How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser: Your 2024 Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore the process of becoming a real estate appraiser, including the responsibilities and skills of an appraiser and the necessary qualifications, to decide if it’s the path you want to pursue.

[Featured image] Woman at a desk working on a real estate appraisal

Real estate appraisers provide estimates of property value as an unbiased third party. An accurate dollar amount representing a property's value is essential for various purposes, such as tax assessments and mortgage lending. When determining the value, appraisers consider various factors that ultimately determine an accurate building and land appraisal.

Before becoming a real estate appraiser, you must complete specific coursework and pass an exam to gain licensure. This could be an excellent career if you're interested in a job with flexible hours and a work environment that includes plenty of time outside the office.

Additionally, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the outlook for real estate appraisers positions projects to remain relatively steady from 2022 to 2032. It estimates a 5 percent growth projection, which equates to roughly 6,900 job openings each year on average [1].

What is a real estate appraiser?

A real estate appraiser is a licensed professional who evaluates a property and determines it’s value. As an appraiser, you will typically perform appraisals before a property is mortgaged, sold, taxed, insured, and more. The specific license and education requirements you need to work as an appraiser vary from state to state. You’ll need to research the qualifications required for the state you want to work in to ensure you meet them. However, the federal government has its minimum requirements as well.

Along with the specific details of a property, such as size and amenities, a real estate appraiser will also consider the overall state of the market when determining a fair, objective dollar amount.

Real estate appraiser duties and responsibilities

Determining a home's or property's value requires an onsite evaluation and offsite responsibilities, where real estate appraisers consider other important factors that impact property value. Here’s a look at typical duties you will perform as a real estate appraiser:

  • Conducting property inspections: Inspecting properties involves taking notes, measurements, and photographs of the various rooms throughout the property. This allows you to consider all aspects that can impact value, such as specific amenities, unique features, and the overall condition of the interior and exterior. During this process, you will also look for potential violations of local regulations, including health and safety codes.

  • Collecting and analyzing data: Comparing the property you are appraising with other comparable properties ensures an accurate appraisal considering the market's state. To make reasonable comparisons, appraisers research and collect data on properties with similar features that have been sold or listed, as well as verify that public records correctly describe the details of a property.

  • Writing reports: After determining the value of a property, written reports detail the findings that led to the estimated valuation, such as the quality and condition of a building, as well as the location and state of the local real estate market. A well-written, fair report helps ensure mortgage lenders offer appropriate loans. For home buyers, having an accurate property valuation may assist in negotiating a lower purchase price.

Skills that benefit a real estate appraiser

To succeed as a real estate appraiser, you should equip yourself with numerous technical and workplace skills. These are some valuable skills for appraising properties:

  • Analytical skills: The ability to research, collect, and compare data allows you to develop accurate appraisals that consider all important factors and property features, such as comparisons with similar properties.

  • Communication skills: Strong writing and verbal communication skills are critical when building appraisal reports and explaining valuations to clients.

  • Math skills: Property value often depends on measurable factors such as square footage, so math skills help calculate all the relevant data.

  • Organizational skills: With all the different property appraisals and data collecting real estate appraisers perform, you should have the skills to organize and manage various records and documents.

  • Customer service skills: Listening to clients to understand their concerns and being pleasant to interact with helps gain repeat business and client referrals.

Core requirements to become a real estate appraiser

The Appraisals Qualifications Board determines the minimum requirements for becoming an appraiser in the United States. Additionally, each state sets its criteria, which can require the completion of coursework beyond the requirements of the Appraisal Qualifications Board.


Trainees and licensed residential appraisers don’t have specific degree requirements in every state. In some cases, you must first complete just 30 credit hours of relevant coursework.  However, certified general and residential appraisers will always require obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Typical bachelor’s degrees for real estate appraisers include business, real estate, and finance.

Read more: Your Guide to Business Administration Degrees


Before gaining full certification, you must gain experience as a trainee appraiser, including specific coursework from the Appraisal Qualifications Board and state requirements. As a trainee, you’re required to complete roughly 1,000 hours of experience over six or more months with a supervisory appraiser [1].

Licensing and Certification

After meeting education and experience requirements nationally and within your state, you can register for the licensing exam, covering topics from your required coursework. All real estate appraisers must pass the National Uniform Licensing and Certification exam. To become a certified general or residential appraiser, you must complete an additional exam. After submitting your application to your state's licensing board, you can qualify to work as a licensed appraiser.

Who hires real estate appraisers?

Real estate appraisers typically specialize in residential or commercial real estate. Buyers, lenders, and sellers can all hire an appraiser. Although they act as an unbiased third party, certain benefits or advantages exist from hiring an appraiser.

For example, someone looking to purchase a home can hire an appraiser to offer more in-depth information about the housing market. Banks also hire real estate appraisers in situations like refinancing a property to ensure an accurate, up-to-date valuation. Real estate appraisers work for appraisal firms and agencies of varying sizes, as well as for banks or independently.

Real estate appraiser salary and career path

The median salary of real estate appraisers in 2022 was $61,560, according to the BLS [2]. Beginning as a trainee and earning your license, you can increase your earning potential by becoming a certified residential or general appraiser.

Progressing from a licensed position to a certified appraiser involves stricter education and experience requirements. While earning your license requires a minimum of 1,000-hour experience qualification, certified residential appraisers need 1,500 hours, and most certified general appraisers need 3,000 hours [3].

Read more: Real Estate Appraiser Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Next steps

On Coursera, you can find highly-rated courses to help you brush up on your math and valuable computer skills. Accounting: Principles of Financial Accounting from the IESE Business School will help to build foundational skills. Another great course for developing essential computer skills such as Microsoft Word and Excel, in addition to photo editing, is Introduction to Computers and Office Productivity Software.

Article sources


The Appraisal Foundation. “How to Become a Real Property Appraiser,” Accessed January 19, 2024.

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