If you’re looking for a new career that doesn’t require a college degree, getting your appraiser license may be the right step. To help you know if you have the necessary prerequisites, as well as education and experience you’ll need along the career path, we’re breaking down the appraiser education requirements by licensing level and answering some other questions you may have, too.
Do you need a college degree to become an appraiser?
The short answer is probably not, but it depends on two factors, where you live and what level of licensing you want to obtain. The Appraisal Qualifying Board sets minimum education prerequisites for each license:
- Trainee appraiser: No college degree is required.
- Licensed residential appraiser: No college degree is required.
- Certified residential appraiser: The AQB requires a bachelor’s degree, associate degree in an approved field, or 30 college semester credit hours in specific topics or completion of CLEP exams.
- Certified general appraiser (or commercial appraiser): A bachelor’s degree or higher in any field is required.
States are allowed to set their own appraiser education requirements. For example, Alabama follows the AQB prerequisites, but certified residential appraisers in Indiana must have a bachelor’s degree.
Want to see your state’s education requirements? Check out the appraisal licensing guidelines by state.
Appraisal education requirements
In addition to the general education prerequisites, there are also specific amounts of appraisal education hours required at each stage of the licensing process.
- Trainee appraiser: 75 hours of qualifying education, including Basic Appraisal Principles, Basic Appraisal Procedures, and a National USPAP Course.
- Licensed residential appraiser: Obtain your state’s appraisal trainee license, complete 75 additional hours in qualifying education, and pass the applicable section of the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam.
- Certified residential appraiser: Complete 200 hours of qualifying education and pass the applicable section of the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam
- Certified general appraiser: Complete 300 hours of qualifying education and pass the third section of the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam.
Appraiser experience requirements
In addition to the appraisal education requirements, you’ll also need to get on-the-job appraisal experience. After completing the qualifying education as a trainee, you’ll need to work with a supervisory appraiser and gain 1,000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience within six months. Certified residential appraisers will need to obtain 1,500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience within 12 months. To become a certified general appraiser, you’ll need 3,000 hours of acceptable experience within 18 months, and at least 1,500 hours must be devoted to commercial or non-residential property.
Check out the chart below for a clearer breakdown of the appraiser education requirements and experience needs.
Real property appraiser qualification criteria*
Download our free appraiser salary guide
Learn more about income and earning potential with our 2023 Appraisal Salary Guide. In this free guide, you’ll learn the average salary depending on licensing level, experience, and even geography as well as how many hours a week on average appraisers work and more.