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Become An Assessor

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Working As An Assessor

  • $54,880

    Average Salary

What Does An Assessor 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 Assessor

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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Assessor jobs

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Assessor Career Paths

Assessor
Clinical Director Adjunct Instructor Attorney
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Facilitator Social Worker
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Case Manager Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Trainer Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Facilitator Program Coordinator Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Program Manager President Of Operations
Executive Vice President Of Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Program Director Clinical Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Production Manager Logistics Manager
Logistics Director
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor Program Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Faculty Chairperson
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Social Worker Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Senior Software Engineer Engineering Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director Chief Executive Officer Property Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Trainer Training Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Operations Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Assessor Demographics

Gender

Female

61.8%

Male

36.0%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

77.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.6%

French

9.6%

Portuguese

4.0%

German

4.0%

Mandarin

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Filipino

2.4%

Tagalog

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Swedish

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Welsh

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%
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Assessor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.5%

Capella University

8.0%

Walden University

6.8%

Nova Southeastern University

6.4%

University of South Florida

6.0%

Georgia State University

5.6%

University of Central Florida

4.8%

Florida State University

4.8%

Troy University

4.4%

Grand Canyon University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Valdosta State University

4.0%

Florida International University

4.0%

University of West Florida

4.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.6%

Liberty University

3.6%

New York University

3.2%

Arizona State University

3.2%

University of Georgia

3.2%

Ohio State University

2.8%
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Majors

Social Work

15.1%

Business

12.0%

Psychology

11.5%

Counseling Psychology

9.8%

School Counseling

6.3%

Nursing

5.4%

Clinical Psychology

5.3%

Education

4.6%

Mental Health Counseling

4.3%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Sociology

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.5%

English

2.5%

Human Development

2.3%

Computer Science

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Educational Leadership

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Rehabilitation Science

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

37.2%

Bachelors

31.1%

Other

15.3%

Doctorate

6.4%

Associate

5.1%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.5%
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Real Assessor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $120,000
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2015 $106,000
Lead Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 13, 2016 $101,703
Senior Assessor Lloyd's Register North America, Inc. Sacramento, CA Sep 09, 2016 $93,226
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX Nov 14, 2011 $87,500
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX Nov 28, 2011 $87,500
Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX Nov 14, 2011 $87,500
Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX Oct 24, 2011 $87,500
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 09, 2016 $86,000
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems Inc. New York, NY Sep 08, 2015 $86,000
Technical Assessor Isarail Us LLC Philadelphia, PA Sep 27, 2014 $83,699
Senior Assessor (Computer Security Specialist) Accuvant, Inc. San Mateo, CA Mar 08, 2010 $76,500 -
$85,000
IT Security Assessor Coalfire Systems, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Oct 09, 2016 $74,000
Food Safety Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Jan 24, 2011 $71,219 -
$97,200
Food Safety Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Sep 14, 2011 $71,219 -
$97,200
Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 10, 2012 $69,389
Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 13, 2012 $69,389
Assessor Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 01, 2012 $69,389

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Top Skills for An Assessor

MentalHealthServicesChildSafetyProceduresSubstanceAbuseTreatmentCrisisInterventionEnsureCompliancePersonalPropertyImproveTreatmentPlansFacilityClinicalAssessmentsCustomerServiceInternetSearchMedicaidEmergencySearchEngineResultsLanguageDataEntryClass

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Top Assessor Skills

  1. Mental Health Services
  2. Child
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assess eligibility for educationally related mental health services for school referred children in special education.
  • Provide information to District Agencies on child Welfare adherence and academic achievement.
  • Enforce safety requirements of all contractors while on the job site.
  • Coordinate outages, generate clearances, write procedures and amend processes as required to correspond to our existing schedule.
  • Provided Counseling Services, Substance Abuse Treatment, Individual/Group Training, Career Development Planning, and Family counseling.

Top Assessor Employers

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