Appraiser Salary and Income Vary Based on License Level

appraiser salaryIf you are considering a career in real estate appraisal, you’re probably curious about appraiser salary and income potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all appraisal license levels was $51,850 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,120. Your actual earnings will depend on your appraisal license level.

How does license level affect appraiser salary?

According to, Certified Residential Appraisers’ median income was $57,225 and Certified General Appraisers’ median income was $95,774 in 2017. A higher appraisal license level gives you an advantage in the local market and offers greater control over your fees and more stability in your work. Certified General Appraisers can shield their income from the ups and downs of the real estate market and do not have to compete for smaller residential assignments.

Looking to upgrade your appraisal license? Learn more with our free upgrade guide.

Appraiser start-up costs

An appraisal business is a relatively inexpensive business to start. You don’t need any heavy equipment, a fancy car, large number of employees, factories, retail space, or any of the other money-sucking costs required to start other small businesses.

Most business purchases you already have—computer, cell phone, car, comfortable pair of walking shoes. (Talk to your accountant about ways to depreciate and deduct these expenses on your income tax form.)

But starting an appraisal business requires purchasing some items specific to your business:

Appraisal Trainee qualifying education

$800 – $1,500 / year

Appraisal software for writing reports

$2,000 / year

Internet fees, cloud storage, MLS access

$650 / year

Errors and Omissions Insurance

$800 – $1,000 / year

Laser measuring device and other tools


Once your appraisal business is up and running, the next step will be to upgrade your license. Download our free upgrade guide to learn how to maximize your income potential.

Ready to launch your appraisal career? Find out if an appraisal career is right for you in our free guide.

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