5 Reasons to Become an Appraiser

With about 3 percent of licensed U.S. appraisers leaving the profession each year – a cumulative 22 percent decline since 2007 – now might be an ideal time to consider a career in real estate valuation.
team_mentorThe Appraisal Institute is highly active in recruiting the next generation of appraisers. Some of the key benefits of being an appraiser include:

  • Business ownership. While some appraisers choose to work for banks or large firms, others prefer operating their own businesses. An appraisal business can be started for a relatively modest amount of money. Professional associations like the Appraisal Institute offer discounts on essential business tools such as insurance, educational offerings and shipping services.
  • Potential for high income. According to Appraisal Institute research, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. valuation professionals earn $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Income levels often are higher for Appraisal Institute professionals, nearly 50 percent of whom earn $100,000 to $200,000 annually.
  • Flexible schedules. Many appraisers enjoy schedules that don’t require them to work traditional 9-to-5 business hours. This flexibility enables professionals to schedule time for family activities and pursue other interests. Valuation also can require professionals to spend a time visiting properties, which appeals to those who don’t want to sit behind a desk. For many appraisers, no two days are exactly alike.
  • Diverse opportunities. Houses and office buildings aren’t the only properties that require valuation. Some appraisers specialize in nursing homes, golf courses, hotels, storage facilities, marinas, convenience stores and other properties. Others work on right of way assignments, taxation issues, conservation easements, eminent domain issues or as expert witnesses for litigation cases. Still others focus on green and energy-efficient valuation.
  • Solutions for difficult problems. Appraisers may be asked to solve difficult problems for their clients, which can make the valuation profession challenging and satisfying. Research and analysis are crucial skill sets.

Anyone interested in becoming an appraiser can learn more about the requirements to become a trainee, licensed appraiser, certified appraiser or a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute. See the Appraisal Institute’s video, “What’s the Best Thing About Being an Appraiser?”

Appraisers, why do you enjoy working in the valuation profession? Leave your comments below.


  1. Bonaventure says

    Am a young graduate , studied Real Estate Appraisal but wish to further my academic career in Canada or any other European country.

  2. Randi says

    This is such a hard profession to get into. No one wants to take on a trainee…

  3. Gretchen Tolksdorf says

    Appraising is a second career for me, and I am so happy that I made the change five years ago. I had spent years doing academic research, but I find that appraising is just as challenging and interesting as academia. I’m using many of the same statistical analyses and analytical skills to valuations. The freedom (bringing my dog to the office! :-)) of having my own business is wonderful. Last but not least, I’m making twice what I made in academia, which is very nice indeed!