How to Become a

Real Estate Appraiser

The complete career guide to be a Real Estate Appraiser: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $58,400
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 7.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Investigative
    Career Attribute

Real estate appraisers assess the value of land and property. They may specialize in appraising either commercial or residential properties. Appraisers assess property value to determine how much a piece of property is worth on the market, or to determine a property’s value for mortgage lending purposes.

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What is a Real Estate Appraiser?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in real estate appraiser roles:

  • Determine the value of land, homes, and buildings
  • Establish a baseline value by researching the value of nearby/comparable properties
  • Visit properties to observe notable features that could increase/decrease value
  • Provide appraisals to individuals for use in real estate sales transactions or to lenders for use in determining lending amounts and rates

A Day in the Life

There are two types of careers that focus on determining the value of land, homes, buildings, and other property types: real estate appraisers and real estate assessors. While assessors value property at the area- or neighborhood-level, appraisers focus on individual pieces of property. They inspect owned land, homes, and commercial buildings, evaluating the property for specific features that might increase or decrease the value of a home. Many tools are used to form these valuations.

First, the real estate appraiser will research the values of comparable properties in the area. This information will be used to form a baseline for the value of the property. Next, the appraiser visits the actual property and observes the home inside and out. He/she observes the number of rooms, inspects the condition of the roof and other features, and looks for appealing or unappealing features—such as proximity to a busy street or a large back yard with a pool.

The real estate appraiser creates thorough documentation on the reasons behind a property’s determined value. When completed, the valuation may be presented to a variety of individuals. It may be provided to a property owner to assist with setting the selling price for real estate transactions, to a mortgage lender for purposes of determining the maximum lending amount and interest rates for a loan, or to an insurance company that provides property insurance to inform coverage decisions.

Typical Work Schedule

For the most part, real estate appraisers work full-time during normal business hours. However, overtime may be required in evenings to complete reports after in-person visits to properties.

Real Estate Appraiser Specializations

  • Residential appraisers focus their efforts on valuing residential buildings containing four or fewer units. Primarily, they appraise single-family dwellings.
  • Commercial appraisers focus their efforts on valuing commercial buildings and land masses: high-acreage lands for commercial farming, apartment buildings with more than four units, and commercial spaces for businesses and business offices.

Typical Employers

Real estate appraisers may work for real estate companies or developers, for property insurance companies, for mortgage lenders, or for government agencies. Some are also self-employed and conduct appraisals on a freelance basis for individual clients.

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How To Become a Real Estate Appraiser

Federal law requires real estate appraisers to become licensed to work in the field, but the licensing requirements are determined either at the state or local government level. As such, the requirements to become a real estate appraiser can vary widely by the location you want to work in. For that reason, the first step in becoming a real estate appraiser should be to research the licensing requirements for the state or locality you want to work in.

For general guidelines, most states—but not all—require aspiring real estate appraisers to hold a bachelor’s degree. Common majors include economics, finance, business, computer science, or real estate law. Because this line of work requires business acumen, strong math skills, and significant computer and software usage, any of these degrees will provide needed skills for success as a real estate appraiser.

After college, you’ll need to enter a training program where you work under an experienced real estate appraiser. Up to 3,000 hours of supervised training may be required over a period of 2.5 years before you can become licensed. Additionally, you may be required to earn additional education credits by taking courses from an accredited real estate appraising institution like the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), and you may need to pass a final written licensing exam.

Real Estate Appraiser Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Real Estate Appraiser salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Real Estate Appraiser's can make an average annual salary of $58,400, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $37,400 or $18 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #292 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Real Estate Appraiser. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Real Estate Appraisers

  • 2.9%   Doctorate
  • 8.1%   Masters
  • 41.7%   Bachelors
  • 9.3%   Associates
  • 25.4%   College
  • 11.7%   High School
  • 0.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Real Estate Appraiser job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 6,700 jobs for a total of 92,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #284 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Real Estate Appraisers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 25,600 100 0%
Activities related to real estate 24,700 5,300 5%
Self-employed workers 20,300 1,000 1%

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