How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a real estate appraiser, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills and interests. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a real estate appraiser:


• You have a keen interest in analyzing real estate information

• You have an interest in creating reliable, helpful information from raw data

• You want to work in real estate, but prefer to earn a salary rather than commission from sales

• You have a good understanding of real estate economics

• You have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree

• You are willing and able to be licensed as a real estate appraiser


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a real estate appraiser. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

Although the educational requirements for becoming a real estate appraiser vary by employer and by region, appraisers of residential, commercial or industrial real property must typically have at least an associate's degree or a bachelor’s degree in a field such as economics, business administration, or a related field, as well as the appropriate level of certification. 




Certification Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

In Canada, real estate appraisers must be members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC). In the United States, all 50 states currently require real estate appraisers to be licensed by their state licensing authority.


In Canada and the United States, junior-level appraisers or trainees may be hired without licensing, although they need certification to advance to positions of greater responsibility. Although certification programs and prerequisites vary by region, they may include:


• Meet current program admission requirements, such as having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree

• Successfully completing the licensing body’s education program

• Preparing one or more demonstration appraisal reports

• Enrolling in a mentorship program for a designated amount of time

• Successfully completing oral or written examinations 



Real Estate Appraiser Job Description

Real estate appraisers estimate the market value of vacant and improved residential, commercial, industrial, and other forms of real property. They determine a property’s worth by inspecting the property, comparing it to similar properties, and studying where it is located.


The property valuations prepared by real estate appraisers are used by a variety of stakeholders when property is bought, sold, mortgaged, damaged, expropriated, invested in, as well as for taxation assessment purposes. The stakeholders that make use of these valuations may include:


• Property buyers

• Property sellers

• Banks

• Real estate lawyers

• Mortgage companies

• Insurance companies

• Municipal land taxation departments



Real Estate Appraiser Job Duties

• Review property blueprints and mechanical drawings, if applicable

• Check building codes and zoning bylaws relevant to area of the property

• Review the legal description of the property

• Analyze current real estate market trends

• Consider current general real estate values

• Inspect the condition of the property

• Research public records and court documents

• Estimate value of property based on such factors as sales comparisons and cost of replacement

• Prepare appraisal report and submit to appropriate parties



Who Creates Jobs for Real Estate Appraisers?

Many different types of organizations employ real estate appraisers, including:


• Private appraisal, valuation and consulting firms

• Mortgage investment firms

• Banks and other lending institutions

• Real estate brokerages

• Insurance companies

• Government agencies

• Municipal assessment offices

• Real estate development companies

• Self-employment



Real Estate Appraiser Salary

The salary level of real estate appraisers can vary depending on their personal qualifications, their level of aptitude, the size of their employer, and many other factors.


Real Estate Appraiser Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers occupational group earn an average of between $30.80 and $44.87 per hour.


Real Estate Appraiser Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadians working in the Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers occupational group is $50,303 per year.


Real Estate Appraiser Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate occupational group is $49,540 per year.



Personal Traits Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

In order to have a long career as a real estate appraiser, you will need a certain set of personality traits. These attributes will help you maintain a positive attitude towards your work, help instill trust in stakeholders, and help keep you interested in your work.


• A keen interest in analyzing data and creating valuations

• An interest in creating reliable, helpful information from raw data

• A professional, customer-focused approach to work activities

• Trustworthy, responsible and accountable

• Confidence and decisiveness

• Enjoy working independently at times, and as part of a group at other times



Skills and Competencies Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

In order to become a successful real estate appraiser, you need to posses a certain set of skills and competencies in marketing, research, data analysis, and economics. These skills will help you effectively perform your job duties, and as a result, you will find them listed on many Real Estate Appraiser job postings.


• Able to accurately analyze real estate data, such as calculating square footage of land and building space

• Excellent written and communication skills

• Able to research and organize relevant property documentation

• Advanced skills in Microsoft Office applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook)

• Advanced understanding of the principles of valuation

• A strong working knowledge of the programs and tools common to the valuation industry



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Careers Similar to Real Estate Appraiser

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Real Estate Appraiser, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Business Valuator

Commercial Realtor

Cost Estimator

Real Estate Developer




References: Real Estate Appraiser Career Information

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a real estate appraiser.


Occupations in Alberta:Real Estate Appraiser.” (February 1, 2012). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

Business & Financial:Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

Become an Appraiser:Why Become an Appraiser.” (n.d.). Appraisal Institute of Canada website. Retrieved January 11, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Real Estate Appraiser can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a real estate appraiser. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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