Appraisers, also known as assessors of real estate, are responsible for estimating the value of real property. These professionals are typically sought when a property is being:
Most appraisers specialize in specific locations and certain kinds of real estate such as commercial properties (stores, hotels) or residential properties (homes, apartments). These professionals often work directly with individual clients and appraise one property at a time. Assessors typically work for local governments and are called on to evaluate properties for tax purposes.
Appraisers and assessors should have expert knowledge of environmental conditions and other factors that may impact a property’s value. Strong analytical and research skills are also required in this profession. In addition, appraisers and assessors should be well-versed in using industry-specific technology, including real estate databases and research software.
Many appraisers combine specialized training with an advanced education from an accredited online or on-site college or university. A bachelor’s degree in real estate law, economics, finance or mathematics may also benefit professionals seeking a career in this field.
Federal law requires that appraisers to be state certified. Most states also require certification or licensing for assessors of real estate and appraisers. In many cases, a candidate must successfully complete an authorized program and pass a statewide exam. Some states also require on-the-job training for trainee appraisers and assessors.
The salary range for appraisers and assessors of real estate often depends on their location, area of specialty and workplace. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for these professions was $47,370 in May 2008. Appraisers and assessors in the middle 50 percent earned between $34,330 and $66,640 for this same period.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics