What does a Appraiser do?


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An appraiser determines the value of property, such as automobile, real estate, or personal claims. They are usually called when one reports damage, injury, or decreased coverage or when buying or selling merchandise or property. The primary goal is to provide monetary value to merchandise, damage, property, or compensation for clients or companies. Common areas of practice include real estate, automobile, and healthcare industries.

Watch a video to learn what an appraiser does:

How to Become an Appraiser

You can become an appraiser with an associate’s degree, however for more advanced positions a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Degrees can vary pending on the type of area you want to focus on; examples may include finance, business, real estate, or auto body. Many states also require appraisers to get licensed in the state in which they reside or have a certification to practice. Be sure to research your state’s requirements.

Job Description of an Appraiser


Real estate appraisers are probably the most abundant in this industry, they are responsible for assessing commercial or residential property that individuals want to sell or buy. They assess square footage, amenities, land, and anything associated with the value of the property involved.

Automobile companies also hire appraisers to determine damages to vehicles caused by an accident. Because of this, appraisers often travel to vehicles and take pictures and assess how much the insurance company should pay for damages. Other appraisers work in the healthcare industry for insurance companies or doctor’s offices processing medical claims from doctors and hospitals and determine what will be covered and what will not be covered.

Appraisers work outside and are traveling most often to various locations within their community. Hours can vary and may be required to work evenings and weekend to accommodate request by clients. Many times they are at the mercy of the claimants schedules. They can work for government or state agencies, insurance carriers, or other enterprises that require appraisals.

Appraisers must work well under pressure, problem solve, and be analytical thinkers. However, they must also be detailed oriented and have strong written and verbal communication skills. In fact, appraisers have to report their analysis in reports or to the claims adjuster seeking information for a compensation request.

Appraiser Career Video Transcript

When property is being sold, bought, or evaluated for a loan or estate, someone who does not have an interest in the transaction must consider its value. A real estate appraiser provides that objective analysis. The appraiser inspects the property, considers its location, and does research. He or she might interview people who have a connection to the property and examine public records. Both the condition of the property and recent sales of similar properties are factored into the calculation. The appraiser takes pictures of the outside and inside of the property too, then a written report is prepared.

This is a job for people who enjoy getting away from the desk, to inspect property and conduct research. But an ability to develop a clear written report is also important. Some appraisers are salaried employees of banks, insurance companies, or other financial institutions. Others are independent contractors. For example, the heirs of a property owner might commission an appraisal when the owner dies, to re-set the value of the property for tax purposes.

Some vocational schools offer courses in real estate appraisal, but most people working as appraisers have additional experience in fields that give them knowledge that helps them evaluate property. For example, it helps to know about building and construction materials, or the history of a neighborhood. Real estate appraisers are licensed in most states. They take a National Uniform Appraiser Examination, which is offered monthly.

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