Real Estate Appraiser Qualification Criteria
Explanation of the Trainee, Licensed, and Certified Appraiser Classifications
So you’re considering a career in real estate appraising. Or maybe you want to upgrade your license. However, understanding the requirements to become a real estate appraiser can sometimes be challenging. Each state has their own terminology and requirements, and they are not always intuitive. We will attempt to simplify and direct you to the appropriate resources for your state.
First, it is important to understand the source of the requirements. The Appraisal Qualification Board (AQB) sets the minimum education, experience, and examination requirements for each classification of real estate appraisers. The individual states are responsible for implementing their own requirements, that must meet or exceed the minimums set forth by the AQB.
The AQB, which is an independent board of The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), reviews the requirements on a regular basis, and occasionally implements changes. The most recent requirements were implemented in January 2015, and prior to that was December 2011.*
*Note: Some education and experience requirements were updated on May 1, 2018, per the AQB. Link to the AQB page explaining the updated qulaification criteria.
The AQB established four classifications of real estate appraisers
- Trainee Appraiser
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser
Your state may have different nomenclature for each of these classifications or may have a different number of classifications. Although the names may be slightly different than the AQB classifications from state to state, the minimum requirements for each level can not change.
Minimum Education Required for Each Appraiser Classification
As a prerequisite to become an appraiser, the AQB has set a minimum college degree requirement for each classification. In each case,
- Trainee Appraiser: None
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser: No college level education required
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser: The 6 options are
- Bachelor’s Degree in any field of study
- Associate’s Degree in specific fields of study specified by the AQB.
- Completion of 30 semester hours of college-level courses within specific topic areas specified by the AQB.
- Completion of 30 semester hours of College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Combination of options 3 and 4, that include all topics in option 3.
- None, for those who have held a Licensed Residential credential for minimum of five years in good standing.
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser: Bachelor’s Degree
Appraisal Experience to be Eligible for Each Appraiser Classification
To be eligible for licensed or certified classification, there are minimum hours of appraisal work that need to be completed within a certain timeframe. For new license or certified appraisers, the experience comes from work as a trainee. Therefore, trainees do not need any prior experience.
- Trainee Appraiser: None
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser: 1,000 hour in no less than 6 months
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser: 1,500 hours in no less than 12 months
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser: 3,000 hours in no less than 18 months (Minimum of 1,500 must be non-residential work)
Total Hours of Appraisal Courses to be Eligible for Each Appraiser Classification
Appraiser courses are required for each classification. The AQB sets the minimum curriculum requirements, but it is important to check the curriculum for your specific state.
- Trainee Appraiser: 80 hours, which includes the 15 hour USPAP course, and 5 hour Supervisor Appraiser / Trainee Appraiser Course
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser: 150 hours
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser: 200 hours
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser: 300 hours
Appraisal Examination Required to Pass?
Taking the required courses isn’t enough. Except for the Trainee, each classification has an examination that must be passed to earn the Licensed or Certified level.
- Trainee Appraiser: No
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser: Yes
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser: Yes
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser: Yes
Types of Property that can be Appraised for Each Appraiser Classification
Each appraiser classification has limits on the types of properties that can be appraised. The exception is Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, which can appraise any type of real property.
- Trainee Appraiser: May only appraise those properties which the supervising Certified appraiser is permitted to appraise with his/her current credential and is competent to appraiser
- Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser: May appraise non-complex 1-4 unit residential properties with transaction values up to $1 million and all other properties with transaction values up to $250,000
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser: May appraise 1-4 unit residential properties without regard to value or complexity, and all other properties with transaction values up to $250,000
- Certified General Real Estate Appraiser: May appraise all types of real property
The minimum requirements for each classification set by the AQB are as follows:Appraiser Sidekick regular reviews the AQB criteria to ensure our website is up to date. However, if you are interested in a career in real estate appraisals or upgrading your existing license, then please refer to your specific state’s requirements for the most accurate information.
To see your state’s requirements, please select your state from the menu on this page.
Are you considering becoming a real estate appraiser? If you would like to see the course availability in you state, Appraiser Sidekick is partnering with Career WebSchool to offer online appraisal courses. Click here to learn more.