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How to Become an Appraiser

Do you have an eye for detail and take pride in performing your job as thoroughly as possible? Appraisers assess the value of a property after a thorough inspection and other factors that are taken into consideration. Appraisers spend time analyzing these properties on their own time, but also spend a decent amount of time with property owners. They must communicate effectively with the property owners and be able to get a history of the property from the owner, if possible. At times, appraisers may come into conflict with property owners if their assessment of the property value is not what the owner expected. An ability to deescalate these types of situations and help the property owner understand the appraisal will be paramount.

Sample job description

We are seeking a powerhouse appraiser who is committed to producing quality and accurate results. In this role, appraisers will be required to remain up to date with current real estate markets and the changes in those markets as they happen in real-time. Things such as the economy, politics, schools, commercial and residential developments in the vicinity, etc. can all cause market fluctuations. Remaining current on these market trends will be paramount in order to keep appraisals accurate. You will also be responsible for communicating certain appraisal outcomes to customers and resolving any concerns that they may have. With today’s market, this can be challenging but is coincidentally extremely rewarding as well. If you are organized, continuously striving to perfect your craft, and always remain teachable, then you will be set for success in this position. If you embody these qualities, then please let us know, as we would love to chat and see if we are a good fit for each other!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Examine properties to determine the value 
  • Interview clients 
  • Photograph the property interior and exterior
  • Research the local property market 
  • Follow and stay up to date on the latest job practices 
  • Comply with regulations 
  • Write reports to explain the assessment
  • Update files with property information; maintain property records
  • Stay in contact with the client and/or customer 

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree required in some states 
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, ARGUS, LoopNet, and CoStar
  • State licensed appraiser license 
  • The certified residential real property appraiser and the certified general real property appraiser

Required skills and qualifications

  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Great interpersonal skills 
  • Organizational skills 
  • Time management skills 
  • Strong math skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Ability to work well under stress or pressure 
  • Analytical skills 
  • Critical thinking skills 
  • Research skills
  • Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Knowledge and experience with related programs like Argus, CoStar, and LoopNet

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3+ years of experience in appraising properties

Typical work environment

Appraisers typically work in an office environment updating information for records, writing reports, and other duties on the computer to prep the appraisal. When they are not in the office, they are out visiting properties doing onsite investigations. As an appraiser, working on the weekends is not uncommon. 

Typical hours

Appraisers typically work the traditional hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Occasionally, you will need to work later than 5 PM or on the weekends, depending on your clients’ needs or deadlines. It is essential that you be punctual as an appraiser. 

Available certifications

There are many available certifications for appraisers. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Appraiser Association of America Certified Member – This represents the highest level of accomplishment for the members of the Association. It shows that you have the knowledge needed to excel as an appraiser. You’ll need 70 hours of education every five years to keep up this certification.
  • Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA) – This certification isn’t necessary but it definitely shows that you are dedicated and take your job seriously as a residential appraiser. You need 1,000 hours of appraisal work experience to qualify for this. You’ll also need 45 hours of education and to pass a test in order to receive this certification.
  • Certified Data Market Analyst (CMDA) – This certification is geared to help improve your evaluation skills and focuses on residential properties. 

Career path

In order to be an appraiser, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will then need to have post-secondary education and obtain an associate’s degree related to an appraiser. Depending on the employer, some places will prefer you to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, real estate, agriculture, or related field. In order for you to apply, you will need to have your state license or be a certified appraiser. Of course, the more experience you have under your belt the better. The proper skill sets needed for you to be successful include exceptional writing, analytical, listening, critical thinking, and verbal communication skills. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-2020

2020 Employment78,700
Projected Employment in 203082,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 4% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift3,400 increase

Once you become a qualified licensed appraiser with years of experience, the opportunities for you to advance in this position will grow. After gaining proper experience, you could become a senior appraiser or senior real estate analyst. Those with bachelor’s degrees have a much greater opportunity for advancement and will likely have to opportunity to land management positions and receive higher pay. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for appraisers is set to increase 4% between now and 2030, projecting appraiser employment to 82,100.