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Interested in becoming an Appraiser? Here is everything you need to know:

FIRST, YOU MUST BECOME A LICENSED TRAINEE Under regulations from the Pennsylvania State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, all individuals interested in becoming a certified residential or general appraiser must first become a “Licensed Appraiser Trainee.” An earlier trainee position formerly recognized by the state, that of “appraisal assistant,” has been eliminated. Former appraisal assistants are no longer qualified to provide “significant real property appraisal assistance.” Individuals interested in becoming a licensed appraiser trainee must: 1) Submit a licensed appraiser trainee application to the state Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers; 2) Complete 75 hours of course work (specifically, National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), 15 hours; Basic Appraisal Principles, 30 hours; and Basic Appraisal Procedures, 30 hours) before they can begin to obtain required appraisal field experience; and 3) Document that have completed 30 semester credit hours of college-level education from an accredited college, junior college, community college, or university, or graduated with a minimum of an associate degree in any discipline.

THEN, YOU MUST COMPLETE ADDITIONAL APPRAISAL COURSES Once licensed appraisal trainees have completed the specified 75 hours of initial course work, and while obtaining required appraisal field experience, they simultaneously can continue to complete the remaining education necessary for their certification. To become as a certified residential appraiser, they will take 200 classroom hours in the designated appraisal curriculum; or to become a general appraiser, 300 classroom hours.

A COLLEGE DEGREE – AN BACHELOR’S OR BETTER – ALSO IS REQUIRED The board also has set post-secondary education requirements that must be met by certified appraisers. To earn either residential or general certification, candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a minimum of a bachelor degree in any discipline. Those who have yet to meet the board’s post-secondary education requirements may pursue completion of their college or university classes while they also complete their field work and appraiser-related educational hours.

YOU’LL NEED PRACTICAL FIELD WORK EXPERIENCE Depending on the appraiser certification desired, several hundred hours of field work experience will be required. Field work by licensed appraiser trainees can be performed only under the direct supervision of an individual who has been a certified residential or certified general appraiser for at least five (5) years. Most appraisers who qualify as direct supervisors usually work with one licensed trainee at a time. It can be difficult, but is not impossible, to find an available and qualified supervisor. Field work experience completed by former appraisal assistants before Oct. 1, 2010, is considered valid. All experience obtained by former appraisal assistants after that date can be credited only if they become licensed appraiser trainees.

FINALLY, YOU’LL TAKE A CERTIFIED APPRAISER EXAMINATION The last step in becoming a certified appraiser in Pennsylvania is to take and pass the appraiser’s exam with a score of 75 or better. You will qualify to take the appraiser’s exam only after you have fully and adequately completed all the steps outlined above.

Additional Resources:

Appraisal Foundation

Appraisal Institute

Online Courses