Complete Guide on How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser Trainee


Real Estate is a great industry to consider as a career choice. If you have always wanted to break into it, an appraiser trainee position is one of the great choices for a beginner.

In this guide, you'll find all the things you need to know to become a real estate appraiser trainee and grow as a professional. In partnership with experts from job aggregator Jooble, we've narrowed down all the steps to take it.


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How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser Trainee?

Real estate appraisers estimate the value of different properties. They can work with residential buildings, agricultural estates, or commercial properties. A trainee is a beginner in the industry who works under an appraiser's mentorship.

It is an entry-level position that ensures the necessary experience to get further licensing and become an appraiser later. Everyone who wants to build such a career has to start as a trainee because they need a specific amount of work hours under supervision to apply for an upgraded license.

Here is how one can become a trainee in several steps.


Step 1. Find out about the educational requirements

The first thing to do is to follow crucial education. In most cases, the basic coursework for a trainee takes 75 hours. It covers:

  • Basic appraisal principles (30 hours) - fundamental concepts, legal issues, ethics, economic principles, and finance;
  • Basic appraisal procedures (30 hours) - course on the evaluation process;
  • National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice/NUSPAP (15 hours) - standard practices in terms of competence and ethical behavior.

However, the exact amount of education hours might differ from state to state. Some states demand additional classroom time.


Step 2. Follow the courses

There are many opportunities to follow these programs. Financially, it is often more advantageous to purchase them in a bundle.
Make sure that you choose specifically approved licensing courses.


Step 3. Apply for a position

After completing your necessary education minimum, it is time to look for a trainee position. Every professional is required to work under supervision for a particular number of hours. The exact amount depends on local regulations. But usually, it is between 1,000 and 2,500 hours of work in 6 months.

One can look for positions at:

  • Residential firms;
  • Banks;
  • Insurance companies;
  • Individually licensed appraisers.

Your mentor needs to track the hours of your work. Overall, it is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and develop the skills needed to grow professionally. You'll get to learn from the expert and practice all the theories you've studied.
The trainee position does not require any prior job experience in the field.


Step 4. Pass trainee exam

One can take this exam after the first 15 hours of work under supervision. The curriculum also depends on local regulations; however, there are many common concepts.
After you pass this exam, you can submit your NUSPAP to become a licensed trainee appraiser.


Further Career in the Industry

Indeed, you are not going to be a trainee forever. It is only a stepping stone to further professional growth. Here are the following actions in this regard.
Upgrade Next License
There are three types of licenses one can get:

  • Licensed Residential Appraiser;
  • Certified Residential Appraiser;
  • Certified General Appraiser.

Although some people take the structural approach and get them one after the other, it is not necessary. You can upgrade directly to the Certified General Appraiser. But, every one of these options has different demands in terms of education.


Qualifications You'll Need

To become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you'll need 30 semester hours of college courses, 150 hours of coursework, and 1,000-1,500 hours of work experience. In some regions, you might need a BA or Associate's degree in Real Estate.

To upgrade to a Certified Residential Appraiser, you'll have to get a Bachelor's degree or higher in the field. You'll also need 200 hours of coursework and about 2,500 hours of experience.

The highest license one can get the Certified General Appraiser. One needs a BA, 300 hours of coursework, and more than 3,000 hours of practical experience to get there. Usually, it means working at least 2,5 years in the industry.

The difference between these three certifications lies in the type and value of properties you will be able to work with. The higher your expertise is, the more valuable properties are available for your practice.


Pass the Exam

When you have enough experience and proper education, it is time to pass the exam and apply for a license. After that, you can work as an appraiser.


In Summary

A real estate appraiser trainee is an entry-level position in the industry of property evaluation. To apply for such a job, you'll need to gain basic education and pass the exam. After getting the necessary work experience, you can upgrade your license and become an appraiser.