Property appraisers and assessors held about 76,100 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of property appraisers and assessors were as follows:
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals
|Finance and insurance
Although property appraisers and assessors work in offices, they may spend a large part of their time conducting site visits. Time spent away from the office depends on the specialty. For example, residential appraisers work in offices less often than do commercial appraisers, who might spend several weeks analyzing information and writing reports about a single property. Appraisers employed by banks and mortgage companies generally work in an office, making site visits only when necessary.
Most property appraisers and assessors work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Self-employed appraisers, often called independent fee appraisers, may work more than 40 hours per week.
The requirements to become a fully qualified property appraiser or assessor are complex and vary by state and, sometimes, by the value or type of property. These workers typically need a bachelor’s degree, although some qualify with a high school diploma. Appraisers of real estate also must meet state licensure or certification requirements. Check with your state's licensing board for specific requirements.
Although requirements vary, property appraisers and assessors typically need a bachelor’s degree. Common fields of degree include business, social science, and psychology.
College courses in subjects such as computer science, finance, and business or real estate law may be useful for prospective appraisers and assessors.
Most states set education and experience requirements that assessors must meet in order to practice. A few states have no statewide requirements; instead, each locality sets the standards. In some localities, candidates may qualify with a high school diploma.
Employers may require new workers to take basic appraisal courses and complete on-the-job training that lasts 12 months or more. Appraisers and assessors also may need to work enough hours to meet requirements for licensing or certification.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Federal law requires appraisers of real estate to have a state license or certification when working on federally related transactions, such as appraisals for loans made by federally insured banks and financial institutions. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) offers information on appraisal licensing. There is no such federal requirement for appraisers of personal and business property or for assessors, although some states require certification. For state-specific requirements, applicants should contact their state licensing board.
Real estate appraisers usually value one property at a time, while assessors value many at once. However, both occupations use similar methods and techniques. As a result, assessors and appraisers often take the same courses for certification. In addition to passing a statewide examination, candidates must usually complete a set number of on-the-job hours.
The credential level determines what type of property a real estate appraiser may value. There are four federal appraiser classifications: Licensed Trainee Appraiser, Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser.
Each credential requires different education and training to complete. All of them except for the Trainee License also require that candidates receive instruction on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and pass an exam.
The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) offers information on professional appraisers representing all disciplines: Appraisal Review and Management, Business Valuation, Gems and Jewelry, Machinery and Technical Specialties, Personal Property and Real Property.
Unlike appraisers of real estate, neither appraisers of personal and business property nor assessors have federal requirements for certification. In states that mandate certification for assessors, the requirements are usually similar to those for appraisers. For example, the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) offers the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) credential covering topics such as property valuation, assessment administration, and property tax policy.
In states that do not require certification for assessors, employers may require candidates to take basic appraisal courses, complete on-the-job training, and meet the work-hours requirements for appraisal licenses or certificates. Assessors also may get a state appraiser license or credential.
Both appraisers and assessors must take continuing education courses to keep their license or certification. Requirements vary by state and credential.
Appraisers and assessors of real estate typically have an interest in the Building, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as an appraiser and assessor of real estate, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Appraisers and assessors of real estate should also possess the following specific qualities:
Analytical skills. Appraisers and assessors of real estate use many sources of data when valuing a property. As a result, they must carefully research and analyze all data before estimating a value and producing a final written report.
Customer-service skills. Because appraisers must regularly interact with clients, being polite and friendly is important. In addition, these characteristics may help expand future business opportunities.
Math skills. Accurately analyzing real estate data, such as calculating square footage of land and building space, requires workers to have good math skills.
Organizational skills. To successfully accomplish all the tasks related to appraising and assessing a property, appraisers and assessors of real estate need good organizational skills.
Problem-solving skills. Appraisers and assessors of real estate may encounter unexpected problems when appraising or assessing a property's value. The ability to develop and apply an alternative solution is crucial to successfully completing the appraisal and report on time.
Time-management skills. Appraisers and assessors of real estate often work under time constraints, sometimes appraising many properties in a single day. As a result, managing time and meeting deadlines are important.
The median annual wage for property appraisers and assessors was $61,340 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,520, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,790.
In May 2021, the median annual wages for property appraisers and assessors in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Finance and insurance
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals
Earnings for independent fee appraisers can vary significantly because they are paid fees on the basis of each appraisal.
Most property appraisers and assessors work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Self-employed appraisers, often called independent fee appraisers, may be especially likely to work more than 40 hours per week.
Employment of property appraisers and assessors is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 6,800 openings for property appraisers and assessors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Demand for appraisal services is linked to the real estate market, which may fluctuate in the short term. Over the projections decade, employment growth will be driven by economic expansion and general demand for property—including residential properties, personal property items, and business valuation.
Greater use of mobile technology, which enables workers to appraise and assess properties efficiently, will increase productivity. In addition, productivity may rise with increased use of automated valuation models to aid in appraising property for mortgages.
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