How to Become a Real Property Appraiser

Step 1: Read the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. This booklet contains the minimum requirements to become a real property appraiser in the United States.  

Step 2: 
Contact your state regulatory agency to determine if your state's requirements are more stringent than the minimum requirements. A list of state contact information can be found on the Appraisal Subcommittee website.

Step 3:
Find qualifying education that is approved for credit in your state. You can review courses approved through the Appraiser Qualification Board's Course Approval Program; however, ultimately, state regulatory agencies are responsible for approving education, and many have approval lists on their websites. Website links and contact information can be found on the Appraisal Subcommittee website

Step 4:
Find a Supervisory Appraiser. The Appraisal Foundation does not have lists of available Supervisors, but you may be able to find one by networking at a local professional appraiser membership organization meeting. A list of membership organizations can be found here.  

Step 5:
After you've completed all of the education and experience requirements, contact your state regulatory agency to determine the process for obtaining approval to take the National Appraiser Licensing and Certification Exam

Below is a summary of the education, experience, and examination requirements to become a real property appraiser. It is important that applicants review this information carefully in the Criteria Booklet as this is only a summary. As stated above, it is also important that applicants check with their state regulatory agency to determine if their state has additional requirements.

A Student Tracking Form is available for those who would like to track their progress toward obtaining an appraiser credential.


Trainee Appraiser

Trainee Appraisers may appraise those properties which the state-certified Supervisory Appraiser is permitted by his/her current credential and is competent to appraiser.

                 
   
Education 
        75 Hours of qualifying education in the last five (5) years and Supervisory Appraiser/Trainee Appraiser Course. Contact your state for a list of approved courses. 


 
    Experience          None


 
    Examination         None   
                 



Certified Residential Appraiser

Certified Residential Appraisers may appraise one-to-four residential units without regard to value or complexity.

                 
   
Education 
        200 hours of qualifying education. Contact your state for a list of approved courses.

College-level education or requisite experience is also required. See below for six options.


 
    Experience          1,500 hours in no fewer than twelve (12) months.  


 
    Examination         You must successfully complete your education and experience prior to taking the exam. Contact your state to register for the exam and visit our exam webpage for more details.   
                 

Licensed Residential Appraiser

Licensed Residential Appraisers may appraise non-complex one-to-four residential units having a transaction value less than $1,000,000 and complex one-to-four residential units having a transaction value less than $250,000.

                 
   
Education 
        150 hours of qualifying education. Contact your state for a list of approved courses. 


 
    Experience          1,000 hours in no fewer than six (6) months 


 
    Examination         You must successfully complete your education and experience prior to taking the exam. Contact your state to register for the exam and visit our exam webpage for more details.   
                 

Certified General Appraiser

Certified General Appraisers may appraise all types of real property.

                 
   
Education 
        300 hours of qualifying education. Contact your state for a list of approved courses. 

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study is also required.


 
    Experience          3,000 hours in no fewer than eighteen (18) months. One thousand five hundred (1,500) hours must be in non-residential work. 


 
    Examination         You must successfully complete your education and experience prior to taking the exam. Contact your state to register for the exam and visit our exam webpage for more details.   
                 

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education or Requisite Experience Requirements: Six Options

In addition to the requirements to become a Certified Residential Appraiser as noted above, applicants must also satisfy one of the six options listed below.

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education: Option #1

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study.

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education: Option #2

  • Associate's degree from an accredited college or university in a field of study related to:
    • Business Administration;
    • Accounting;
    • Finance;
    • Economics; or
    • Real Estate

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education: Option #3 

  • Successful completion of 30 semester hours of college-level courses that cover each of the following specific topic areas and hours:
    • English Composition (3 semester hours);
    • Microeconomics (3 semester hours);
    • Macroeconomics (3 semester hours);
    • Finance (3 semester hours);
    • Algebra, Geometry, or higher mathematics (3 semester hours);
    • Statistics (3 semester hours);
    • Computer Science (3 semester hours);
    • Business or Real Estate Law (3 semester hours); and
    • Two elective courses in any of the topics listed above or in accounting, geography, agricultural economics, business management, or real estate (3 semester hours each).
Applicants may want to review guidance on this option, which can be found in Guide Note 10 of the Criteria.

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education: Option #4

  • Successful completion of 30 semester hours of College Level Examination Program (CLEP®) examinations from each of the following subject matter areas: 
    • College Algebra (3 semester hours);
    • College Composition (6 semester hours); 
    • College Composition Modular (3 semester hours);
    • College Mathematics (3 semester hours);
    • Principles of Macroeconomics (3 semester hours);
    • Principles of Microeconomics (3 semester hours);
    • Introductory Business Law (3 semester hours); and
    • Information Systems (3 semester hours).

Certified Residential Appraiser College-Level Education: Option #5

  • Any combination of Options #3 and #4 that ensure coverage of all topics and hours identified in Option #3

Certified Residential Appraiser Requisite Experience: Option #6

  • As an alternative to college-level education, individuals who have held a Licensed Residential credential for a minimum of five (5) years may qualify for a Certified Residential credential if they have no record of any adverse, final, and non-appealable disciplinary action affecting the Licensed Residential appraiser's legal eligibility to engage in appraisal practice with the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application for a Certified Residential credential.