A high school diploma or GED is the minimum requirement for students entering into the real estate appraisal program. A valid driver's license is also required and applicants will have to pass a criminal background report.
Employers often seek applicants with some appraisal experience, analytical skills, excellent computer and communications skills and current knowledge of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which governs an appraiser's responsibilities, objectivity, judgment and integrity. An associate's degree is generally sufficient to enter the field as a state licensed and certified residential real estate appraiser. To obtain a general license, which includes commercial and residential property, most states require a bachelor's degree.
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Certification of Completion Program
Students in the real estate appraisal certificate program have the option of choosing one of four levels of licensing, including appraisal trainee, residential, certified residential or certified general. In the certificate training program, students receive training on the different approaches to determine value, market analysis, report writing, statistics and basic procedures when assembling an appraisal. Classroom training also covers:
- Fair housing
- Building codes
- Building construction
- Case studies
- Researching real estate records
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that, as of 2015, appraisers and assessors of real estate make a median annual wage of $51,860. The employment for these professionals is expected to grow 8% from 2014-2024.
Licenses and Certifications
Each level of licensing has its own set of experience and educational requirements and transaction limits, but all require an examination. In most states, at least 75 hours of education training is necessary to become a state licensed real estate appraisal trainee. The scope of property to be appraised is limited to the type of properties that his or her supervisor is licensed to inspect.
Real estate appraisers who seek a state residential license may appraise non-complex 1-4 units that have a value less than $1 million and complex 1-4 residential units that are less than $250,000 in value. As a certified residential real estate appraiser, one may estimate 1-4 unit residences over $250,000 in loan value. At the highest level of certification, a general real estate appraiser may appraise residential and commercial property with no minimum transaction value.
Workshops and Seminars
Even experienced real estate appraisers can benefit from the seminars, forums and classes universities, real estate associations and professional organizations host for these real estate specialists. Lecturers discuss trends, new data, technological advances and career opportunities to educate and advance the career of a real estate appraiser.
The American Society of Appraisers has a list of schools in the U.S. that offer online real estate appraisal courses for those who require initial training or need continuing education courses for recertification. Career institutes, community colleges and real estate associations offer real estate appraisal training programs and courses with live support, software, flexible schedules and online bookstores. The Appraisal Institute also provides a self-paced beginner and advanced real estate appraisal package for those who want to find a more convenient way to enter the field.
There are a variety of requirements and training depending on the level of licensing certification a real estate appraiser is interested in holding.