As a career with unlimited earning potential, the appeal of appraisal is undeniable. But no matter which level of appraisal licensure you are seeking, you must obtain at least 1000 hours of experience.

This may seem daunting, but with the right support, it is feasible and well-worth the hard work. It's a very lucrative career path — the top 10% earn over $120k. And because the appraisal industry is growing, jobs will be in high demand for years to come, especially in developing urban areas. But what does it take to get started?

The steps

In this article we'll break down the steps to get a real estate appraisal license, along with the costs associated with each step. First, here's the basic breakdown:

Step Estimated Cost
1. Qualifying education courses $950−$2500
2. Trainee application $255
3. 1000-3000 experience hours
4. Appraiser application $485−$645
5. State exam $50−$100
TOTAL $1600−$3600

Qualifying education courses

Depending on the type of appraiser you want to become, your educational requirements will vary. There are national requirements, which are consistent across the United States, and they are as follows:

  • 150 credit hours for licensed residential
  • 200 credit hours for certified residential
  • 300 credit hours for certified general

There are also state requirements. To become an appraiser in Texas, for example, you must take the Texas Appraising for the Supervisor and Trainee course, which consists of 4 credit hours.

NOTE: It is highly recommended that you find a sponsor before enrolling in appraisal qualifying education courses. Sponsor procurement is often the most challenging part of the appraisal licensing process. It is wise to secure a place to gain experience hours before you invest in a program.

Trainee application

Before applying for your appraiser trainee license, you must complete 75 hours of qualifying education courses. The classes you must take before applying for your trainee license are:

  • 15-Hour USPAP
  • 30-Hour Basic Appraisal Principles
  • 30-Hour Basic Appraisal Procedures
  • 4-hour Texas Appraising for the Supervisor and Trainee

Once you have completed these courses, you may apply for the trainee license with the state board. If you are in Texas, for instance, you'll apply with the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (TALCB).

You'll need to submit your course certificates, along with a fee of $255.

1000–3000 appraisal experience hours

There are three types of appraisers you can become: licensed residential, certified residential, and certified general. Each level of licensure has different experience, time, and education requirements. The table below illustrates the differences:

License type Ed. hrs Exp. hrs Time req. # Appraisals Appraisal limits
Licensed residential appraiser 150 1000 6 mo. ≈300 non-complex <$1 million, complex 1–4 units <$250k, no commercial
Certified residential appraiser 200 1500 12 mo. ≈400 all 1–4 unit residential, regardless of value and complexity, no commercial
Certified general appraiser 300 + bachelor's degree 3000 18 mo. ≈800 all residential and commercial, regardless of value and complexity

Hours must be fulfilled working on appraisals and must be in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) standards. Recently the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) enacted a rule that allows appraisers to gain 100% of their experience hours from non-traditional clients — that is, a trainee may appraise the property of a friend or family member with the sole purpose of gaining experience. Trainees may also gain experience by writing and doing case studies of completed appraisal reports.

NOTE: At Champions School of Real Estate, we do not offer a certified general appraiser licensing program yet.

Appraiser application

Once your education and experience is complete, you may apply for the desired license with your state agency. If you live in Texas, for instance, you will apply with the TALCB. The fees for each license type are as follows:

  • Licensed residential: $645
  • Certified residential: $545
  • Certified general: $485

Check your state board's website for specific license fees.

State exam

Before you take the desired license exam, we recommend that you take our Appraisal Exam Prep Course. This course includes mock tests and covers the national and state portions of the exam. It greatly increases your chance of passing and it costs $199.

The actual exam costs $55 and includes 155 multiple choice questions. You will have 4 hours to take it. The exam is administered through Pearson VUE. A non-programmable calculator is permitted. See Pearson VUE for more information, or to register.

Your first step

Though the process includes a lot of steps and many requirements, it is doable with the right support. At Champions School of Real Estate, we pride ourselves on supporting our students not only throughout the entire licensing process, but through their entire careers.

Learn more on the Appraisal page. You can take your qualifying education appraisal courses either through our ChampionsLive virtual classroom. Our instructors bring authentic industry expertise, and our curriculum includes textbooks authored by renowned industry professionals.

You can do it, and we will help.

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