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How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser

How to Become a Licensed Appraiser

Posted by: Brightwood College
Updated: August 9, 2017

Steps to Becoming an Appraiser

In order to become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, and earn the right to do appraisals on your own, most states require you to become a Trainee Appraiser and obtain experience. Many states have different titles for the Trainee Appraiser license level, such as Apprentice Appraiser or Registered Appraiser. Some states do not have a formal Trainee Appraiser license level. You can learn more about your state’s requirements by going to their regulatory website. Click here to find your state.

Step 1: Become a Trainee/Apprentice Appraiser



Complete and pass 75 hours of basic appraisal education, which includes three courses:

    • Basic Appraisal Principles   30 hours
    • Basic Appraisal Procedures  30 hours
    • 15-hour Universal Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)   15 hours


    The Trainee Appraiser level does not have an experience requirement. Each Trainee Appraiser must be supervised to get the required hours of experience before applying for the Licensed Residential Appraiser level. Locating a certified appraiser is a very important step to becoming an appraiser. The trainee and supervisory appraiser must keep a log of work completed that will be reviewed when the trainee applies for any license to the state regulatory body. Effective January 1, 2015, all new Trainee (Beginning) Appraisers and Supervisory Appraisers are required to complete an approved Supervisor/Trainee course before they will be able to log experience hours.


    You are not required to pass an exam to become a Trainee Appraiser on the national level; however, some states do require it. To find your state’s requirements, visit the Appraisal Subcommittee website.


    The national criteria do not require a license, so application is not mandated. However, check with your state to see if they have additional requirements for this level.

    Step 2: Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser

    Once you become a Licensed Appraiser, you will be able to perform appraisals on your own. At the Licensed Appraiser level, you can appraise non-complex, one- to four-unit residential properties less than $1,000,000 and complex one- to four-unit residential properties less than $250,000 in market value. Once you complete the criteria below, you can apply to become a Licensed Appraiser.


    You must complete a total of 150 hours of education. The 150 hours includes the 75 hours required for the trainee level and four additional courses:

    • Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use  15 hours
    • Residential Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach  15 hours
    • Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches  30 hours
    • Residential Report Writing and Case Studies   15 hours


    You are required to complete 2,000 hours of experience in no less than 12 months. These hours must be directly supervised by an acceptable supervisory appraiser. Appraisers are required to maintain a log jointly with the supervisory appraiser.


    The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB)-approved Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser examination must be successfully completed. All education, degree, and experience hours must be completed prior to taking the national exam.


    Complete 30 semester hours of college-level education from an accredited college, junior college, community college, or university. An associate degree  or higher satisfies this requirement.


    Once all of the requirements are completed and documented, you can submit an application to the appropriate state board. To find your state licensing board, visit the Appraisal Subcommittee website.


    After becoming a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you can upgrade to the Certified Residential Appraiser level.