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How Do I Become a Licensed Appraiser?

By Theresa Miles
Updated Jan 25, 2024
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To become a licensed appraiser, you typically will have to register with a regulatory agency, satisfy educational requirements, work as a trainee and pass a licensing test. Property appraisal standards are country-specific. Many countries have adopted minimum standards and licensing procedures for appraisers, including the United States and United Kingdom. The industry as a whole has moved toward international standards and credentialing that will make it easier to appraise property in an international context.

Licensing appraisers is a development in the valuation industry that took root in the 1990s. As a general matter, if you want to become a licensed appraiser, you will have to look up the specific requirements for the jurisdiction where you want to practice by contacting the government agency or other organization that sets the licensing standards. The only certainty across jurisdictions is that appraisal licensing, like any form of licensing, will require education, training and testing.

Organizations in the U.S. have been in the forefront of the move toward international appraisal standardization, so you can view the U.S. licensing requirements as a basic guide to the types of criteria that you will have to meet in most jurisdictions. In the U.S., appraiser licensing is handled by each individual state. The Appraiser Qualification Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation sets minimum standards, and the states must at least meet those standards in their licensing procedures. Some states' licensing procedures exceed the minimum requirements.

If you want to become a licensed appraiser, you must first register with the agency that handles appraiser licensing in the jurisdiction where you would like to practice. First, you apply for a trainee's license and proceed to satisfy the educational requirements, which typically will be at least the AQB minimum of 60 education hours in basic appraisal principals and procedures and 15 hours in professional ethics education for appraisers. These educational hours can be completed at a college or university, a community or junior college, a real estate organization or a specialized appraisal school. Meanwhile, you must complete 2,000 hours working as an appraiser trainee under a licensed appraiser over the course of two years.

After you complete the education and experience requirements, you must take the AQB appraisers exam to become a licensed appraiser. This is the first-level exam in three levels of appraiser credentials that include licensed appraiser, certified residential appraiser and certified general appraiser. After you pass the licensed appraiser exam, you can apply to change your trainee's license to a regular license.

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