Last Updated: March 10, 2023
Are you looking for a profession or thinking about changing one? The job market for appraisers is looking excellent. This article presents essential information on how to become an appraiser, how much one is paid, and other crucial information to help you decide if you’d like to take up this profession.
The Appraiser’s Job
Appraisers are professionals—licensed and regulated by state governments—who assess the value of a property and can work for businesses, homeowners, or financial institutions. Appraisers use various methods to determine a property’s worth and market value, including analysis of recent sales data, an inspection of the property, and interviews with experts in the real estate industry.
How Much Does an Appraiser Make?
Appraisers can make a good living. The median annual salary for appraisers in the US amounted to $60,040 in 2020. Appraiser salary depends on your level of experience, your state’s locale, and the type of appraisal you conduct.
Despite the experience and type of appraisal, salaries vary from state to state. So how much do home appraisers make on average in each state? California has the highest appraiser salary at an average of $63,963 per year, followed by Virginia and Alaska, with average salaries of $60,879, and $60,314, respectively. The state with the lowest average annual wage is Kansas, at $39,528.
As with most professions, the amount an appraiser makes depends on their experience and level of certification. Generally, the more experienced and certified an appraiser is, the higher their salary. Beginner appraisers have an average entry-level salary of $42,000 per year. Mid-level appraisers can make up to $74,200 annually. And at the senior level (the most experienced), appraisers have an average home appraiser salary of $70,500 annually.
|DID YOU KNOW? In 2020, there were 33,548 real estate appraisers in the US.|
|California has the highest average appraiser salary at $63,963, while Kansas has the lowest at $39,528.|
|The first step to becoming a licensed appraiser is to become a trainee, and complete three accredited courses: Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours), Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours), and the National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (15 hours).|
|A certified residential appraiser—unlike a trainee or licensed residential appraiser—must have a bachelor’s degree, in addition to the requisite 200 hours of appraisal training.|
|A home appraiser’s salary for beginners is an average of $42,000 annually.|
|Mid-level appraisers can make up to $74,200 annually, and those at the senior level (the most experienced appraisers) make an average salary of $70,500.|
|DID YOU KNOW? In the US, 84.8% of appraisers are white, 6.6% are Hispanic and Latino, and 3.8% are Black (African American).|
How to Become an Appraiser
First, an appraiser needs to possess:
- Excellent math skills—calculating square footage and measuring rooms accurately.
- Strong analytical and critical thinking skills—paying close attention to detail and spotting trends in the real estate market.
- Excellent communication skills—often explaining their valuation methods to clients.
In addition to the above skills, consider the following five steps of how to become a real estate appraiser.
|DID YOU KNOW? 32% of real estate appraisers in the US are women.|
1. Become a Trainee
The best way to become an appraiser is to start as a trainee. As a trainee appraiser, you’ll learn the ropes from an experienced appraiser. The requirements of becoming a trainee include the following.
- You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
- You must complete the following accredited courses: Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours), Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours), and the National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (15 hours).
|DID YOU KNOW? The average appraiser age in America is 50.6 years old.|
2. Gain Experience
To become a licensed home appraiser, you need to find a certified mentor who will guide you through the process of learning, coach you as to what to do for an open house, and help you start building your own portfolio of appraisal assignments. You must also log 1,000 hours of experience under your mentor’s supervision.
3. Apply for a License
The next step includes passing an examination administered by The Appraisal Foundation, covering real estate law, market analysis, and appraisal methodology. The examination requirements for passing include a score of 61%, after which you can apply for your license. Upon approval, you become a licensed real estate appraiser and perform appraisals.
4. Become a Certified Appraiser
A certified residential appraiser—unlike a trainee or licensed residential appraiser—must have a bachelor’s degree, in addition to the requisite 200 hours of appraisal training. These specialists must also complete 1,500 hours of hands-on experience over 12 months.
Other options of college education requirements for this profession include:
- A bachelor’s degree in any field
- An associate degree in a related field, such as accounting, business administration, or real estate
- 30 hours of college education covering the associated subjects
Once you become a licensed home appraiser and work in the field for at least five years with no negative actions taken against your license, you may become a certified residential appraiser.
5. Certified General Appraiser
The highest appraisal license level is the certified general appraiser credential, which requires 300 hours of classroom study, 3,000 hours of hands-on experience, and a degree. A certified general appraiser can value commercial and non-commercial properties of any worth.
Becoming an appraiser takes time, effort, and dedication, but the payoff can be significant. This profession allows you to help people make some of the most important financial decisions of their lives while simultaneously enabling you to earn a good salary and enjoy a flexible work schedule. So if you’re up for the challenge and have strong math skills, acquiring a career as an appraiser may be the perfect professional path for you.
Yes, home appraisers can make a good income. So how much does an appraiser make? In general, the more experience an appraiser has, the higher their salary. Appraisers certified by The Appraisal Foundation and have years of experience can earn six-figure incomes.
Appraisers are in high demand. The real estate market constantly changes, and property values are always fluctuating, meaning that businesses and homeowners need professionals who can accurately appraise the value of their assets.
Appraisers are always in demand, and there are many opportunities for advancement. Plus, it’s a field that requires critical thinking and analytical skills—perfect for those who like to solve puzzles. The salary is also quite good, and the working hours are flexible.
How to become an appraiser: Take three courses and pass the exam administered by The Appraisal Foundation, which covers real estate law, market analysis, and appraisal methodology. After passing the exam, you can apply for your license. Once you’re certified, you can start appraising properties.