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Real Estate Appraiser: Education & Career Requirements

Sep 13, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation necessary to become a real estate appraiser. Get an overview of the requirements - such as job duties, degree programs and certification - to see if this is the career for you.

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Real estate appraisers determine the value of properties for sale, mortgage or tax purposes. This career requires a bachelor's degree, certification, and licensing in some states. The job outlook for real estate appraisers is about as fast as all occupations and the average annual salary is about $58,000.

Essential Information

Real estate appraisers work with commercial and residential real estate owners to determine the value of properties for tax, mortgage and selling purposes. People who enjoy looking at homes and learning about home values may enjoy working as real estate appraisers. Educational requirements for real estate appraisers vary by state, but the BLS says would-be real estate appraisers should have at least a bachelor's degree. Certification is required in all states, and licensure rules may apply in some areas.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Certification & Licensure Requirements Federal law requires certification (either the Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser or Certified General Real Property Appraiser credential); licensure is required in some states
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 7% for Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate
Average Salary (2018)* $61,870 for Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements for Real Estate Appraisers

Educational requirements for real estate appraisers vary by state. Academic programs for aspiring real estate appraisers vary from certificate programs to associate's or bachelor's degree programs. Course topics typically include appraisal principles and procedures, site valuation, cost approach, real estate law and residential report writing. Requirements can also range depending on the value or types of property with which appraisers work. Most appraisers hold bachelor's degrees, though some states require a specific number of instructional hours.

Certification and Licensure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), federal law mandates that real estate appraisers be certified (www.bls.gov). Those who are Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser are qualified to value residential properties worth more than $250,000 or other properties worth less than $250,000. This certification entails an associate's degree or 21 units of specific postsecondary education as well as 200 hours of appraiser instruction and 2,500 hours of appraising experience.

The Certified General Real Property Appraiser credential allows appraisers to work with any property, no matter its type or value. To obtain this certification, candidates must hold bachelor's degrees or 30 units of specific postsecondary education. They must also have 300 hours education in appraising and 3,000 hours of experience. Both levels of certification entail passage of certification exams.

States may also have licensing requirements. These requirements may vary in each state, so individuals pursuing this career should check with the state in which they wish to work. For instance, Michigan requires real estate appraisers to be licensed and issues four different levels of licensure. The Appraisal Qualifications Board, which is sponsored by The Appraisal Foundation, dictates both the education and experience requirements for real estate appraisers.

Real Estate Appraiser Career Information

Real estate appraisers determine the value of properties. This is necessary for tax and mortgage purposes, as well as for determining selling prices. Real estate appraisers, according to the BLS, work with individual commercial or residential clients. After appraising property, these professionals create reports outlining the value of properties as well as the factors that went into determining prices.

Career Outlook

The BLS reported that real estate appraisers were expected to see an average increase in employment - a growth of seven percent - between 2018 and 2028. Attributing to this average growth is the fluctuating real estate market, which may decrease the demand for real estate appraisals. Another contributing factor is automated value systems, which may take work away from appraisers. The BLS also reported that the average annual wage for real estate appraisers was $61,870 in May 2018.

A real estate appraiser position usually requires a bachelor's degree. Certification is required and includes meeting the educational, training, and appraisal experience requirements, as well as passing an exam. Some states also require real estate appraisers to be licensed.

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