Do you like looking at properties, analyzing data, or dealing with people? If yes, then you’ll find a suitable career in real estate.
Specifically, consider becoming a real estate appraiser. Unlike a real estate agent, a certified appraiser has more steady work and a higher potential to earn more.
Plus, this type of work offers flexibility and an opportunity to travel to properties.
If you want to know how to become a real estate appraiser, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, including tips and insights to successfully enter the industry.
- An Overview of a Real Estate Appraisers: A Primer
- What You’ll Need to Become a Real Estate Appraiser [& Associated Costs]
- Is It Hard to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?
- How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in 5 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of a Real Estate Appraisers: A Primer
A real estate appraiser analyzes and determines the market value of a property. They conduct site visits, record its features and condition, and compare it against other properties.
They also look at the property’s age, size, utility connections, style, and vehicle access, among many others, to fully assess its transaction value.
Unlike a real estate agent, a property appraiser acts independently in buying and selling properties. However, their objective opinion matters to buyers and sellers during sales.
Also, compared to an agent, an appraiser still gets paid regardless of whether the sale happened. They may also work as self-employed contractors.
Appraisers usually work in banks, real estate agencies, insurance companies, and government agencies.
How Much Do Real Estate Appraisers Make?
The salary of real estate appraisers depends on their appraisal license, duties, workplace, and experience.
According to the 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earn a median pay of $61,340 annually or $29.49 hourly.
Meanwhile, Indeed states that appraisers earn an average salary of $63,987 per year based on their May 2023 data.
What You’ll Need to Become a Real Estate Appraiser [& Associated Costs]
Before learning how to become a real estate appraiser and starting a real estate business, you must have the following to prepare yourself for this career path.
- Bachelor’s Degree: You must have any degree from an accredited college or university. Ideal related courses include Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Real Estate.
- Real Estate Appraiser License or Certificate: One of the minimum requirements includes passing the licensure examination. Get a qualifying course and pass the exam to receive an appraisal license.
- Background in Real Estate: It helps to have an interest or experience in real estate to help you thrive in the industry.
- Skilled in Numbers, Data, and Analysis: Since you’ll be assessing the value of properties, you must be adept at crunching numbers, recording data, and analyzing them to give expert opinions.
- Good Communication Skills: You must possess excellent communication to deal with clients effectively and deliver your assessment.
- Car: Although not required, having a car makes site visits more convenient.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?
Becoming a real estate appraiser will cost around $2,500 to $3,000, depending on your program and location. You must also pay a fee to take the licensure exam and become a certified residential appraiser.
For example, the state of Washington implements the following fees for these licenses:
- State-registered real estate appraiser trainee: $200
- State-licensed real estate appraiser: $620
- State-certified residential real estate appraiser: $620
- State-certified general real estate appraiser: $620
- Real estate appraiser temporary permit: $150
Renewing your license also costs around $200 to $530.
Note that the Appraisal Subcommittee gets $80 from licensure, certification, renewal, and reciprocal. Also, you can’t ask for a refund.
Is It Hard to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?
Becoming a real property appraiser may be challenging, especially if you don’t want to wait a few months or a year to practice this profession.
Also, among the real estate careers, it’s one of the jobs with high standards, requiring you to take specific courses and pass the exam.
Overall, the path to becoming a licensed residential appraiser can be long and tedious.
Nonetheless, it’s still a rewarding career, especially for those who enjoy data, analysis, and real estate. Also, the field has a growing demand, with around 6,800 job openings projected yearly.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?
The time it takes time to become a real estate appraiser depends on your state’s requirements.
Some states let you receive your Licensed Residential Appraiser credential after having six months of experience, while others require having at least 12 months of experience.
Also, taking a course adds to your time to become a real estate appraiser. Each course varies in length.
For example, becoming a Trainee Appraiser requires 75 hours of qualifying education, while becoming a Certified General Appraiser requires 300 hours of qualifying education.
If you haven’t earned your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need time to finish it.
How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in 5 Simple Steps
If you’re one of the aspiring appraisers in your state, follow these five steps to becoming a qualified appraiser.
1. Know the Requirements to Become a Qualified Real Estate Appraiser
If you want to start your appraisal career, research the state and national requirements to become a real property appraiser.
Ideally, read the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria, which provides the minimum requirements for being an appraiser in the U.S.
You may also contact your state’s appraiser regulatory agency to confirm if your state has stricter requirements. Look through this list of State Appraiser Regulatory Agencies to check your state’s agency and contact details.
Ultimately, know as much as possible about the requirements to prepare for this career path. Also, take this time to decide if you would actually like to pursue this opportunity.
2. Find a Qualifying Course and Supervisory Appraiser
Part of your research should include the approved courses to become an appraiser. If you haven’t taken the approved courses, make time to study them.
Note that the courses for a certified residential appraiser and a certified general appraiser will differ. Determine what type of appraiser you want to pursue before choosing a course.
Examples of AQB-approved courses include Basic Appraisal Procedures, Basic Appraisal, Principles, Ethics and the Appraiser, and Advanced Income Capitalization. Check this list of approved courses for more information.
Besides taking an approved course, you must also get a supervisory appraiser to pursue your appraisal license.
\Supervisory appraisers consist of certified appraisers that provide direct supervision and guidance to registered trainee appraisers.
Try looking for a supervisory appraiser in your local appraiser membership organization, or tap into your connections.
3. Take and Pass the National Appraiser Licensing and Certification Exam
After completing the required education and experience, you may now take the exam for your real estate appraiser license.
For a detailed guide on how to take the exam, reach out to your state’s appraiser regulatory agency, and ask about the process, fees, and when you can take the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examination.
Each Certified General, Certified Residential, and Licensed Residential exam consists of 125 questions testing your knowledge and experience in real estate appraisal.
The law requires you to pass the exam to become a state-licensed and certified appraiser.
4. Continue to Work With Your Appraisal Mentor
After passing the exam and becoming a licensed appraiser, continue to work with your supervisory appraiser as you do your professional appraisal practice.
Your mentor will help you navigate the industry, especially during the early stages of your real estate career.
Besides this, aim to have another mentor to speed up or deepen your industry knowledge and experience. Ideally, get one that has expertise in your preferred area of appraisal.
Specializations you may want to explore include commercial property appraisal, review appraisal, luxury appraisal, relocation appraisal, farm appraisal, and more.
Having a niche specialty will set you apart from other licensed appraisers, and your mentor will help you improve in your chosen field.
5. Engage With Other Professionals and Build Connections
As a licensed appraiser, you must understand that learning doesn’t stop after completing courses and passing the exam.
To improve your appraisal practice, you must grow your network, engage with other professionals, and surround yourself with the best people in your niche.
Besides building a connection with appraisal groups, consider seeking other professionals in local and national organizations. You can also take other continuing education to upskill and connect with more people.
Also, establish your online presence and connect with others digitally via LinkedIn and other professional platforms. If you can, set up your website to showcase your background and experience.
Ultimately, utilize your offline and online connections to grow and be successful as a real estate appraiser.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser
If you’re still unsure about this profession, consider the following perks of being an appraiser.
- High-Income Opportunity: Appraisers earn over $60,000 annually on average. They can make up to six figures annually, given proper appraisal education and experience.
- Chance to Travel: Real estate appraisers spend more time traveling to properties and inspecting sites. As a result, you can visit various properties in your city or outside of your state during site visits.
- Flexible Hours: Although appraisers do office work, they don’t stick to a 9 to 5 schedule. This work suits parents who need the flexibility to juggle work and home life.
- Steady Industry: Real estate appraisal offers a more stable job than selling real estate. A real estate agent only receives income after making a sale, while an appraiser gets paid regardless of whether a property sells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the questions many aspiring real estate appraisers ask.
What Specializations Can Real Estate Appraisers Enter?
Real estate appraisers typically specialize in appraising residential or commercial properties. Other emerging niches you can try include agricultural appraisal, green property appraisal, and complex property appraisal.
What Type of Appraiser Makes the Most Money?
Certified residential appraisers make the most money among the types of appraisers. It’s normal for these appraisers to charge over $500 for less than a day’s work.
According to PayScale, they receive an average salary of $65,000 annually.
Similar Gigs to Check Out
If becoming a real estate appraiser doesn’t fit you, consider trying the following options:
- How to Become a Model: If you’re tall, look unique, or love the camera, why not become a model? Explore this creative and lucrative opportunity.
- How to Become a Voice Actor: Try the art of voice acting as a side hustle, and enjoy giving life to animated characters.
- How to Become a Secret Shopper: Get paid to shop by becoming an undercover customer.
Becoming a property appraiser involves many steps, making it a long and challenging career path. Nonetheless, you receive a steady decent income, flexible hours, and a chance to travel through this profession.
Hopefully, this guide helped you learn how to become a real estate appraiser and gave you insights to become successful in the field.
Would you consider pursuing this career? Let us know in the comments!
And if this guide was helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with others who also want a career in real estate.