Most states have a 3-tiered licensing system for real estate appraisers, each step of which requires education and documented training hours (Licensed Residential, Certified Residential, or Certified General). For your state's current licensing rules, you may want to check your state appraisal board's website for the details.
Generally, appraisers start with 75 hours of education (Basic Appraisal Principles, Basic Appraisal Procedures and the 15-hour National USPAP course) and then need to achieve 2,500 hours of experience and another 75 hours of coursework before they can take the initial Licensing exam. Completion of college-level education (a Bachelor's degree for example) is required at the higher levels of licensing.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to become a real estate appraiser.
How to Become an Appraiser in 3 Steps
Step 1: Become an Appraiser Trainee
In order to become an appraiser, most states require you to first become an appraiser trainee. Appraiser trainees are oftentimes referred to as apprentice appraisers or registered appraisers.
To become a trainee, you must complete and pass 75 hours of appraisal education from a certified school, which includes the following three courses. You can purchase these courses at VanEd
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Once appraisal trainees finish their required education, they must gain experience in order to upgrade their license to the next license level (Licensed Residential, Certified Residential, or Certified General). The trainee must find a certified appraiser that will serve as a supervisor for the trainee's work experience.
The certified appraiser supervisor and the trainee must document any completed work, which will be submitted and reviewed by the state regulatory board when the trainee applies for another license.
Remember: It is important that you check your state's specific licensing requirements to know how many hours of experience you will need.
Classification Education College Degree Experience Requirements Trainee Appraiser 75 Hours None None Certified Residential Appraiser 200 Hours Bachelor's Degree or Associate's Degree in a focused field of study. 1,500 Hours of documented appraisal work in no fewer than 12 months Certified General Appraiser 300 Hours Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university 3,000 Hours of documented appraisal work in no fewer than 18 months. (1,500 hours must be in non-residential appraisal work)
Step 3: Upgrade Your License
Once you have completed your coursework and gained the required work experience, you can upgrade your appraisal license. There are a variety of options for upgrading your license including Licensed Appraiser, Certifed Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser. Each license level has different requirements for qualifying education and experience hours. Additionally, each level has different pre-requisites for a colege education.
Appraisers with higher license levels can have more control over their fees and are on average able to make a higher salary.