Assessor Training Programs

The role of an appraiser or assessor is to estimate the value of real property for the purposes of sale, taxation, mortgage or development. Find out what these professionals do as well as degree, licensure and certifications required. Schools offering Sales Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What's the Difference Between an Appraiser and an Assessor?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), appraisers generally focus on one property at a time and work for individual clients. They may be generalists or specialize in one type of property, such as residential or commercial (www.bls.gov).

Assessors often work for the government to set property values for tax purposes. They may get started as interns or trainees and then learn more on the job. Though they use appraisal techniques, assessors focus on neighborhoods in order to establish fair, relative property values within that area. Reassessment takes place periodically in order to maintain currency and accuracy of property values.

What Degree Do I Need?

Most appraisers and assessors hold a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS. However, qualifications for licensure and employment vary by state. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) maintains an online database listing nearly 200 schools that offer certificate and undergraduate degree programs in real estate. You may have the opportunity to complete your education online. If internships or practicums are involved, you must complete them in a live setting.

You should seek out courses in finance, computer science, economics, mathematics and business. Real estate courses address appraisal and valuation, real estate law, real estate principles, accounting, environmental issues, real estate investments and property management. Some may fulfill state licensing or certification education requirements.

What License or Certification Do I Need?

Appraisers must hold state certification, according to federal law. Assessor requirements are determined at the state or local level. However, because of the similarity of the occupations, assessors commonly pursue the same courses as those required for appraisers. In fact, assessors often hold state appraisal licenses.

The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) is an independent board of the Appraisal Foundation. Congress recognizes the Appraisal Foundation to set the standards for appraisal qualification. The AQB maintains an online directory of on-campus and online courses that you can use to fulfill requirements for appraiser and assessor training.

To gain state certification, you may need to complete an acceptable associate's degree program or pass a specified number of AQB-approved courses; you may also need to earn work experience. You then sit for the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examination or a test devised by the state itself.

The International Association of Assessing Officers is a professional organization that offers a number of voluntary assessor certifications. It offers online professional development courses, workshops and seminars.

What Are My Employment and Wage Projections?

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for appraisers and assessors would increase five percent from 2008-2018. Opportunities for appraisers are very much tied to market fluctuations. However, local and state governments always employ at least one assessor or contain a department of assessment and taxation. In 2010, the BLS determined the mean annual wage for appraisers and assessors of real estate to be $54,230.

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