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How much money can I make as an appraiser?

The average real estate appraiser salary in 2023 was $102,620, but because there are so many variables in place that affect income including working arrangements, license type, and experience, it can be challenging to determine exactly how much money you can make as an appraiser. Fortunately, the profession is in demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to grow by 5 percent (faster than average) over the next decade.1

Appraiser Salary by Designation

According to the 2023 Appraisal Salary Guide, appraisers earn an average of $102,620. However, appraisers’ annual income varies significantly across license levels.

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Trainee Appraisers

Trainee Appraisers earn an average of $53, 218 annually. Trainees must work with a Certified Supervisory Appraiser, and while they can be paid for their work, they usually work part-time and are paid per appraisal. To work independently, Trainee Appraisers must earn a minimum of 150 hours of qualifying education, 1,000 hours of supervised experience, and pass the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam.

Licensed Residential Appraisers

Licensed Residential Appraisers make an average of $89,056 annually, nearly $40,000 more than trainees earn on average. Licensed Residential Appraisers do have limits on what they can do; namely, they can only appraise properties with 1-4 family units, below a certain value threshold determined by complexity.

To become a licensed residential appraiser, you need 150 hours of qualifying education. Once licensed, you can work as an independent appraiser for a government agency, lending institution, or appraisal management company.

Certified Residential Appraisers

Certified Residential Appraisers earn an average of $101,598 each year. This increase is tied to their ability to appraise any residential property with four units or less. There are no limits based on complexity of the property or valuation thresholds, and many are able to work on appraising estates tied to legal proceedings such as divorce and tax assessments.

An additional 50 hours of coursework and 1.500 hours of experience, college degree, and passing score on the certification exam are needed to become a certified residential appraiser.

Certified General Appraisers

Certified General Appraisers make an average of $145,094, which is the highest average appraiser salary. Certified General Appraisers have no limits on their license, so they can appraise residential, commercial, and industrial properties as well as vacant land.

Becoming a certified general appraiser requires 300 hours of qualifying education, 3,000 of appraising experience, and a bachelor’s degree. Requirements can vary according to state regulations, however.

Other Factors that Affect Real Estate Appraiser Salary

While licensing and certification play the biggest role in the average salary for an appraiser, it’s not the only factor. Location, whether it’s a higher cost of living area, or simply an area with a higher population, means appraisers can charge more or have more opportunities for assignments.

More experienced appraisers are likely to earn more because the longer an appraiser has been working, the more likely they are to grow a larger network, have a solid reputation, and can charge higher prices. Appraisers with more education tend to earn a higher salary as well.

Appraisers who work for a firm can also see their commission split with roughly a quarter going to their firm. In some cases it may be possible to negotiate a more advantageous fee split.

Take a Deeper Dive into Appraiser Income

Download the 2023 Appraisal Salary Guide for an in-depth look at real estate appraiser salary by license level, region, property type, years of experience, and more.

Download the 2023 Appraisal Salary Guide


1. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Property Appraisers and Assessors. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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