Most programs consist of 5-7 courses and generally cover assessment methods for commercial, residential and agricultural properties. Students learn about government regulations and how to maintain proper records. Some states require that assessors obtain state certification, usually by passing an exam. Completing a training course may be a requirement to take the exam, although not in all states.
Assessor Training Programs
Assessor training programs are generally offered over several months or semesters. General training areas may also include value estimation, mass appraisal of neighborhoods, mapping techniques and private property assessment. Most programs explain how taxation systems work and the duties of government departments. Assessors are also given background in tax administration and how to work within appropriate local and/or state government channels. Program curricula generally include topics focused on specific assessment techniques in addition to general strategies for determining the value of property and applying that value for tax purposes. Possible topics include:
- County tax administration
- Property tax administration
- The income approach to valuation
- Real property appraisal
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies assessors as a subset of real-estate appraisers (www.bls.gov). Total employment for these professions is expected to increase 7%, about as fast as average for all professions, from 2018 to 2028. Automated valuation models, along with the increased use of mobile technology, were cited as curtailing demand for this profession.
As of May 2018, most appraisers and assessors worked for the real estate industry and for local governments. At that time, the median annual wage for all workers in these professions was $54,980.
Certification and Continuing Education Info
According to the BLS, while federal law requires most appraisers to possess state certification, the same is not true for assessors, although some states have the certification requirement. In states that have the certification requirement, assessors must complete continuing education to maintain certification. This education may prepare assessors to sit for the Tax Assessors Certification exam.
Training to become an assessor usually takes place over a short program, but teach students about a variety of assessment areas. While most states do not require licensure, some may mandate that assessors gain state certification, which must be maintained through continuing education.