How to Become a Property Appraiser

Man working on laptop in home office, learning how to become a property appraiser

There are many opportunities for new real estate appraisers entering the profession today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job growth for appraisers between 2019–2029 will be 3%, which is on pace for all occupations. Top reasons why people choose an appraisal career include income potential, opportunity for flexible hours, and diverse career paths. Keep reading for insights on the appraisal profession, how to become a property appraiser, and, finally, how to maintain your license and grow your career.

What’s it like to be an appraiser?

Every piece of real property, from a two-bedroom condo to a 500-acre farm, has a value. As an appraiser, it’s your job to offer a written opinion of that value, which lenders, insurers, property owners and buyers, and divorce and estate attorneys use to do their jobs.

Your day-to-day duties as a property appraiser may include:

  • Researching county and municipal public property records
  • Diagramming or photographing a property and its structures
  • Inspecting the property to determine its condition and improvements
  • Analyzing comparables, or similar nearby properties, to develop value conclusions
  • Preparing written reports of the property value

Free Download: Is an appraisal career right for you? Learn more in our free career guide.

How to become a property appraiser

First, become an appraisal trainee. Complete and pass 75 hours of basic appraisal education, which includes three courses: National USPAP Course (15 hours), Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours), and Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours). You can find these qualifying education courses at

Second, gain experience. Appraisal trainees must be supervised to get the required hours of experience before applying for another license level. Locating a certified appraiser to serve as a supervisor is a very important step in becoming an appraiser. The trainee and supervisory appraiser must keep a log of work completed that will be reviewed when the trainee applies for any license to the state regulatory board.

Real property appraiser qualification criteria

Third, upgrade your license to licensed residential, certified residential, or certified general appraiser. You have several options for upgrading, and you don’t have to follow a linear progression. In fact, you can choose to upgrade from trainee directly to certified general, or upgrade incrementally to each license level. It’s up to you.

Each level has different education and experience requirements, as well as different requirements for college-level course requirements. Download our free career guide for more info. And be sure to check your state’s specific licensing requirements.

Did you know? McKissock now offers two types of 100% online appraisal licensing courses: self-study and live stream. Find courses in your state.

After you’ve earned your appraisal license…

Education will continue to play an important role throughout your career. Here’s how to maintain your license and grow your appraisal career:

  • Continuing education: Each state requires you to complete a certain number of continuing education (CE) hours in order to renew your appraisal license. The duration of your license, and the credit hours you must take, vary from state to state. CE is also a good way to stay up-to-date on changes in the appraisal profession.
  • License upgrade education: Upgrade education allows you to upgrade your appraisal license to a different level, such as Certified Residential or Certified General. Your upgrade courses will expose you to new ideas, methods, and assignments you haven’t had the opportunity to master.
  • Professional development: From taking specialization and designation courses to attending online webinars on topics of interest, professional development education is not required by your state, but it gives you the chance to learn valuable info to help grow your real estate career.

Have questions about how to become a property appraiser in your state? McKissock Education Specialists can answer questions about your appraisal career and help you understand the ins and outs of the requirements you need to meet for obtaining your appraisal license. Call 800.328.2008.

Editor’s note: This post was updated on November 19, 2021.

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