Getting Started as an Appraiser

Recent years have seen an upsurge in employment rates and, in turn, the housing market. For those looking for a long-term career option, real estate is a great place to land. Jobs in the real estate market have increased by around 14% in the last several years. Part of this growth can be attributed to the wide range of work available in this field. One important background operation in real estate is the appraisal. The appraiser visits each property being sold and assesses its market value. This position is important both for residential and commercial properties. Appraisal work can fluctuate with the housing market but remains relatively steady due to an appraiser’s demand from both real estate agents and banks. On average, a fledgling appraiser can earn from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the local market, and a fully licensed appraiser usually nets around $45,000 to $60,000, sometimes more, if in a demanding market or offering faster turn-around times.

Getting Started

Establishing a foothold in the appraisal industry does take a certain amount of work and investment as all lucrative careers do. So how does a person set down the right path? Begin by looking into the state requirements for educational hours in this field. The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) standards require 75 hours of appraisal-based education but each state has its own set of benchmarks beyond that. Research reputable appraisal license courses and begin training on a solid foundation.

Next Steps

After working through the basic classes, the more intensive stage of training can begin. A trainee appraiser will need to spend 1,000 hours working under the careful supervision of a licensed real property appraiser. Finding a mentor can be a challenge, but with both real estate firms and banks making use of skilled appraisers, the opportunity is available for one willing to do the groundwork.

Trainee appraisers are already able to make a full-time income while under supervision; how much, though, is negotiated individually with the mentor. While working through this practical side of training, an apprentice will also need to undertake the next set of courses required by the AQB in order to take the licensing exam.

Exam Time

Passing the Licensed Residential Examination is a major accomplishment. Once achieved, a trainee appraiser can submit a Licensed Residential Appraiser application to the state board of licensing. Once approved, a mentor is no longer needed and an appraiser can work unsupervised.

There are opportunities for continuing education and more certifications to persistently advance in this position. Appraisal work is consistently needed, both in the residential and commercial markets, and is an admirable way to establish a lifelong career.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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