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Frequently Asked Questions

Useful Brochures:
What's it worth to you - Finding Value in a Real Estate Appraisal Career
Professionals Providing Real Estate Solutions
FAQ about real estate appraisers and appraisal

AI - Setting the standard about quality

Where can I get more information on the requirements for licensing/certification in my state?

Answer: Each state has its own governing body or appraisal board for appraiser licensing and certification.The easiest way to access information is through each state's website, or by calling.The following is contact information for Wyoming and South Dakota:


Wyoming Real Estate Appraiser Board: Web Page: www.realestate.state.wy.us

Phone: 307-777-7141

South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program:Web Page: www.state.sd.us/appraisers

Phone: 605-773-4608

Fax: 605-773-5369


A step-by-step discussion of How to Become an Appraiser is available on the national Appraisal Institute Web Site at: http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/resources/become_appraiser.asp

The Appraisal Foundation is authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraisal qualifications.http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/


Question:  How do I get a job in the appraisal profession?


Answer: Networking within professional organizations, government entities, and within the real estate community is useful for meeting people that may have positions available, or know someone that does. The Appraisal Institute website offers a job resource section at  http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/resources/positions_available.asp. The national Appraisal Institute web site also offers information on an appraisal training program that is available in some areas of the country. The following link will give you more information on this opportunity http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/resources/training1.asp.


You can also call local appraisers to see if there are openings in their offices. Most appraisers start as research assistants, but opportunities are also available at local banks and county assessor's offices. In order to be better qualified for a potential position, it is best to take some or all of the required courses for the type of appraisal path you are interested in (residential or general commercial). The education offered through the Appraisal Institute has definite advantages in that all courses are nationally recognized by leaders within the appraisal community. College courses in real estate, finance and business are also helpful in the appraisal field. Notably, a college degree is not required in WY or SD to become licensed or certified, but changes will occur in January 2008 to require a degree or its equivalent.



Question: What is like to be an entry-level appraiser, i.e. what can I expect while training, and what can I expect once licensed or certified?


Answer: While there is no set standard while training in an appraisal office, there are certain duties that most trainees will complete in order to become familiar with appraisal practices and principles. The following is a list of some of the things a trainee could be expected to complete:


  • Confirm sales/listings/leases
  • Take pictures
  • Research at City, County for government records, zoning, contracts, assessments
  • Field inspections
  • Title company research
  • Spend time understanding real estate terminology
  • On-line research
  • Incorporating data into Word or Excel (computer skills)
  • With more training, data analysis and reporting will be required (writing skills and verbal skills)

As you gain these skills you will be more involved in solving the appraisal problem presented for each assignment.


An additional discussion of this topic is available at the national Appraisal Institute Web Site at: http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/resources/ap_careers.asp 



Question: How much money can I expect to make and what benefits can I expect while training and once I am an appraiser?


Answer: In most instances, the answer to this question depends on your skill level, licensing or certification level, and whether or not you are designated (SRA or MAI see below). The following is a short summary of how appraisers are paid at different levels.


  • Researchers (trainees) are typically paid on an hourly basis
  • Advanced Trainees are sometimes paid on commission
  • Appraisers are typically paid on commission 
  • Your level of pay can depend on your skill level, type of work, and how much you work. Private offices typically offer more flexibility but typically less benefits - you'll need to be a disciplined and a self-starter to maximize your income 
  • Public agencies typically pay a salary and offer superior benefits, but the income level is limited to your salary

While the appraisal profession has many benefits and can be lucrative with the right training and hard work, it is not a profession that is lucrative in the beginning. There is always demand for professional, qualified appraisers.



Question: At what point can you have your own business?


Answer: While there is not set time in which a licensed/certified and qualified appraiser can work on their own, the following is the minimum amount of time one can expect to work in the profession before opening their own appraisal office.


  • 3-5 years for residential
  • 5-10 years for commercial
  • Many appraisers become partners at the original firm that employ them


Question: Where can I take classes? What is the difference between Appraisal Institute education and other entities?


Answer: The Appraisal Institute is a nationally recognized provider of both pre-licensing education and continuing education. Courses and seminars are available across the United States. Class schedules can be found at the local level, or a complete list of all chapter is available by state at http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/education/default.asp


The advantages of taking classes through the Appraisal Institute are numerous and include:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Appraisal Institute classes are almost universally accepted by every state in the country for credit
  • Professionals in the appraisal community, including potential employers recognize AI classes as some of the most valuable in the industry
  • Qualified instructors that meet strict requirements are rated at the end each class by students.Only the best instructors with the highest ratings continuously instruct courses and seminars
  • AI courses can be used for pre-licensing and pre-certification as well as pursuing your designation tract

Classes are also offered through other providers including local community colleges and other appraisal organizations from time to time in our local area.