7 Reasons to Upgrade Your Appraisal License

Reasons to Upgrade Your Appraisal License

Are you looking for reasons to upgrade your appraisal license? If you’re tired of appraising simple properties or looking for more complex assignments with higher income potential, upgrading your appraisal license could take your career to the next level. An upgrade can give you a much-needed advantage in the local market, greater control over your fees, and more stability in your work. Here are some top reasons to upgrade your appraisal license.

1. Earn more

Each appraisal license level you upgrade, you’ll usually see your earnings increase. Certified general appraisers, sometimes called commercial appraisers, earned 22% more than certified residential appraisers, on average, in 2019.

2. Enjoy more complex assignments

An appraisal 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:
    • Non-complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value of less than $1 million (subject to individual state laws)
    • Complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value less than $250,000 (subject to individual state laws)
  • Certified residential appraiser:
    • 1-4 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

Learn if upgrading your appraisal license is right for you in our free guide.

3. Control your fees

In a 2020 Voice of the Appraiser study by Valuation Review, 46% of appraisers listed low fees as the greatest concern for their profession. A higher license level gives you an advantage in the local marketplace. Plus, it 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 encroaching technology. The higher you go, the less competition you’ll find: Only 42% of the nation’s 78,000 appraisers are certified general. Source: Appraisal Institute December 2019 Fact Sheet

“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

4. Uncover opportunities and niches

Upgrading your appraisal license to certified general can help you diversify your business and uncover appraisal niches. Here’s a list of commercial property niches:

  • Agricultural properties
  • Religious facilities
  • Subdivisions
  • Cemeteries
  • Industrial properties
  • Gas stations
  • Strip malls
  • Commercial “green” buildings
  • Hotels and lodges
  • Fast food and restaurant buildings
  • Office complexes or office buildings
  • Multifamily properties
  • Convenience stores
  • Theme parks
  • Self-storage facilities
  • Golf courses
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Airports
  • Schools
  • Sports arenas

5. Expand your knowledge

The education process you’ll go through while upgrading will expose you to new ideas, methods, and assignments you haven’t had the opportunity to master. Some advanced issues you will learn about in the upgrade process include:

  • Advanced residential applications
  • Income property appraisal
  • Environmental issues
  • Complex property highest and best use
  • Narrative report writing

“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

6. Teach others

Will you be America’s next best appraiser trainer? Upgrading your license will provide 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

7. Increase your career satisfaction

Certified general appraisers report high levels of career satisfaction, mostly likely due to increased autonomy when making business decisions, a higher average income, and greater fee stability.

Ready to upgrade your appraisal license? Visit McKissock.com to get started.

Editor’s note: This post was updated on December 20, 2022.

More than 200,000 real estate professionals got their start with McKissock. See what they are achieving.

Hear what they have to say.

See More Reviews