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Estate Appraisal Certification and Education Program Information

Explore educational options for students who want to learn about estate appraisal. See the program prerequisites and potential coursework, and review the employment outlook statistics for real estate appraisers and assessors.

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Essential Information

Professional appraisers determine the value of items put up for auction in estate liquidation sales, art galleries and auction houses. While there are few standard forms of training for aspiring appraisers, some individuals enroll in appraisal certificate programs at professional schools and university extension departments. High school diplomas may be required for admission.

Students of an appraisal certificate program may learn how to evaluate an item by performing detailed research and analysis into its history. They can then determine the approximate age, origin and value of the item. Such programs include a business component and provide prospective appraisers with the skills necessary to run their own businesses. Graduates who want to pursue voluntary certifications can earn them through the American Society of Appraisers. Educational and experience requirements apply.

Education Prerequisites

There are very few educational prerequisites necessary to gaining admittance into an appraiser certificate program. A high school diploma and postsecondary education in business or history are recommended, but not always required.

Program Coursework

The courses offered within an appraisal certificate program cover the methodologies and skills used by professional appraisers. Some of these include:

  • Valuation theory
  • Primary and secondary resources
  • Market economics and statistics
  • Appraisal methods
  • Catalog information interpretation
  • Appraisal report standards
  • Donation appraisals
  • Loss appraisals
  • Contracts and operating cost
  • Managing an appraisal business
  • Ethical standards

Employment Outlook and Certification

Professional appraisers have the option to earn accreditation by the American Society of Appraisers, which can provide them with a level of professional designation. To earn accreditation, individual appraisers must submit a file to the organization's International Board of Examiners, who judge educational background and appraisal experience. Those who gain accreditation are awarded with certification by the American Society of Appraisers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, appraisers and assessors of real estate are projected to see a seven percent growth in employment from 2010-2020. The mean annual wages for these workers were $55,180 in 2012.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics