Assessors and Appraisers
Assessors are public servants who are either elected or appointed to office. The United States is divided into assessment districts, with population size affecting the number of assessors in a given area. Appraisers are employed by private businesses, such as accounting firms, real estate companies, and financial institutions, and by larger assessors' offices. Appraisers also work at auction houses, art galleries, and antique shops; some also work in government offices or for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Assessors' offices might employ administrators, property appraisers, mappers, systems analysts, computer technicians, public relations specialists, word processors, and clerical workers. In small offices, one or two people might handle most tasks; in large offices, some with hundreds of employees, specialists are more common. Approximately 57,900 real estate assessors and appraisers are employed in the United States.
After acquiring the necessary technical and mathematical knowledge in the classroom, you should apply to area appraisal firms, local county assessors, real estate brokers, or large accounting firms. Assessor jobs are often civil service positions, so they may be listed with government employment agencies. If you have graduated from a degree program in valuation sciences, your school's career services office may be able to provide you with assistance in finding that first job.
Appraising is a dynamic field, affected yearly by new legislation and technology. To distinguish themselves in the business, top appraisers continue their education and pursue certification through the various national appraising organizations, such as the Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, and the International Association of Assessing Officers. Certified appraisers are entrusted with the most prestigious projects and can command the highest fees. In addition to working on more and more prestigious projects, some appraisers advance by opening their own appraisal firms. Others may advance by moving to larger firms or agency offices, where they are more able to specialize.
Tips for Entry
Read trade journals and newsletters such as Appraisal Today (https://appraisaltoday.com) to learn more about the industry.
Contact appraisal firms or banks in your area to see if you can work as an appraiser trainee to learn the business.
Join professional associations to access training and networking opportunities, industry publications, and employment opportunities. The Appraisal Institute offers a variety of resources about becoming an appraiser at https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/education/your-career/.
Participate in internships that are arranged by your college’s career services office.
Land an entry-level job at your county assessor’s office to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.