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How to Become an Appraiser in California

Becoming a real estate appraiser gives you the opportunity to own your own business, enjoy a flexible schedule, and have more control over your earning potential. If you’re already an appraiser, upgrading your license to the next level can help you diversify your assignments and grow your business.  

No matter where you are in your career – whether you’re asking how to become an appraiser in California or ready to upgrade, McKissock Learning has the qualifying education you need to reach your goals.  

California. Descriptions: California map in retro vintage style

California Appraiser License: Trainee

Total Hours Required: 159 hrs
Mandatory Hours:
Elective Hours:

How to become an appraiser in California

Your path to become an appraiser in California begins as a Trainee. As a trainee, you’ll work with a Certified Supervisory Appraiser who will teach you how to evaluate properties, complete property research, and write reports. To get your Trainee License, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

Step 1: Complete the required education

  • 150 hours of qualifying California appraiser education
  • Supervisory/Trainee Appraisers Course – 6 hours
  • Laws and Regulations for California Appraisers – 4 hours
  • California Elimination of Bias and Cultural Competency – 1 hour

Step 2: Connect with a Supervisory Appraiser

You’ll need to have a Certified Residential or Certified General Appraiser agree to act as your Supervisory Appraiser as you gain experience. You can begin searching for a supervisor while you complete your required education.

Step 3: Apply for your Trainee License

To apply for your Trainee Appraiser License, you’ll need to complete the initial application, the basic education attachment (REA 3002)to document your completed coursework, education certificates, and submit fingerprints for a background check.

Before applying, be sure to read this statement from the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers to ensure your experience hours count!

What does a California real estate appraiser do?

Real estate appraisers provide an estimation of a property’s value based on comprehensive on-site observations including square footage, quality and condition, and other specific details. They also research the local real estate market and comparable properties to write an appraisal report sharing their findings and the valuation of the property. 

Required courses to become a trainee appraiser in California

  • Basic Appraisal Principles – 30 hours 
  • Basic Appraisal Procedures – 30 hours 
  • National USPAP Course or Equivalent – 15 hours 
  • Residential Market Analysis & Highest and Best Use – 15 hours 
  • Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches – 30 hours 
  • Residential Report Writing and Case Studies – 15 hours 
  • Supervisor/Trainee Course for California –6 hours 
  • Laws and Regulations for California Appraisers – 4 hours 
  • California Elimination of Bias and Cultural Competency for Appraisers – 1 hour 

Online Info

Required Education: 
159 Hours. 
Basic Appraisal Principles – 30 hours. 
Basic Appraisal Procedures – 30 hours. 
National USPAP Course or Equivalent – 15 hours
Residential Market Analysis & Highest and Best Use – 15 hours. 
Residential Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach – 15 hours. 
Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches – 30 hours. 
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies – 15 hours. 
Supervisor/Trainee Course for California – 4 hours
*Laws and Regulations for California Appraisers – 4 hours. 
**California Elimination of Bias & Cultural Competency for Appraisers – 1 hour
 

*CCR 3543. Effective 1-1-17, the application shall complete the laws and regulations course as a prerequisite to licensure. This amendment will ensure new licensees understand the laws and regulations before practicing. 

**For an applicant for initial or reciprocal license submitting a completed application that is received by the bureau on or after January 1, 2023, at least 1 hour of instruction in cultural competency.   
 

2015 AQB Supervisor/Trainee Course Requirement: Both the Trainee Appraiser and Supervisory Appraiser shall be required to complete a course that, at minimum, complies with the specifications for course content established by the AQB. The course must be completed by the Trainee Appraiser prior to obtaining a Trainee Appraiser credential, and completed by the Supervisory Appraiser prior to supervising a Trainee Appraiser. Please read this important information from the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers to make sure your experience hours count.

 

Experience: N/A

 

College Education: N/A

Online Limitations

No online limitations.

Roster

Roster Required: yes

Governing Agency

California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers
Phone: 9165529000
Fax: 9165529007
Address: 3075 Prospect Park Drive. Ste. 190, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Good to Know: FAQs for how to become an appraiser in California

Should I get my California appraiser license? 

Becoming an appraiser in California gives you an excellent opportunity to build a successful career with lower start-up costs and less risk than many other professions. Even when there is a downturn in the real estate market, appraisers are still needed to provide property valuations during estate planning, divorce settlements, or tax assessments.

How long does it take to become a California real estate appraiser?  

There’s not a set timeline to earn your Trainee Appraiser license. You don’t need college credits or prior experience, but you will need to complete 161 hours of required education.  

McKissock offers on-demand, self-paced courses that you can complete when and how it’s convenient for you so you can set the pace that works best for you. We also offer livestreaming courses that let you engage with the instructor, ask questions, and keep you on track without getting overwhelmed.  

While you compete your courses, you can also use this time to find a supervisory appraiser. Once these steps are done, you can begin the application process and background check. While times vary, it usually takes two to four weeks from the time you apply for your license until you get it.  

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