Why Do People Choose a Real Estate Appraisal Career?

real estate appraisal career

There are an estimated 80,000 licensed appraisers in the U.S., and they come from many different backgrounds. People decide to launch a real estate appraisal career because they’re following in a family member’s footsteps or they’re intent on building a career in a field they love, as well as one that pays well.

Top reasons people enjoy a real estate appraisal career

Appraisers share the following as the top reasons they enjoy the appraisal profession:

  • Potential to earn a high income
  • Opportunity to work flexible hours
  • Low startup costs compared to other small businesses
  • Opportunity to take on complex and challenging assignments
  • Diverse career paths and specializations

“As a kid, I drew floor plans for some of the properties my dad was appraising. I like the freedom to take on your own assignments, and earn as much as you can by taking on as much work as you can,” says John R., a commercial and residential appraiser in Washington D.C.

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

A day in the life of an appraiser

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

The nuts and bolts of appraising a property can include:

  • Verifying property legal descriptions and property characteristics in county and city 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

A real estate appraisal career is challenging and fulfilling. “Just like an art historian sees more in a Monet than just a bunch of water-lilies, an appraiser views property through an educated and experienced lens,” says Phil Crawford, a third-generation appraiser and host of the Voice of Appraisal podcast. “You’re seeing the world of real estate in a way most people don’t,” says Crawford, from Cincinnati, Ohio. “It can be a very lucrative and purpose-driven career.”

Ready to launch your appraisal career? Find appraisal qualifying education courses in your state.

Each year more than 100,000 professionals advance their career with McKissock Learning.

Hear what they have to say.

See More Reviews