How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

Real Estate Appraiser Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $54,970
Avg. Pay / hour $26.43
Education 3-4 Years
Job Outlook 14.4%

Are you passionate about property? Good with math and have excellent detective skills? If so, then you might like to become a real estate appraiser.

Appraisers visit a property and determine what it’s value would be in the current market.

They sometimes also determine value in the past.

Real estate appraisers often work for banks and money lenders, and determine the value of a property.

They also work for real estate agents, investment groups and managed funds, and sometimes are self-employed.

Education Requirements to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

You must be a certified real estate appraiser to conduct this business in all of the states.

The requirements vary, but on the in most places consist of about 75 hours of education, written exams, and practical experience as a trainee real estate appraiser.

Each state has its own licensing requirements for real estate appraisers.

If you would like to become a real estate appraiser then you should find out exactly what you need to do in your own areas before you enroll in any courses or programs.

While it’s not required in all places, many real estate appraisers hold a bachelor’s degree.

Economics, mathematics, finance, or business administration degrees would all provide an ideal academic background.

In most states, appraisers are required to have a two year associate’s degree to value residential property and a four year bachelor’s degree to value commercial property.

For the exact requirements for licensure in your state, take a look on the Appraisal Foundation website.

Real Estate Appraiser Job Description

Appraisers of real estate determine the value of a property.

They do this by a wide variety of means starting by visiting the home and viewing the condition of the property.

They will look for any structural damage and areas where repairs would be needed.

Often, they will take photos of the property.

Back at the office, a real estate appraiser will use databases to find out the selling prices of similar homes in the area, and may contact local real estate agents to find out any additional sales.

They will also consider zoning, and potential developments to the property.

When you become a real estate appraiser, you need to consider factors that could cause a value of a property to drop as well.

A real estate appraiser will then form a final report with a value and the various risk factors.

Here are some of the tasks of a real estate appraiser:

  • Taking appointments
  • Contacting home owners
  • Keeping in contact with real estate agents
  • Using databases
  • Inspecting homes
  • Examining drawings and blueprints
  • Looking for property damage
  • Measuring rooms and block sizes
  • Forming a final report

Real Estate Appraiser Salary and Career Path

When you first become a real estate appraiser it is likely that you will be employed in a real estate appraisal office or by a bank.

You will work for a few months as a trainee real estate appraiser, then move on to work independently.

In these kind of roles you are paid in a salary.

Many real estate appraisers go on to become self-employed.

Currently about 27% in the industry work this way.

The more experience you have, the higher the fees you can charge are.

Commercial appraisers will generally charge more than residential appraisers.

There is not much room for advancement on this career path beyond self-employment.

Some go on to become real estate agents, or work in other areas of property.

The median salary of a real estate appraiser is $47,000 a year.

The top ten percent of earners make over $88,000 a year.

Some similar roles to that of real estate appraiser you may be interested in include:

  • Real estate agent
  • Real estate broker
  • Loan officer
  • Insurance broker

If you’re looking for a role that allows you a lot of variety then you might like to become a real estate appraiser.

While you’ll work business hours, you won’t be tied to your desk the whole time.

There is room for professional development in this career, and also the possibility of being self-employed.

Job prospects are expected to grow in the sector in the coming years.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$101,440
New Hampshire$72,650
New Jersey$90,910
New Mexico$48,100
New York$79,060
North Carolina$60,230
North Dakota$65,410
Rhode Island$79,480
South Carolina$66,160
South Dakota$51,690
West Virginia$48,460
Puerto Rico$34,960

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $101,440.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $101,440
Maine - $100,120
New Jersey - $90,910
Minnesota - $89,300
Washington - $86,410
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Property Appraisers and Assessors, OCC Code 13-2020, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a real estate appraiser do?

Real estate appraisers are responsible for estimating the value of the land, as well as the buildings on that land.

After that, the land can be taxed, insured, developed, mortgaged or sold.

Typically, a real estate appraiser would specialize in either residential or commercial real estate.

The expert has to be aware of the environmental and geographical peculiarities of the region that might affect the value of the land and buildings.

In general, the responsibilities of a real estate appraiser include inspecting the properties and noting some unique characteristics; photographing the properties and the land; verifying legal descriptions; using similar properties in the neighborhood to help determine the value; maintaining current real estate data; preparing written reports, and so on.

How much do real estate appraisers make?

On average, real estate appraisers make a little less than $55.000 per year in the United States.

If you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $29.500 and $101.000 (and even more).

The salary would certainly depend on your experience, the geographical area, and the number of successful deals.

Entry-level real estate appraisers can make around $14 per hour; while highly experienced professionals can earn nearly $49 per hour.

Real estate appraisers that work in the District of Columbia, Nevada, and California typically have the highest salaries.

How much does it cost to become a real estate appraiser?

The education requirements in the industry might vary from state to state and can depend even on the type or value of the property that you want to be able to estimate.

In case, you decide that you want to work with residential real estate, an associate’s degree will do; however, you would most likely need a bachelor’s degree in order to work with commercial real estate property.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $30.000 depending on a wide range of factors.

You can obtain an appraisal license after completing pre-licensing courses that will cost you anywhere between $200 and a few thousand.

What is the demand for real estate appraisers?

Between 2016 and 2026, the real estate appraiser job market is expected to grow by 14.4%, which is higher than the national average.

That means that the industry is going to be providing relatively good employment opportunities in the near future.

Nowadays, a lot of real estate appraisers are able to estimate the value of the land and property online, so those candidates who understand how to use the technology will be in high demand.

Bear in mind that the industry is mainly concentrated in California, Florida, and Texas.

How long does it take to become a real estate appraiser?

In case you decide to go for an associate’s degree, it will take you two years to obtain one; while a bachelor’s degree will take you 4 years.

To become an appraisal trainee, you would have to complete 75 credit hours, which cover the principles, procedures, and standards of the job.

In order to become a licensed real estate appraiser, you would have to have at least 1.000 hours of work experience.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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