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Appraisal Schools and Training Courses

A real estate appraiser school can help prospective appraisers learn the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career. After completing coursework and a training program, the real estate appraisal license allows the appraiser to conduct valuations of real estate property and send various reports to clients. Appraisers and real estate assessors are responsible for estimating the value of real property, determining the appropriate market sales price and finding out what the mortgage price may be. They use a variety of methods and formulas to determine these final figures. Appraisal schools provide both hands-on training and formal classroom education for students.

Job Description and Responsibilities of Appraisal School Graduates

Graduates may pursue additional education and training to work in the areas of finance or real estate, or simply proceed with a real estate appraisal career with their license. The position often involves:

  • Providing valuations of property
  • Working in localities on different types of properties
  • Acknowledging environmental concerns
  • Understanding how architectural styles and highways can influence the property price
  • Documenting rooms, features, and buildings
  • Taking pictures of the exterior of a property
  • Working with lease records, previous appraisals, and income potential
  • Working with clients to evaluate specific properties
  • Appraising homes, residences, and residential properties
  • Assessing property taxes, or working with an assessor
  • Researching and writing reports
  • Conducting on-site research

A real estate appraisal career can be satisfying and rewarding, especially since many appraisers can set their own hours and work from home. They may be self-employed and work with various clients on an ongoing basis. Appraisal schools provide the necessary foundation to obtain training and skills needed for the field, and any further technical training takes place on the job. Although the school does not require formal hands-on training during student status, these regulations may vary by State. Prospective appraisers may choose to work with a mentor or in an internship to gain experience.

Career Options After Real Estate Appraisal Training

Training provides prospective appraisers with the educational requirements to complete their licensing program, a period of work time as a trainee, and an opportunity to take the examination. Appraisers interested in furthering their career may choose to pursue additional certification and advancement with continuing education. Appraisal schools can help students obtain additional credits as needed. Students who complete the necessary courses may pursue a career as a:

  • Construction inspector
  • Independent appraiser
  • Building contractor
  • Broker or sales agent
  • Urban or regional planner
  • Residential building investigator
  • Real estate agent
  • Assessor

Courses and Training Programs Available at Appraisal Schools

School provide the education, skills, and knowledge for a successful career. However, it's important to note that a real estate appraisal license is necessary in most states and regulations vary by region and State. A formal course may be pursued in an online format where the classes can be taken at a student's own pace.

The course program often includes basic business management classes, along with a working knowledge of the real estate market within the state. They must learn the legal aspects of real estate, and this is a significant part of study during training. Students also gain a working knowledge of the principles and practices involved with running an appraisal business. These are learned in preliminary courses and are often part of an independent study program. Learning industry professional standards is another important element of training. Students interested in pursuing a long-term career must learn to adhere to ethical guidelines and codes of conduct.

Most appraisers are required to log in a certain number of hours and education for each level of certification and licensure. Schools can provide the training needed to complete the hours of education, but experience must be obtained in the field. The Appraiser Qualification Board (AQB) requests the following minimum requirements for state licensed and certified appraisers:

  • Licensed Residential: 2,000 hours of experience and 90 hours of education
  • Certified Residential: 2,500 hours of experience and 120 hours of education
  • Certified General: 3,000 hours of experience and 180 hours of education

Real estate appraisal training programs enable students to become fully qualified appraisers or assessors, and these requirements vary by State. A formal degree program is not currently available, but various course programs serve as the basis of education instead. Federal laws do require that any appraiser involved with a transaction of $250,000 or more must have a license. Certification requirements are established by The Appraisal Foundation, and education requirements along with passing an examination are the standard. The examination is based on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). State issued appraiser licenses include:

  • State Certified General Real Property Appraiser License
  • State Certified Residential Real Estate Property Appraiser License

When an appraiser is working on their minimum license requirements, they are considered to be 'trainees'. They must obtain the necessary hours and education to receive formal recognition and designation as an appraiser. On-the-job training is an essential component of a successful career, and can help to increase the skills and knowledge in the field much faster than a school on its own.

Obtaining the appraisal license requires completion of the State-mandated examinations and providing proof of completing the educational component in the field. Minimum education requirements are imposed to those who are interested in maintaining their licensure. The Appraisal Foundation requires a minimum of 14 hours per year in continuing education courses, and the State-approved real estate appraisal course program can be taken on the USPAP every two years.

Designations can often help further a career, and this helps to distinguish the appraiser as a professional in the field. They may have recognizable credentials as a result, and when they meet further training and education requirements, they can also become members to specific categories in the community.

Accreditation for Real Estate Appraiser Schools

Obtaining a real estate appraiser license from an accredited school or institution is important because it provides credibility to any licenses, training, and education obtained. Quality instruction from a school is important, whether this is in an online format, correspondence course, or formal school. Most online course programs are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

Real Estate Appraisal School Graduates: Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

With the increases in real estate markets and new property construction, the demand for qualified graduates and licensed professionals is expected to grow faster than average. A real estate appraisal career can be highly lucrative and rewarding, especially since many businesses are independently owned and work on a commission-based structure. After obtaining a license, most candidates can start a career in the field immediately. This makes it simple to grow a business and they may receive additional training from mentors and coworkers as needed.

The active real estate markets on the East and West coasts are the most attractive areas for a career. Appraisers can find plenty of options as independent fee appraisers and through employment at a firm. Assessors and appraisers are needed in every local or State jurisdiction, regardless of the state of the economy.

Median annual earnings were $43,390 in 2004. This varies depending on the industry, as those that work for local governments have median annual earnings that are considerably lower, while higher salaries are options for those working in real estate firms. Related occupations include:

  • Claims adjusters

  • Examiners

  • Cost estimators

  • Urban planners

  • Sales brokers

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