5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Appraisal License

reasons to upgrade your appraisal licenseAre you looking for reasons to upgrade your appraisal license? Here are some stats to consider: There are 95,300 state-credentialed in the United States; of that, just 29% are certified general appraisers. Certified general appraisers, sometimes referred to as commercial appraisers, enjoy more stable fees, higher income, and more choices for the assignments they decide to take on.

If you’re growing tired of appraising simple properties or are looking for more complex assignments with more income potential, upgrading your appraisal license is a good move. An upgrade can give you a much-needed advantage in the local market in addition to offering greater control over your fees and more stability in your work.

Here are some top reasons to upgrade your appraisal license:

1. Enjoy more complex assignments

A license upgrade can add variety to your professional life with different types of properties and transaction limits. Here’s a list of what you can appraise at each level:

Licensed residential appraiser

  • Noncomplex one-to-four residential units with a transaction value of less than $1 million (subject to individual state laws)
  • Complex one-to-four residential units with a transaction value less than $250,000 (subject to individual state laws)

Certified residential appraiser

  • One-to-four residential units without regard to complexity or transaction value (subject to individual state laws)

Certified general appraiser

  • All types of real estate, from strip malls to airports

2. Control your fees

In a 2016 Voice of the Appraiser study by Valuation Review, 44% of appraisers listed low fees as the largest concern for their profession. A higher license level gives you an advantage in the local marketplace, and offers greater control over your fees and more stability in your work.

The more you know, the more you can grow your real estate appraisal business and shield your income from the ups and downs of the real estate market and from encroaching technology.

The higher you go, the less competition you’ll find: Only 29% of the nation’s 95,300 appraisers are certified general.

“I enjoy commercial work because commercial appraisal pays well. There’s usually not much negotiation on fees. I like the ability to establish my fee and stick with it.” -Robert G., Certified General Appraiser, Pennsylvania

3. Uncover opportunities and niches

Upgrading your appraisal license to certified general can help you diversify

your business and uncover appraisal niches.

Commercial property niches:

  • Farmland
  • Owner-occupied commercial properties
  • Subdivisions
  • New construction
  • Industrial properties
  • Single-tenant commercial properties
  • Land subject to ground leases
  • Green buildings
  • Hotels and lodges
  • Fast food franchises
  • Offices
  • Multi-family properties
  • Retail buildings
  • Theme parks
  • Self-storage facilities
  • Golf courses
  • Nursing homes
  • Airports
  • Schools
  • Sports Arenas


Expand your knowledge

The education process you’ll go through while upgrading exposes you to new ideas, methods, and assignments you haven’t had the opportunity to master.

Did you know? In many states, your education hours toward becoming a certified general appraiser also count toward your continuing education (CE) credits.

Some advanced issues you will learn about in the upgrade process include:

  • Advanced residential applications
  • Statistics, modeling and finance
  • Environmental issues
  • Appraising two- to four-family residential properties
  • Narrative report writing

And more…

View required core curriculum.

“McKissock Education has all the online courses you will need to upgrade your license, no matter which level you want to achieve. These courses were written by practicing appraisers, and they are loaded with real-life applications.”—Dan Bradley, Director of Online Appraisal Curriculum, McKissock

Teach others

Will you be the America’s next best appraiser trainer? Upgrading your license provides a leadership opportunity to become a trainer and teach the next generation of appraisers your superior skills.

“I have been lucky to find colleagues who know the importance of bringing in and training new appraisers for the benefit of the profession’s and the firm’s future.”—Andrew Craig, appraiser trainee, Texas


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