How to Become an Appraiser in 3 Steps

Trainee appraiser looking around a home, learning how to become an appraiser through work experience

To become a licensed appraiser, most states require you to start out as an appraisal trainee and obtain a certain number of hours of experience before you can appraise real property on your own. Many states have different titles for trainees, such as apprentice appraiser or registered appraiser. Some states require you to earn a college degree, but some don’t. Check the requirements in your individual state, and follow this step-by-step guide on how to become an appraiser.

How to become an appraiser

Step 1: Become a trainee

First, complete your qualifying education coursework and apply for your trainee license. You’ll need to complete and pass 75 hours of basic appraisal education, which includes three courses: Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours), Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours), and National USPAP Course (15 hours). You can find these qualifying education courses at McKissock.com.

Basic appraisal education courses

Choose from live stream appraisal licensing courses (engage with instructors in real time!) or self-paced online courses. Find courses in your state.

Step 2: Gain experience

Next, work under a certified appraiser to gain supervised training experience. Appraisal trainees must be supervised to get the required hours of experience before applying for another license level (such as Licensed Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, or Certified General Appraiser).

Locating a certified appraiser to serve as a supervisor is a very important step in becoming an appraiser. The trainee and supervisor must keep a log of work completed that will be reviewed when the trainee applies for any license to the state regulatory board.

Real property appraiser qualification criteria*

Real property appraiser qualification criteria
* ​​Hours required include specific curriculum courses and hours — please see the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria for details. Individual states may have stricter requirements.

Step 3: Upgrade your appraisal license

Once you have your qualifying education and trainee hours under your belt, you can upgrade your license. You have several options for upgrading, and each level has different education and experience requirements. Each level also has different requirements for college-level course requirements (see chart above). The three levels you can upgrade to include: Licensed Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser.

Click on the links below to find more info about the appraisal licensing requirements in your state:

 

An appraiser’s career path

Consider which appraisal license level is right for you. Each level requires you to develop new skills that allow you to appraise different property types.

Note: Not every state has the licensed appraiser credential.

You don’t have to follow a linear progression to upgrade. In fact, you can choose to upgrade from trainee directly to certified general, or upgrade incrementally to each license level. It’s really up to you.

Here’s what you can you appraise at each license level:

how to become an appraiser

The higher the license level, the more advantage you’ll have in the local market, and the greater control you’ll have over your fees. Interested in pursuing an appraisal career? Learn more with our free career guide. Ready to get started? Visit McKissock.com.

Editor’s note: This post was updated on August 6, 2021.

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