and computer-assisted appraisal systems.

Assessors must be up to date on tax assessment procedures. Taxpayers sometimes challenge the assessed value because they feel they are being charged too much for property tax. Assessors must be able to defend the accuracy of their property assessments, either to the owner directly or at a public hearing.

Assessors also keep a database of every property in their jurisdiction, identifying the property owner, assessment history, and characteristics of the property, as well as property maps detailing the property distribution of the jurisdiction.

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How To Become An Appraiser

The requirements to become a fully qualified appraiser or assessor of real estate are complex and vary by state and, sometimes, by the value or type of property. Most appraisers of residential or commercial property must have at least a bachelor’s degree to obtain the entry-level state license category. Check with your state's licensing board for specific requirements for both assessors and appraisers.

Education

Although requirements may vary by state, appraisers of residential or commercial property usually must have at least a bachelor’s degree.

College courses in subjects such as economics, finance, mathematics, computer science, English, and business or real estate law can be useful for prospective appraisers and assessors.

Most states set education and experience requirements that assessors must meet in order to practice. A few states have no statewide requirements; instead, each locality sets the standards. In some localities, candidates may qualify with a high school diploma.

Training

Employers generally require candidates to take basic appraisal courses, complete long-term on-the-job training, and work enough hours to meet the requirements for licenses or certificates. 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Federal law requires appraisers to have a state license or certification when working on federally related transactions, such as appraisals for loans made by federally insured banks and financial institutions. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) offers information on appraisal licensing. There is no such federal requirement for assessors, although some states require certification. For state specific requirements, applicants should contact their state board.

Real property appraisers usually value one property at a time, while assessors value many at once, but both occupations use similar methods and techniques. As a result, assessors and appraisers tend to take the same courses for certification. In addition to passing a statewide examination, candidates must usually complete a set number of on-the-job hours.

The credential level determines what type of property a person may appraise. The four federal appraiser classifications are as follows:

    • Licensed Trainee Real Property Appraiser

    • Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser

    • Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser

    • Certified General Real Property Appraiser

Many states offer a Licensed Trainee Real Property Appraiser credential to candidates working toward licensure or certification. Training programs vary by state, but they usually require candidates to take at least 75 hours of specified appraiser education before applying for a job as a trainee.

Many states offer the Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser. With this license, a qualified person may appraise noncomplex one-to-four unit residences with a value of less than $1 million and complex one-to-four unit residences with a value of less than $250,000. A candidate must have the following qualifications to get this certificate:

    • 30 semester hours of college-level education

    • 150 hours of appraiser-qualifying education

    • 2,000 hours of on-the-job training completed over at least 1 year

Being a Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser is the minimum requirement to appraise a residential property with a loan amount over $250,000 or any other type of residential property even if the loan amount is less than $250,000. A candidate must have the following qualifications to get this certificate:

    • Bachelor’s degree

    • 200 hours of appraiser-specific qualifying education

    • 2,500 hours of work experience completed over at least 2 years

Being a Certified General Real Property Appraiser permits a person to appraise real property of any type and any value. A candidate must have the following qualifications to get this certificate:

    • Bachelor’s degree 

    • 300 hours of appraiser-specific qualifying education

    • 3,000 hours of work experience completed over at least 2½ years

For all of these credentials, except the Trainee License credential, candidates must have the following qualifications:

    • Have 15 hours of classroom instruction on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

    • Pass an exam

Unlike appraisers, assessors have no federal requirement for certification. In states that mandate certification for assessors, the requirements are usually similar to those for appraisers. For example, the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) offers the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE). This designation covers topics that include property valuation for tax purposes, property tax administration, and property tax policy. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree prior to obtaining the designation.

For those states that do not require certification for assessors, the hiring office usually requires the candidate to take basic appraisal courses, complete on-the-job training, and meet the work-hours requirements for appraisal licenses or certificates. Many assessors also have a state appraiser license or credential.

Assessors tend to start working in an assessor's office that provides on-the-job training; smaller municipalities are often unable to provide this work experience. An alternate source of experience for aspiring assessors is through a revaluation firm.

Both appraisers and assessors must take continuing education courses to keep the license or certification. Exact requirements vary by state and certification.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Appraisers and assessors of real estate use many sources of data when valuing a property. As a result, they must carefully research and analyze all factors before estimating a value and producing a final written report.

Customer-service skills. Because appraisers must regularly interact with clients, being polite and friendly is important. In addition, these characteristics may help expand future business opportunities.

Math skills. Accurately analyzing real estate data includes such steps as calculating square footage of land and building space, so workers must have good math skills.

Organizational skills. To successfully accomplish all the tasks related to appraising and assessing a property, appraisers and assessors of real estate need good organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Appraising or assessing a property's value may involve unexpected problems. The ability to develop and apply an alternative solution is crucial to successfully completing the appraisal and report on time.

Time-management skills. Appraisers and assessors of real estate often work under time constraints, sometimes appraising many properties in a single day. As a result, managing time and meeting deadlines are important.

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Appraiser Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Damage Appraiser 5.2 years
Licensed Appraiser 4.9 years
Staff Appraiser 4.7 years
Property Appraiser 4.4 years
Field Appraiser 4.2 years
Tax Appraiser 4.1 years
Home Appraiser 4.1 years
Land Appraiser 4.0 years
Appraiser 4.0 years
Auditor Appraiser 3.7 years
Top Careers Before Appraiser
Owner 7.5%
Manager 6.1%
Trainee 3.0%
Estimator 2.8%
Top Careers After Appraiser
Owner 13.3%
Manager 7.2%
Estimator 5.7%
Analyst 4.4%
Reviewer 3.6%
President 3.2%
Realtor 2.6%
Consultant 2.5%

Do you work as an Appraiser?

Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
First International Bank & Trust
Highest Paying City
Minot, ND
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does an Appraiser make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Appraiser in the United States is $74,242 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $153,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Appraiser?

Have you worked as an Appraiser? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as an Appraiser.

Top Skills for An Appraiser

  1. Appraisal Reports
  2. Real Estate
  3. Property Appraisals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Complete appraisal reports and reviews on all residential property types including acreage and proposed construction.
  • Analyzed economic and market trends to extrapolate data for use in developing a valuation opinion for commercial and residential real estate.
  • Inspected single family dwellings *Performed market value property appraisals *Prepared detailed reports reinforcing total market values *Scheduled appointments with clients
  • Schedule and conduct appraisal inspection of residential properties.
  • Appraised damaged vehicles out of state for insurance companies in catastrophes situations and settled total loss claims.

Appraiser Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 4,482 Appraiser resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Appraiser Resume

View Resume Examples

Appraiser Demographics

Gender

Male

61.0%

Female

29.4%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.3%

French

9.5%

Mandarin

5.7%

Chinese

4.8%

Russian

3.8%

Portuguese

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

Vietnamese

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Armenian

1.9%

Carrier

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Swedish

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Danish

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Dari

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Nepali

1.0%

Greek

1.0%
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Appraiser Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.5%

Texas A&M University

8.4%

University of Florida

6.1%

University of Connecticut

5.4%

Northeastern University

5.4%

University of North Texas

5.1%

Arizona State University

4.4%

Texas Tech University

4.4%

San Diego State University

4.4%

The Academy

4.0%

Ohio State University

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Florida State University

4.0%

New York University

3.7%

Gemological Institute of America

3.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%

Texas State University

3.4%

University of Georgia

3.4%

University of Alabama

3.0%

Brigham Young University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

31.1%

Real Estate

16.3%

Finance

7.0%

Accounting

5.2%

Education

4.6%

Management

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Psychology

3.5%

Communication

3.0%

Marketing

3.0%

Economics

2.8%

Computer Science

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

General Studies

1.9%

Political Science

1.9%

Insurance

1.9%

Automotive Technology

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Law

1.6%

Legal Support Services

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.1%

Other

29.6%

Masters

11.4%

Associate

10.0%

Certificate

3.8%

License

1.9%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.9%
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Top Appraiser Employers

Jobs From Top Appraiser Employers

Appraiser Videos

How To Become A Trainee Appraiser

How To Become A Licensed Appraiser

Market Analysis of Insurance Appraiser

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