Property Appraiser: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a property appraiser. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, licensure, and certifications to find out if this is the career for you.

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Property appraisers estimate property values for various purposes. They usually need an associate's degree, but some positions may require a bachelor's degree. Job openings for these professionals are expected to grow about as fast as the national average between 2014 and 2024.

Essential Information

A property appraiser estimates the value of a property for tax, sales, financing, development and insurance purposes. An appraiser may work for the government, for a business or be self-employed. To be an appraiser, a person must meet guidelines set by the Appraisal Qualifications Board and their state government. Requirements for licensure or certification vary significantly from state to state and depend on what type of property an appraiser focuses on.

Required Education Most positions require an associate's degree; bachelor's degree required for some positions
Other Requirements State licensure or certification required for some positions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for appraisers and assessors*
Median Salary (2015) $51,860 for appraisers and assessors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Property Appraiser Job Description

A property appraiser helps to establish the value of a property through examination and research. An appraiser may concentrate on a specific area of real estate, such as commercial or residential. Concentration areas may also be more specific, such as hotels, restaurants or condominiums. An appraiser may specialize in appraisals for a specific purpose, such as taxes or new construction.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 85,800 appraisers and assessors of real estate in 2014, not including self-employed appraisers and assessors. The BLS projected that this profession would see an increase in jobs of eight percent from 2014-2024. Additionally, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for appraisers and assessors in 2015 was $51,860.

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Property Appraiser Duties

The main job duty of a property appraiser is to create a detailed report about the property that specifies the property's value and the reasons why that value was given. The appraisal process involves looking over the property and gathering specific information that will affect the value, such as special architectural features, environmental factors and the condition of the structure. During the course of completing the appraisal a property appraiser may also:

  • Take photographs
  • Research information on a laptop or mobile device
  • Take notes
  • Prepare reports

Property Appraiser Requirements

The Appraisal Qualification Board (AQB) sets the minimum standards for education, experience and licensing for property appraisers. The AQB is part of The Appraisal Foundation and is given authority over appraiser qualifications under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. The guidelines set by the AQB are minimum standards only and some states require more than the minimum criteria. Property appraisers must meet state minimum requirements to be licensed or certified.

A property appraiser can be a licensed residential, certified residential or certified general appraiser. According to the AQB guidelines for a licensed residential appraiser the requirements are 150 education hours and 2,000 hours of experience in a 12-month period. The requirements for a certified residential appraiser are 200 hours of education and 2,500 hours of experience in 24 months. The requirements for a certified general appraiser are 300 hours of education and 3,000 hours of experience in 30 months.

Property appraisers must be licensed or certified according to state law. Licensing or certification at the state level requires that specific education and work experience criteria be met. The appraiser must also take and pass the state exam. To maintain any license or certification an appraiser must meet continuing education requirement.

Property appraisers may be required to be licensed and/or certified by the state. Licensing and certification requirements vary, but usually include meeting education and experience requirements and passing an exam. The median salary for this occupation is about $52,000 per year.

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