5 Ways to Fast-Track Your Appraisal Career


There are many reasons people choose to launch a career in real estate appraisal—including the potential to earn a high income, opportunity to work flexible hours, and low start-up costs compared to other small businesses, to name a few. Are you interested in starting an appraisal career? Or perhaps you’re a licensed appraisal trainee eager to upgrade your license and advance your career as quickly as possible? Here a five things you can do to help fast-track your appraisal career.

1. Start classes even if you haven’t found a supervisor

To become a licensed appraiser, most states require you to start out as an appraisal trainee and obtain a certain number of hours of experience before you can appraise real property on your own. A common hurdle faced by new appraisers is finding a supervisor to take you on as a trainee so that you can complete your on-the-job training.

“My advice for people who are interested in becoming an appraiser is to take control of your training,” says former trainee Lindsay Onuffer. “I would suggest for anyone who’s interested to start taking your appraiser trainee classes whether you have found a supervisor or not. Having all of that education under your belt can help you be more marketable as a trainee to a supervisor.”

If you’ve already taken all or most of your appraisal qualifying education courses before applying for a trainee position, it not only shows initiative, but also demonstrates that you won’t be starting from square one.

2. Take your classes online

Online education is a convenient and affordable way to fast-track your appraisal career. You can take your appraisal qualifying education courses completely online through an accredited appraisal school, such as McKissock.

McKissock offers two types of 100% online education: self-study and live stream (available in most states). Self-study allows you to complete your qualifying education courses at your own pace, on your own time, while live stream mirrors a classroom setting in which you learn from an instructor in real-time. Both options enable you to learn from the comfort and safety of your home or office. All you need is a computer or smart device and an internet connection, and you’ll be on your way.

3. Sharpen your resume

To help improve your chances of quickly getting hired as an appraiser trainee, you’ll want to make your resume as impressive as possible. Here are a few things you can do to sharpen your resume and stand out from the competition:

  • Include any pre-licensing courses you’ve already taken
  • Emphasize overall education
  • Highlight relevant skills and experience
  • Let your personal characteristics shine
  • Avoid resume “red flags” (e.g., spelling and grammar errors)

For more detailed advice, check out our post, How to Write a Winning Appraiser Trainee Resume.

4. Start networking

When it comes to networking, there’s no time like the present. Whether you’re trying to find a supervisor who will take you on as a trainee, looking to obtain new clients, or simply trying to be the best appraiser you can be, you will go farther and faster in your career with the support of a strong professional network. Seek out opportunities for both online and in-person networking. If you’re not sure where to start, you can find inspiration in our post, 20 Ideas to Get Your Name Out There as an Appraiser.

5. Track your appraisal career goals

If you’re just getting started, a good way to begin is by researching your state’s specific requirements on how to become an appraiser. Then come up with a plan and a timeline for completing the education and experience required to launch your career. Next, identify goals designed to grow your career. These may include upgrading your license, starting your own appraisal firm, developing a niche specialty, learning new technology, continuing your education, and increasing your income. Try to set specific goals for yourself. Write them down and track them weekly, monthly, or yearly to hold yourself accountable and stay on track for success.

Get tips for launching your career in our free guide: Is an Appraisal Career Right for You?

For over 30 years, McKissock has partnered with appraisers from around the country to bring you not only the highest quality courses, but also the practical knowledge and hands-on skills to grow your appraisal career.


Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 2, 2022 and updated in May 2023.