The dest of an appraiser trainee, with keyboard, cup of coffee, mobile phone, tablet, and pen and paper all laid out neatly

A Day in the Life of an Appraiser Trainee


There is no such thing as a typical day in the life of an appraiser trainee. Some days you’re in the office doing research and analysis (aka. “paperwork days”), and some days you’re out in the field looking at properties (aka. “inspection days”).

We asked appraiser trainee Lindsay Onuffer what a “typical” day in the life of an appraisal trainee is like. Continue reading for her response.

Paperwork day

Here’s a quick breakdown of what my schedule as an appraiser trainee usually looks like on a day when I’m in the office focusing on research and paperwork:

9:00 AM – Get into the office and unpack my things at my desk. Check emails and get caught up with what is going on in the office this week.

9:30 AM – Start working on an appraisal report.

12:00 PM – Eat lunch.

12:30 – Start working on a second report.

4:00 PM – Go over completed appraisal reports with my supervisor.

4:30 PM – Make revisions and/or complete additional research/analysis as necessary.

5:00 PM – Leave to go home.

Interested in becoming an appraiser trainee? Find out if an appraisal career is right for you in our free guide.

Inspection day

Here’s a general idea of what my schedule might look like on a day when I’m out in the field inspecting properties (my favorite day!):

9:00 AM – Show up at the office. Grab a camera, disto (laser measuring device), clipboard, pencil and the paperwork for the day’s appointments.

9:15 AM – Drive to first appointment.

10:00 AM – Arrive at first property and start with the interior appraisal inspection. During the interior inspection, we walk through the home, taking notes and pictures. After the interior inspection is the exterior inspection. During the exterior appraisal inspection, we measure all the buildings, take pictures, and take notes.

11:00 AM – Get back in the car and drive to the next appointment.

11:30 AM – Arrive at the next property. This appointment is for a final inspection on a home. We check to see that all the repairs have been completed and take photos showing that they have or haven’t.

12:00 PM – Eat lunch (usually in the car).

12:30 PM – Drive to next appointment.

1:00 PM – Arrive at next property. Start with the interior inspection and finish with the exterior inspection.

1:45 PM – Drive back to the office.

2:00 PM – Arrive back at the office.

3:00 PM – Transfer all the photos from camera to computer.

3:30 PM – Create the report skeletons from today’s appointments. Add pictures and sketches to all reports.

5:00 PM – Leave to go home.

Is the life of an appraiser trainee right for you?

When you take a full-time appraiser trainee job, you can expect to work 40 hours a week with a regular 9:00–5:00 work schedule. But unlike many jobs, there is a lot of variety from day to day. Sometimes you’re in the office, and sometimes you’re out in the field. You never quite know what you’re going to see.

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be an appraiser trainee? Check out our Q&A with Lindsay Onuffer.

Q&A with Appraiser Trainee Lindsay OnufferWritten by Lindsay Onuffer. Lindsay Onuffer is a 2018 graduate of Indiana University of PA with a degree in Management, focusing in small business entrepreneurship. After college, she got her Real Estate Salesperson License and then started her training to become an appraiser. Her desire to become a real estate appraiser came into focus through her close relationship with McKissock Real Estate and Appraisal School, where she worked her first job.


Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 24, 2019 and updated in May 2023.