There are a number of steps required to become a real estate appraiser. Licensure is needed in almost all cases, especially for the appraisal to be officially recognized as valid by a government or financial institution. Getting a license will require a certain number of hours in classroom training and the ability to pass a real estate exam. All appraisers, at least those practicing in the United States, will also need a bachelor's degree.
Though there is no requirement for the field of study, most people who want to become a real estate appraiser will study subjects such as economics, business, or finance. These are somewhat related to the area of real estate and should provide a good background that will help when determining market values for land and homes. A bachelor's degree requirement has been in effect in the United States since 2008. It is possible to be licensed without a bachelor's degree, provided equivalent college credit hours have been obtained.
The classroom time needed to become a real estate appraiser differs based on the state or region. In some areas, it may also be possible to substitute classroom time for an equivalent correspondence or online course. Often, the course must be approved by the board in charge of licensing real estate appraisers in the area, and a list of approved courses can often be found on that group's website. Anyone interested in becoming a real estate appraiser should make sure they are attending an approved course. Real estate law, local factors, ethics, and other matters pertaining to real estate will likely all be discussed during the course.
Once the coursework is completed, the next step is to sign up for the real estate appraiser test. If the course completed has been effective, taking the test should be relatively easy for many people. In fact, most of the courses are designed specifically to get students ready for the test. The test may only be given at certain times of the year or it may be administered on demand, depending on the region. Check with your regional real estate licensing board for more information.
Once the education and testing requirements have been met, the only thing left to do to become a real estate appraiser is to complete all the paperwork. An application will likely be required and even may be handed out at the time the student takes the test. Along with the completed application, a background check may also be required, at least in certain regions. Be sure to include all information, such as your test results, real estate course certificate, and any other documentation needed.