I found these easy to understand summary steps into Appraiserhood. I would like to fill in some of the missing and perhaps misinformed information from this instructional page. Mine suggestions are in italics.
1.First, check with your state's licensing board to see how you can obtain a 'trainee' license (see below for a link to your state's licensing board.) Find out the list of classes you must take to get to this first step. Then find where local or on-line schools are that give classes for your trainee license. It is possible to begin getting appraisal experience before getting a license in some states; California is one of them.
Actually, first talk to as many appraisers as you can find. (You might have some digging to do, we tend to hide in small basement home offices). This may save you the next 12 steps all together.
2. Next, work towards obtain your trainee license. This is usually done by taking classes and passing a test, and/or having some experience in appraisal work. (Each state has their own criteria in obtaining this license - check with them).
Oops... don't forget your bachelors degree! This is required for most (?) states now prior to trainee education.
3. After getting your trainee license, find an appraiser who can be your mentor. You'll need a 'supervising' appraiser to teach you the tricks of the trade and to help you with your experience hours that you'll need to complete. You may need two or more 'supervising' appraisers to help you on your journey. Work with a supervising appraiser who lives near you, as you'll have to spend time with this person in actual 'hands on' experience. Finding a supervising appraiser to help you will be the toughest part of the job, but it will be worth it. You'll need a supervisor though to sign all of your work as a trainee. You can also find a supervising appraiser before getting your trainee license, like a friend or relative who is already a working appraiser. Oh, this sounds so simple.
"Hello Ms. Appraiser, I would like you to take me under your wing for the next couple of years while you take the responsibility for any of my mistakes... what? You're already training your daughter and nephew and can't take another trainee at this time? Bummer."
4. Get a trainee job at a real estate appraiser's office. This is one of the best ways to see if you really like appraising and to find out what appraising is all about.
Not a bad idea to know your enemies before you fully entrench yourself in the darkside of appraising bwahahahaha! I kid. I really do respect Realtors... just don't expect to always see eye-to-eye with these friendlies in the future ~
5. Get a trainee position at a bank. Banks and savings and loans of all sizes hire trainee appraisers who have obtained their trainee licenses right off the street. It's a great way to get paid and get an education at the same time.
I did this, although it was more for the paycheck than any sort of experience. Oh, and don't expect to get qualifying hours for your apprenticeship at any of these places.
6. Network. Do what you can to work with or for other older and experienced appraisers in your area. Give them an incentive to hire you.
Yep yep. Go to all those fun fun fun NAIFA meetings! Make sure you pay the money to get all those snazzy titles to go after your name to show that you schmoozed, too!
7. Find a loan broker you can work with to obtain work. Since most of our work is for a bank loan, find the people giving the loans and talk to them. A good relationship with a loan broker will go a long way.
Welcome to the world after HVCC. Read up sweet trainees, because your loan officer buddies can't help you now ~
8. As a trainee, your pay will be minimal until you obtain your normal license. It may take many months, but hang in there !
Big side note here: Sometimes you won't get paid and sometimes appraisers will expect money to train you. In other words, consider this another two years of schooling and consider yourself lucky if you get a 'paid internship'.
9. Get your real estate sales license even if you do not intend to work in sales. Your sales license may be needed to obtain MLS data for your appraisers, and it can't hurt.
I don't know any trainee that has just up and got a real estate sales license for the heck of it. If you get it, I say you get it with the intention of using it.
10. Complete your 150 hours of license education. You will be required to take 150 hours of state approved appraisal license education, including the 15 hour USPAP course.
All I can focus on is the happy student in the picture This is not what I look like when carrying school books. Ever. Plus, if you haven't already found the joys of online classes, you will soon enough.
11. Complete your 2,000 hours of trainee experience. You can't complete these hours in less than 1 year.
I haven't paid attention to qualifying hours in a while, but I think that has been increased from 2,000 to 2,500. .... another few months of fun-for-free!
12. Apply for your license and take your state test!
See? Easy peasy - Oh wait, Once you send in your trainee application packet with documented hours and sign-offs and current photo ID and fingerprints expect to wait a month or two while the board decides whether your hours are justified. Don't be surprised if they call you up to inform you that they are questioning 15 of your 2,000 (to 2,500) hours and highly suggest you 'just log another 200 to 300 and resubmit your application' just to be sure.
Please don't get me wrong. I absolutely love being an appraiser. But getting there? Not so much.