An appraiser is an individual who can determine the value of a property and its' structures. The job typically involves a thorough evaluation of a property and structure(s) and their overall condition. Any home additions and/or amenities are also checked. After the property evaluation has been completed it's common for a real estate appraiser to also research comparable properties in the surrounding area to determine current market trends. This research in addition to the onsite inspection will help the appraiser determine a fair market value of the property. The appraiser will often provide a written report of the findings and provide them to the individual(s) requesting the appraisal. The report can include the overall condition, any health or safety violations noted and the estimated appraisal value.
The process to become a licensed professional appraiser will take time and a commitment to meet the requirements. To begin you will start as a trainee and work towards your certification. There is a base course curriculum and a minimum number of hours required in every state. The base courses for a trainee include 75 hours of course work on topics including basic appraisal procedures, basic appraisal principals and the National (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) USPAP course. In addition, a new requirement was set forth in 2015 requiring an additional Supervisor/Trainee course in order to begin logging hours as an appraiser trainee. As a trainee you will need to accumulate a specified number of hours working under the supervision of a licensed appraiser. Finally to qualify as a trainee you can complete your states appraisal exam.
The next step to become fully licensed appraiser will require additional course work and working hours as indicated by your state agency. There may be more examinations that you must pass to qualify. Your state may have its own additional criteria to become a licensed appraiser. Before you begin check with your local licensing agency for a complete list of requirements. Please note your state may have additional criteria depending on if you are doing general, residential or commercial property appraisals. Some appraisal positions will not require higher education while other positions will have Bachelor degree listed as criteria to qualify. Even if your state doesn't require higher education your future employer may.
While the process to become a certified licensed appraiser can be long, the rewards of working in this profession can make it worthwhile. An appraiser can find both part time and full time positions allowing you to have a more flexible schedule. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates the national average income for an appraiser at $50k per year. A well-seasoned appraiser with years of experience and in the right market can easily exceed the median average income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that the opportunity for job growth at 14% which is considered faster than average. This means there are great opportunities within the profession to continue to grow your career. If you are passionate about real estate and dedicated to the learning commitment an appraiser job might be the right fit.