Appraiser Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options of Appraisers

Appraiser Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options of Appraisers Transcript

Interested in a career that is challenging and always in demand? Becoming an appraiser may be right for you. These professionals work in real estate, insurance and other industries evaluating property and possessions. Appraisers can follow a number of different educational paths and diverse career options.


Appraisers estimate the value of property, possessions and other holdings. Many of these professionals work in real estate and estimate the worth of land and buildings. Their work is important in the assessment of property taxes, estate settlements, home sales and commercial development. Appraising professionals also work within the insurance industry. Insurance appraisers evaluate the worth of residences, businesses, automobiles, and other items of value. Their estimates are the basis for insurance policies and important in claims filings and settlements.

Typical Coursework

The qualifications for becoming a licensed appraiser can vary significantly by state. While no universal degree requirements exist, appraisers are usually required to have a bachelor's degree or equivalent credit hours. Often graduates obtain this degree in finance, real estate or another related field. Specific appraising courses are often unavailable in these bachelor's programs, and so training must be gained separately (usually through community colleges, organizations or on-the-job experience). This training prepares appraisers to account for the condition of a property or possession. They must learn how to take pictures, effectively document the worth of an item and draft reports. Typical coursework also includes methods for assessing fair market value based on current trends, market factors and other analyses.

Job Prospects

Appraisers primarily work in the real estate and insurance industries. A significantly smaller number are employed by financial institutions (such as banks and credit unions). Job prospects in the field are generally good with positions steadily increasing. Opportunities are best in areas with active real estate markets or large insurance firms. Those with skills or experience in different specialty areas are best positioned to find employment.

Higher Learning/Graduate Opportunities

Appraising professionals do have a wide range of options for enhancing their hire-ability and earning potential. Many, for example, acquire certification through appraiser organizations. The American Society of Appraisers is one such national group offering continuing education and networking opportunities. Designations are another way for appraisers to separate themselves from the crowd. These credentials, usually earned after at least five years of experience, signify an advanced level of expertise within the field. As in most professions, advancement comes with experience. Directed efforts in a particular region or specialty can improve professional prospects.


Appraising careers can be rewarding for those who enjoy using analytical processes in the workplace. Judgment, communication skills and attention to detail are also important. Professionals in the field enjoy many opportunities for advancing their careers, and they may work in diverse environments. Appraisal professions can also be quite lucrative, making them popular among recent graduates.


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