As of December 31, 2013, the number of active real estate appraisers in the U.S. stood at 81,050. The number of appraisers decreased at an average rate of 3.0 percent per year over the past five years. A broader analysis suggests the rate of decrease could rise sharply over the next 5 to 10 years due to retirements, reduced numbers of new people entering the appraisal profession, economic factors, and greater use of data analysis technologies.
Entry Level - During an appraiser's "apprentice" or training period, it is likely that an appraiser can make more as an in-house appraiser than as a fee appraiser. It is our experience that compensation for appraisal assistants is around $15 per hour, or 30%-35% of an appraisal fee. This can vary depending on individual related work experience.
Residential Appraisers - As a fee appraiser, many appraisers work on a "fee split" basis. This means the appraiser is compensated based on a percentage of the revenue that is generated for each appraisal. The fee split ranges from 30%-50% of the gross fee. Within a year, an entry level appraiser should be in a position to produce an average of at least one single-family residential appraisal per day. If the typical appraisal fee is between $300 and $350 and a fee split of 30%-50%, this would equal $90 to $175 per day or $21,600 to $42,000 per year (48 weeks per year x 5 days per week).
Experienced residential appraisers have been known to produce between two and three appraisals per day. This would result in 500 appraisals per year or more. Based on the same $300 to $350 fee for an appraisal and 50 percent fee split this would be $75,000 to $87,500 per year (500 appraisals per year x 50% fee split).
Commercial Appraisers - Commercial appraisers work on a fee split as well. This fee split ranges between 30%-50%, depending on the amount of support that is being provided by a senior appraiser / appraisal firm and the contribution that is made by the junior appraiser.
The amount of revenue that commercial appraisers generate varies widely. The variables include differing levels of
- Competition in various geographical
- Areas of specialization
- Marketing expertise
- Amount of energy that one is willing to commit to work
The potential exists for commercial appraisers to generate $150,000 of gross revenue per year and more. The potential for any given appraiser is largely dependent on their willingness to commit time, energy, and focus to their appraisal career.