Career Advice: How To Become An Appraiser

Becoming an appraiser is an exciting, flexible job with many opportunities to make money while working for yourself or a company.

These days, more and more people around the country are changing their eight hour, five day a week job for a career more lucrative and fulfilling while at the same time flexible enough to allow spending time with the family. Becoming an appraiser is one of these careers that, while contracting with different companies or private parties, you can still be your own boss, deciding your income and working when you want to.

In simple terms, an appraiser is someone who acquires and gives a professional, educated opinion of value. This value may be of Real Property, such as someone's home, or Personal Property, like an heirloom or antique that has been sitting up in someone's attic for the past 80 years. There are also Business Valuation Appraisers who look at both the tangible and intangible assets of a company. However, some appraisers have become quite good at Mass Appraisals, where everything from Real Property to Personal Property to Business Valuation is combined.

Contrary to what some may think, appraising does not need a college education. Though every state has different laws and certifications, the only things you will need to become an appraiser are the education hours that the state mandates and the experience hours. Remember, each state is different so the hours needed can greatly vary. Experience hours can usually be obtained by paying a more experienced appraiser to become your mentor. Some states even have a trainee program. It depends upon what type of appraiser you are aiming to be.



Once you have your Appraiser License, most states offer designation certification programs. These designations are special courses that help the new appraiser become more specialized in a field. For example, there are many designations for Real Property Appraisers. When hunting for a contract or applying for a job, these designations will help you get your foot in the door.

Appraisers also serve a variety of clients. This allows flexibility in your choice of working for a specific entity or working for yourself and accepting contracts. Clients include private persons, real estate companies, lawyers, museums, governments, and many others. While some of these clients may offer permanent, well-paying jobs such as becoming a County Appraiser for Real Property, others work on a report basis--an example of this being an appraisal of a business going bankrupt. Usually attorneys will contract this appraisal, setting a price or a percentage of what the attorney receives. More experienced appraisers have designated service fees and get what they ask for.

Remember, being an appraiser gives you a broad range of income choices and opportunities and the value you set on a certain object has merit because of your certification. If you make a mistake in putting too much or too little value on an object, businesses will remember because your error can cost them money. It is important to have a good reputation when being a freelance appraiser. Also, every state has a State Appraiser Regulatory Board that takes complaints and renders fees or revocations of licenses.

The future job market for appraisers is a good one. There will not be a time when a company doesn't need to know the value of a business or when a home owner, trying to sell his home, won't wonder about the actual value of it. The value appraisers put on things have a profound effect. It is also an exciting job for anyone who likes being flexible in the hours they work and who dislikes routine. It is interesting and easy to get licensed. Good luck in your endeavors!

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