Understanding Your Real Estate Appraisal Career Path

What are the Different Levels of Real Estate Appraisers?

Level 1 - Appraisal Trainee

This level can also be referred to as Registered Appraiser, Apprentice Appraiser or Beginning Appraiser and is the beginning level for a career in home appraisal. To "qualify" to become an Appraisal Trainee, a person must meet the following requirements:

Appraisal education requirement for trainee:

  • 75 hours of state-approved coursework is the typical requirement in most states; however, some may have a higher requirement at 90 hours. Additionally, a few states do not have a trainee level. Be sure to check your specific state appraisal license requirements.
    • Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours)
    • Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours)
    • USPAP (15 hours)

Experience: There is no prerequisite experience at this level.

Supervision: As an Appraisal Trainee, you must be under the direct supervision of a Certified Appraiser at all times and complete a mandatory trainee/supervisor course before logging experience hours

License Exam: You do not have to pass an exam at the national level, but some states require it. To find out if your state requires an exam, click here and contact your state appraisal regulatory agency.

Application: Because there is no national level license at this stage, you do not have to complete an application, but some states require it. To find out if your state requires an application, click here and contact your state appraisal regulatory agency.

Ready to become an Appraisal Trainee? OnCourse Learning Real Estate offers online appraisal classes for this level.  Browse our Appraisal catalog today! Choose your state, then Appraisal and then New License to see available courses.

Level 2 - Licensed Residential Appraiser

This level can also be referred to as Licensed Appraiser. To "qualify" to become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, a person must meet the following requirements.

Licensed Residential Appraiser education requirements:

  • 150 hours of state-approved coursework including the 75 hours required to at the Appraisal Trainee level and the following additional appraisal courses
    • Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use (15 hours)
    • Residential Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach (15 hours)
    • Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches (30 hours)
    • Residential Report Writing and Case Studies (15 hours)
    • 30 hours of college-level coursework. This could include an associate degree or higher from an accredited college, junior college, community college, or university

Experience: You must complete 2,000 hours logged with the supervision of a Certified Appraiser in no less than one year (some states may require more hours).

Supervision: As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you are able to perform unsupervised home appraisals of non-complex residential properties that are 1 to 4 units, less than $1 million and also complex 1 to 4 unit residential properties whose market value falls below $250K.

License Exam: You must pass a Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser exam approved by the Appraisal Qualifying Board (AQB). Your appraisal education and experience must be completed before taking the exam.

Application: Once you complete all the requirements, you can submit your application with your state appraisal regulatory agency. Contact your state appraisal regulatory agency.

Want to upgrade to a Licensed Residential Appraiser? Browse our Appraisal catalog today!  Choose your state and then Appraisal and then Upgrade License to see available online home appraisal classes.

Level 3 - Certified Residential Appraiser

This level can also be referred to as Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser. To "qualify" to become a Certified Residential Appraiser, a person must meet the following requirements.

Certified Residential Appraiser education requirements:

  • 200 hours of state-approved coursework including the 150 hours required to at the Appraisal Trainee and Licensed Residential Appraiser levels and the following additional real estate appraisal courses:
    • Statistics, Modeling and Finance (15 hours)
    • Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies (15 hours)
    • Appraisal subject matter electives course (20 hours)
    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution

Experience: You must complete 2,500 hours logged together with the supervision of a Certified Appraiser in no less than two years. Your hours can include the 2,000 hours from the previous level. A majority of states require that the additional 500 hours be more complex appraisal projects.

Supervision: As a Certified Residential Appraiser, you are able to perform unsupervised appraisals of 1 to 4 unit residential properties without previous restrictions.

License Exam: You must pass an AQB-approved Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser exam. Your education and experience must be completed before taking the exam.

Application: Once you complete all the requirements, you can submit your application with your state appraisal regulatory agency. Contact your state appraisal regulatory agency.

Level 4 - Certified General Appraiser

To "qualify" to become a Certified General Appraiser, a person must meet the following requirements.

Certified General Appraiser education requirements

  • 300 hours of state-approved coursework including the 200 hours required at the three previous levels
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution

Experience: You must complete 3,000 hours logged together with the supervision of a Certified Appraiser in no less than 30 months. Your hours must include 1,500 hours of non-residential experience.

Supervision: As a Certified General Appraiser, you are able to perform unsupervised appraisals of both residential and commercial properties.

License Exam: You must pass an AQB-approved Certified General Real Property Appraiser exam. Your education and experience must be completed before taking the exam.

Application: Once you complete all the requirements, you can submit your application with your state appraisal regulatory agency. Contact your state appraisal regulatory agency.