Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors Overview

Even though employment is expected to grow for real estate appraisers and assessors, most are required to obtain a license or certification in real estate, even though each state’s requirements vary. During times of recession, there is less of a demand for real estate appraisers while assessors are less affected by the economy. Twenty seven percent of real estate appraisers and assessors are self-employed.

Nature of the Work for Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

The job of a real estate appraiser and assessor involves estimating the value of a property if the property is sold, taxed, developed, insured, or mortgaged. Real estate appraisers/assessors are usually familiar with environmental concerns affecting the property, the unique characteristics of the property and area, as well as other aspects such as the condition of the foundation or renovations that have occurred. Real estate appraisers and assessors may also document the property’s rooms or features by taking pictures.

Once the real estate appraiser and assessor visits a property, they will make an estimate of the value of the property after keeping a record of their research, observations and calculations and take into consideration the location, lease record view, or previous appraisals.

Real estate appraisers typically work with one property at a time with independent clients. They may specialize in a type of real estate such as commercial or residential. Other real estate appraisers may work with any type of property when appraising.

Real estate assessors will usually value properties to determine tax assessments and usually work for local governments. The work of a real estate assessor can involve assessing neighborhoods to value all of the homes in one area. Revaluations can be performed on already assessed properties on a schedule or cyclically, issued by the State statute or local practice.

When real estate assessors assess a property, they will issue a notice to the property owner and must be current on tax assessment procedures and must be willing and able to defend the property’s assessment. Real estate assessors usually keep a database full of information such as assessment history and property maps.

Real estate appraisers and assessors do not spend as much time in their offices as years past due to advancements such as wireless internet access. Instead, they spend most of their time researching data and writing reports on site or location. A real restate appraiser/assessor will usually visit a property during the day and around the client’s schedule. A real estate appraiser/assessor will spend more or less time on a property or in office depending on the specialty. Most real estate appraisers/assessors work alone and on site.

The typical workweek for a self-employed real estate appraiser or assessor is 40 hours although “independent fee appraisers” who are self-employed may work longer hours as well as night and weekends.

Banks and mortgage companies will employ many appraisers but most offices of a real estate appraiser or assessor are small and can include a small staff. The specialty and amount of work can also affect the office size.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

Most states require a real estate appraiser/assessor to be licensed or certified, depending on the State’s requirements and Federal law.

Most real estate appraisers/assessors have a bachelor’s degree and have taken courses in mathematics, computer science, English or real estate law.

Residential property appraisers usually hold an associate’s degree while most commercial real property appraisers are required to have a bachelor’s degree.

Real estate assessors are not federally required to maintain education or training. While some states have statewide requirements, most involve the State assessor board setting up education and experience requirements that must be met.

Real estate appraisers and assessors usually take similar courses due to the fact that they both use similar methods and techniques when assessing or appraising a property. Certain on-the-job hours and a statewide examination are required for candidates looking to become real estate appraisers and assessors. Many real estate assessors will begin their work experience by working in an assessor’s office while training and gaining experience.

Residential Real Property Appraisers who are certified must obtain an associate’s degree, 21 units of college-level education, 200 hours of appraiser-specific classroom training, and 2,500 hours of work experience over a two year period. General Real Property Appraisers looking to get certified must complete 30 units, 300 hours of appraiser-specific classroom training, and 3,000 hours of work experience over 30 months.

“Trainees” are those working on their appraiser requirements and will usually have to complete 75 hours of appraisal education, varying by each State. According to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, (USPAP), 15 hours must be devoted to this practice.

Real estate appraisers and assessors must continue on with their education to maintain their license or certification. Fourteen hours per year is the usual education requirement as well as a National USPAP Update Course every 2 years that usually takes 7 hours.

Good analytical skills, mathematical skills, attention to detail, willingness to work alone, being polite and good listening skills are all important qualifications for real estate appraisers and assessors.

Real estate appraisers and assessors can become a member of a regional or nationally recognized appraiser or assessor association to establish themselves in their careers. Obtaining this membership usually requires 5 to 10 years of experience and training and varying with each state, some associations may not require licensure.

Real estate appraisers and assessors can advance by charging higher fees that comes with experience. Real estate appraisers and assessors who focus on one specialty can help appraisers or assessors establish their business and reputation. Real estate appraisers and assessors can start as trainees and work their way up to senior appraiser or supervisor.

Top 10 Most Popular Real Estate Schools

1. Florida State College at Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Florida)
2. Sheridan Technical Center (Hollywood, Florida)
3. New York University (New York, New York)
4. Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College (Ogden, Utah)
5. Waubonsee Community College (Sugar Grove, Illinois)
6. Lively Technical Center, Tallahassee (Tallahassee, Florida)
7. Orange Technical College, Mid Florida (Orlando, Florida)
8. Air Force Institute of Technology - Graduate School of Engineering & Management (Glenwood Springs, Colorado)
9. Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)
10. North Seattle Community College (Seattle, Washington)

See All Real Estate Schools

Most Popular Online Real Estate Schools

1. Ashworth College - Online School
2. South University, Online Programs
3. Trump University - Online School
4. New England College - Online School
5. Marylhurst University - Online School

Employment and Job Outlook for Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

Number of People in Profession


Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow more slowly than average (increase 3 - 6%).

Out of 64,770 jobs held by real estate appraisers and assessors, 27 percent were self-employed and employment was most concentrated where high levels of real estate activity occurred.

Areas with active real estate markets will create the best job opportunities for real estate appraisers and assessors. Those who retire and leave the occupation will also create more job opportunities.

Since appraisal services are dependent on the real estate market, jobs will depend on how the economy and real estate market is fluctuating. Increases in population and economic expansions can also create jobs for real estate appraisers and assessors.

Due to computers and other advancements in technology, jobs may be held down for real estate appraisers and assessors.

Real estate assessors are not usually affected as much by the economy since they are needed in local or State jurisdictions to make assessments.

Earnings and Salary for Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

Median annual wages of appraisers and assessors of real estate are $47,840. The middle 50 percent earn between $34,520 and $66,860. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,700, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,890.

Median annual wages of those working for local governments are $47,660. Median annual wages of those working in activities related to real estate are $57,080.

Annual Salary for Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors

On average, Real Estate Appraisers/Assessors earn $47,840 per year.

10% 25% 75% 90% $25,700/yr $34,520/yr $66,860/yr $89,890/yr

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook