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Schools for Aspiring Real Estate Appraisers: How to Choose

Real estate appraisers assign values to properties for sale or tax purposes. Requirements for levels of certification in real estate appraisal vary somewhat from state to state. The student can take courses online or in the classroom to prepare for certification at a variety of levels.

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Real estate appraisal programs can be found at community colleges and through the extension schools of 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools with Real Estate Appraisal Programs

Many schools throughout the U.S. offer programs in real estate appraisal. These schools range in size and cost, giving you plenty of options when shopping for the right program for you. Some school options are profiled below:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Mesa Community College Mesa, Arizona 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's Degree $2,046
Triton College River Grove, Illinois 2-year, Public Courses $9,360
Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, Colorado < 2-year, Public Certificate $648 program cost (2016-2017)**
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, North Carolina 2-year, Public Certificate $2,664
Columbus State Community College Columbus, Ohio 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's Degree $3,808
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, Maryland 2-year, Public Courses $7,374
Houston Community College Houston, Texas 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's Degree $3,360
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, Florida 4-year, Public Courses $6,118
Baruch College New York, New York 4-year, Public Certificate $6,810

Sources: *National Center of Education Statistics, **School websites

College Selection Criteria

Because there are many levels of real estate appraisal education, it's important to consider the following when looking for the program that's right for you:

  • Because state requirements vary, students must choose a school that offers courses required by the state in which they would like to work.
  • Students wanting to become commercial or general real estate appraisers need a bachelor's degree.
  • All courses offered must meet current Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) minimum qualifications for appraisal licensure.
  • Some states require that a student work under a supervisory appraiser for up to two and a half years in order to qualify for certification. Students in such states may seek out schools with programs set up to connect students with appraisers.

Residential Real Estate Appraiser Trainee Program

The trainee-level program is an optional 75-hour sequence that allows students to assess their interest in real estate appraisal. It does not grant state certification, but it will familiarize students with basics of real estate appraisal and may prepare them for entry-level positions in a real estate appraisal firm. The credits earned in a trainee program will count toward the first level of residential real estate appraisal certification.

Residential Real Estate Appraiser Training Program

Residential, or associate, certification requires a minimum of 150 hours of classroom education and 2,000 hours of vocational experience. Courses must cover USPAP and basic appraisal principles and procedures. With this certification a student is qualified to assist certified residential real estate appraisers.

Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser Training Program

The certified residential real estate appraisal certification requires 200 hours of classroom education and 2,500 hours of work experience. Students must already have attained associate certification. Many states also require an associate degree or course credit in computer applications, college-level math, English composition, finance, economics, statistics and business law. Certified graduates can perform residential real estate appraisals on their own.

Certified General License Training Program

The certified general license requires 3,000 classroom hours and 3,000 hours of experience, 1,500 of which must be non-residential. On top of the certified residential real estate appraiser certification, many states require a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or 30 college-level credits in courses similar to those required for the certified residential license as well as other general education topics. This highest level of certification allows the certificate holder to do any kind of real estate appraisal.

There are a variety of real estate appraisal programs throughout the United States, offering prospective students many degree levels and price points to consider. When looking for your ideal program, be sure to choose a program that meets your state's requirements, as well as considering practical concerns like location and price.

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