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When it comes to determining the market value of your residential or commercial property, bringing in a licensed appraiser is a given. But did you know there are many different types of appraiser licenses? Here’s what you need to know about the various levels of certification and what’s required to become a professional real property appraiser.

General Types of Appraiser Classifications

Not all appraisal reviews are the same, which is one of the reasons why different licensing levels exist. Residential reviews, for example, require a certified residential appraiser. Commercial reviews, on the other hand, require a certified general appraiser. While requirements may vary from state to state, these are the general types of appraisers and what they can do.

Trainee Appraiser

A trainee appraiser, also known as an apprentice appraiser or registered appraiser, is the lowest level of appraiser classification and is where most appraisers begin their careers. This type of appraiser may perform appraisals under the direct control and supervision of a certified residential appraiser or certified general appraiser, known as the Supervisory Appraiser. The trainee appraiser may only appraise those properties which the state-certified Supervisory Appraiser is permitted by their current credential and that the Supervisory Appraiser is competent to appraise.

Educational requirements include completing at least 75 Hours of qualifying education in the last five (5) years and the Supervisory Appraiser/Trainee Appraiser Course, including the 15-Hour National USPAP Course.  No qualifying exam is required at a national level. However, one may be required by certain states. It’s also important to note that not all states recognize the trainee level.

No experience is required as a prerequisite to become a trainee. Contact your state for a list of approved trainee courses.

Licensed Residential Appraiser or State Licensed Appraiser

A licensed residential appraiser, also known as a state licensed appraiser, cannot perform an appraisal used in a federally related financial transaction unless it meets the following conditions.

  • Non-complex one-to-four unit residential properties with a transaction value less than $1,000,000.00
  • Complex one-to-four residential units having a transaction value less than $400,000

Educational requirements include passing the state course and examination. This includes at least 150 hours of state-approved coursework, including the 15-Hour National USPAP Course.   At this level, the appraiser is also required to pass a Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser exam approved by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB). In addition, 1,000 hours of experience are required to be obtained in no fewer than six (6) months.

Certified Residential Appraiser

Similar to a licensed residential appraiser, a certified residential appraiser cannot perform an appraisal used in a federally related financial transaction unless it meets the following conditions:

  • One-to-four unit residential properties without regard to transaction value or complexity
  • Any type of real property where the transaction value is less than $250,000.00

A certified residential appraiser must have some college-level education or 5 years experience as a Licensed Residential Appraiser. Educational requirements include passing the state course and examination with at least 200 hours of state-approved coursework, including the 15-Hour National USPAP Course. The appraiser must also pass an AQB-approved Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser exam.  In addition, 1,500 hours of experience are required to be obtained during no fewer than 12 months.

Certified General Appraiser

A certified general appraiser can appraise any type of real property for any purpose.

Certified general appraiser candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study. Further educational requirements include passing the state course and examination for at least 300 hours of state-approved coursework, including the 15-Hour National USPAP Course. The appraiser must also pass an AQB-approved Certified General Real Property Appraiser exam.  In addition, 3,000 hours of experience are to be obtained in no less than 18 months, to include 1,500 hours of non-residential experience.

To find more information on appraiser qualification criteria visit the Appraiser Qualifications Board or inquire with your state. Have more questions on appraisals or your appraisal process? Get in touch with our team. We’d be happy to help.