Online Schools for a Home Appraising Career: How to Choose

There are no online degrees available in real estate appraising, but prospective students can earn a professional certificate or a bachelor's degree in finance or economics. Online degree programs can provide students with the training necessary to prepare for a state licensing exam.

Online programs related to home appraisal can sometimes be found online, though specific education is not offered via distance learning. The program levels and delivery format are things to consider when choosing schools, as well as verifying the curriculum allows you to meet state requirements for approval as an appraiser.

How to Select an Online Home Appraisal School

In addition to the award level and program delivery, students must consider state approval. The specific requirements for licensed appraisers vary by state and level of certification. There are four main levels of real estate licensing. A State Registered Appraiser Assistant license serves an entry-level license for appraisers looking to enter a training position in an appraisal office. Intermediate licenses like the Residential License and the Certified Residential License offer a chance for a higher level position in residential real estate appraising. The most competitive license is the State-Certified General Appraiser's license.

Award Level

Real estate appraisers assess the value of commercial and residential properties. Every time a piece of property is sold, mortgaged, developed, or insured, appraisers factor in market value, unique architectural features, location, and any other factors that might affect its value.

There are no set degree majors for a career in real estate appraising. Many professional appraisers prepare for the position with a professional certificate or a bachelor's degree in a field such as finance, business, or economics. Students also prepare for the required appraising license exam by taking classes in real estate, completing a required training in an appraiser's office, and passing the State licensing exam.

State Approval

It's important that students to check with their state about specific educational and internship requirements necessary to qualify for the state licensing exam in their State before enrolling in a program. Professional certification programs must be approved by a state's Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB).

Program Delivery

Online programs offer two options of enrollment, fully online and low-residency (hybrid) programs. Online immersion programs provide course instruction through video and e-mail correspondence and generally don't require students to take classes on campus. These programs are well suited for working professionals or students who may not require much hands-on training.

Online certificate programs in appraising as well as bachelor's degree programs in finance or economics are mostly full immersion programs. Hybrid programs, which offer a selection of courses online, but also require students to spend at least part of the time on campus are also available.

Popular Online Programs for Home Appraisers

Online Professional Certification for Appraisers

Successful completion of the required courses in a certification program can help students prepare for the licensing exam and an internship position in the appraising office. Typical coursework covers:

  • Appraisal principles and procedures
  • Business asset categorization
  • Litigation appraising
  • Real estate
  • Advanced income capitalization

Online Bachelor of Science in Finance

A bachelor's degree program in finance satisfies the basic credit hour requirement for the General Appraiser Exam. An online bachelor's degree program takes an average of 3-4 years to complete and requires students to complete a core of liberal arts that include courses in mathematics, social science, English, and writing.

Most online programs in finance allow students to advance through the course material at their own pace. Students stream online lectures, view demonstrations, and complete online assignments. Courses in real estate can help students address specific issues in real estate law, marketing, and appraising. Students are introduced to a variety of topics in:

  • Effective business writing
  • Marketing
  • Ethics
  • Microeconomic analysis and policy
  • Finance & accounting

Schools with Online Programs in Home Appraisal

Penn State Career School is one of many schools with an online Bachelor of Science in Finance. This degree is one option for prospective home appraisers to learn many crucial skills for their future career. Most degree programs can afford at least one elective, as well, potentially meaning students can learn some specialized appraisal education during the course of their program if such classes are available at the time. Graduates can also earn the Chartered Financial Analyst or Certificated Financial Planning designations if they desire.

The Appraisal Institute also offers online certification preparation courses designed to help students learn and review different appraisal abilities prior to their exam. These programs may not be approved or available in every state, so make sure to verify this before looking to participate.

It is important to consider a variety of factors when finding online education suitable for a home appraiser, such as the programs offered, their delivery format, and whether or not this education qualifies you for state approval.


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