Getting an Education

Get approximately 75 hours of basic appraisal education. Before completing your real estate appraiser apprenticeship, you’ll typically need to complete around 75 hours of basic appraisal education. This coursework will focus on appraisal principles and procedures, and offer you an introduction to universal standards of professional appraisal practice.[1]

  • Contact the licensing department in your state or jurisdiction that issues professional appraisal licenses to find out about educational requirements for real estate appraisers in your area. They may have this information posted on their website, along with a list of approved schools in your area.
  • The exact number of basic appraisal educational hours will vary depending on your local laws and regulations.

Obtain a diploma relating to real estate to complete your education. In some jurisdictions, a 75-hour education will only be enough to get you into an apprenticeship with a real estate appraiser. To become licensed, however, you’ll likely need to obtain a four-year degree.

  • There are many degrees that might fulfill the diploma requirement, including a Bachelor’s of Business, a Bachelor’s of Land and Property Management, or a Bachelor’s of Property.
  • These courses will provide instruction regarding report writing, income approaches, sales comparison, statistics, modeling, finance, and case studies.
  • Contact your local labor department or real estate licensing authority for information about which degrees and institutions are acceptable for people interested in becoming real estate appraisers.

Focus on your area of specialty. Some educational programs offer additional training in how to evaluate property in rural or urban areas. If you intend to work primarily in a rural or urban setting, enroll in a program that offers appropriate specialty courses to strengthen your skill set and resume.

Getting Your License

Find out about licensing requirements in your area. Licensing regulations sometimes change, so it’s best to contact your local licensing authority for the most up-to-date information. Call or check the website of your local licensing, regulations, or labor board to find out what sort of education and experience you need.

  • Some of the most common requirements include citizenship in the nation where you wish to practice as a real estate appraiser and a clean criminal background. You’ll also likely need to be at least 18.

Become a trainee appraiser by contacting real estate appraisers. Ask the real estate appraisers if they will accept you as their apprentice. A trainee or apprentice appraiser will get hands-on training from a seasoned real estate appraiser. To find an appraiser who might be able to train you, run a search online for “real estate appraisers” or some similar formulation. Alternately, use your phone book to locate real estate appraisers.

  • In some cases, your local licensing authority will connect you with an appraiser.
  • You can often begin as an apprentice before beginning your educational requirements, but you won’t be able to complete your apprenticeship and become a licensed real estate appraiser without gaining the requisite education.

Complete the real estate appraiser application. The application varies from country to country, and regional variations often exist even within a single nation. Generally, however, you’ll need to include (or agree to) a criminal background check, provide copies of your academic transcripts, and provide basic contact information (including your name, phone number, and address).

  • Contact your local real estate licensing authority, labor department, or regulatory board for information about where to obtain the real estate appraiser application.

Apply for the license you’re interested in. There are often several types of real estate appraisal licenses. The types of licenses available in your area will define which types of real estate you can appraise. You can typically apply for more than one license, though additional licenses might require additional educational requirements and fees. Some of the most common licenses include:

  • State licenses, which allow you to appraise 1-4 family residential units with a value of less than $1,000,000.
  • Certified residential appraisal licenses, which allow you to appraise residential units for 1-4 families of any value.
  • Certified general property appraisal licenses, which allow you to appraise all types of real estate.
  • VA loan appraisal certification, for appraisers who wish to work with the Veterans Affairs Department.

Include the appropriate fee with your application. Most real estate appraiser applications require you to submit a processing fee along with your application. Check the application carefully for details regarding the cost of the fee as well as the acceptable payment methods.

  • Application fees range from about $20 USD to $100 USD, depending on where you apply for a license.

Complete the qualifying exam. After submitting your application to your local real estate appraisal authority, they’ll provide you with directions for taking your qualifying exam. You might be able to take the exam online, or you might have to sit for a traditional paper exam.

  • The exam varies from place to place. Even within a single country, the qualifying exam can be highly regional. Generally, however, you’ll be asked questions that test your competence in and knowledge of real estate appraisal techniques, theories, ethics, and best practices.
  • There is wide variation regarding the time limits and the number of questions on exams in different locations.
  • Consult a review guide and practice tests specific to your area. Your real estate appraisal authority can direct you to helpful resources.

Developing Professionally

Improve your credentials. There are various levels of licensure within the real estate appraiser profession. For instance, after completing your apprenticeship, you will typically become a licensed appraiser (that is, the state will validate your ability to appraise real estate). With more education and experience, you could become certified through a professional organization.

  • The precise educational and experiential requirements you’ll need to improve your credentials vary depending on the professional organizations that operate in your area.
  • Contact local professional organizations to find out about their certification programs.
Join a professional organization. In addition to offering additional certification opportunities, professional organizations like the Real Estate Appraisers Association allow you to network with other real estate appraisers at conferences and seminars. During these events, you’ll be able to hear all the hottest developments in the world of real estate appraisal. You might also gain access to professional journals, periodicals, and newsletters that can help you improve your appraisal skills.
Take on a variety of appraisal projects to gain more experience. The more experience you have, the more attractive your services and skills will be to people and businesses in need of real estate appraisal. Over time, you might branch out from a specific type of appraisal (like urban or residential) to a more general type of appraisal.

Renew your license before it expires. After you pass the exam, you’ll receive the license digitally or in the mail. Real estate appraiser licenses expire eventually. The length of time your real estate appraisal license is good for depends on the regulations and rules in your locale.

  • Licenses usually expire after two to five years.
  • Consult your real estate appraisal authority for information about how to renew your license.