Real Estate Appraiser Salary Guide

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Updated October 26, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Real estate appraisers can earn higher-than-average wages. Discover which factors impact real estate appraiser salary expectations, including location, experience, and education.

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Woman inspecting garage during home appraisal Credit: eyecrave productions / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Real estate appraisers have an essential role in buying, selling, insuring, and taxing properties. An increasing population and ever-expanding residential and commercial developments likely mean demand for these professionals will continue growing in the coming years.

Furthermore, according to a 2019 report from the Appraisal Institute, the number of new real estate appraisers cannot keep pace with the number of professionals leaving the field. This is the result of an aging workforce, among other factors. Consequently, there is a higher demand than supply for real estate appraisers, which can lead to favorable job markets for these workers.

Use our guide to learn more details about the average real estate appraiser salary, including causes for earning potential variation in this field.

What Is a House Appraiser's Salary?

Many factors can influence a real estate appraiser salary, including individuals' experience, education, and industry. In general, professionals with more experience and more credentials tend to earn higher wages.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the top 10% of real estate appraisers earn close to double the median annual salary for these professionals — $120,790 compared to $61,340 as of 2021.

Large organizations may pay higher wages than small companies, but these positions are typically more competitive. House appraisers can increase their earning potential by specializing in high-paying industries and subfields.

$61,340
Property Appraisers and Assessors
Median Annual Salary, 2021

Source: BLS

Salary by Education

Across all career fields, workers typically earn higher wages as they increase their level of education. According to the BLS, the median weekly wage for all professionals with a bachelor's degree was over $370 higher than associate degree-holders' in 2021 — more than $19,000 annually.

While the steps to become a real estate appraiser do not always require a bachelor's degree, professionals with more advanced degrees usually earn higher wages. Bachelor's degree-holders typically have more in-depth training and advanced skills, qualifying them for more advanced positions and larger salaries.

In addition to the difference in average wages noted in the table below, the opportunities graduates qualify for can differ considerably based on degree. For example, bachelor's degree-holders qualify for most state licenses, while associate degree-holders are more limited.

Salary by Experience

Professionals tend to earn more money as they gain experience, and real estate appraisers are no exception. According to Payscale, the average salary for professionals with 20 years of experience is almost 67% higher than the wages of their entry-level counterparts.

Experienced professionals have often developed the skills they need to excel in their careers, which can lead to higher salaries and bonuses. According to Payscale, bonuses can add up to $25,000 to a real estate appraiser salary. Profit sharing can increase salaries by up to $79,000.

Salary by Location

According to the BLS, regional demand and state cost of living play a large role in local average salaries. This relationship can be seen in high-paying states with higher-than-average costs of living like Maine, New Jersey, and Washington. Location factors like population density and the ratio of rural to urban areas can also affect salaries.

One dominant region can shift the numbers for the entire state in some cases. For example, Minnesota's Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area houses many of the state's real estate appraisers, so the region's high wages and strong real estate market raises the state's average salary numbers.

Even a single organization can impact average salaries. One large, high-paying organization may employ the majority of the workforce in a specific region and thus have a significant role in determining local average wages.

Top-Paying States for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
State Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
Washington, D.C. 110 $101,440
Maine 340 $100,120
New Jersey 830 $90,910
Minnesota 1,720 $89,300
Washington 950 $86,410

Source: BLS

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
Midland, TX 60 $107,580
Charlottesville, VA N/A $105,910
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 480 $100,420
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 1,130 $98,630
Rochester, MN 40 $97,880

Source: BLS

Where Should I Work as a Real Estate Appraiser?

The real estate appraiser industry follows the real estate market closely. As the housing market and the economy grow, so too will the need for real estate appraisers. Conversely, advancements in appraisal technology have made these professionals more efficient, which could slow employment growth.

The BLS projects 4% growth for jobs in this field between 2021 and 2031, as fast as the projected growth rate for all occupations. This equates to 6,800 annual openings, often resulting from general turnover.

Job demand varies by location and industry. Regions with booming populations and industries require more real estate and property appraisals. Emerging markets, business expansions, and government initiatives all lead to employment demand in this industry.

+4%
Property Appraisers and Assessors
Change in Projected Employment, 2021-31

Source: BLS

Best Areas

Some factors influence real estate markets nationwide, including interest rates, federal government policies, and the economy. Others, like population growth, have a more location-specific impact. While real estate appraisers can find work in nearly any market, location should be a major consideration for aspiring professionals in this field.

States with the highest projected increases in real estate appraisers between 2020 and 2030 also experienced some of the largest population growth between 2010 and 2020, according to data from Pew Charitable Trusts. The above-average growth in states like Utah, North Dakota, Washington, Florida, and Arizona increases demand for property appraisals and assessments.

Prospective real estate appraisers who follow population trends can widen their array of employment opportunities. They can seek locations with emerging markets or booming industries, areas where real estate market upticks are likely to occur.

The growth in remote work for real estate appraisers may also alter where these professionals live and work. As more organizations and financial institutions accept desktop appraisals, appraisers will be able to extend their reach outside of local markets.

The tables below explore states and metropolitan areas with high employment and growth projections for house appraisers.

Top-Employing States for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
State Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
Texas 5,400 $83,580
California 5,060 $84,260
Florida 4,890 $63,470
New York 3,180 $79,060
Georgia 2,150 $62,900

Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2020-30
State Percent Projected Change, 2020-30 Average Annual Openings
Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
Utah 28.3% 110
North Dakota 17.6% 20
Washington 16.2% 280
Florida 15% 560
Arizona 12.9% 160
Most Projected Average Annual Openings
Texas 11.9% 600
California 7.4% 570
Florida 15% 560
New York 9.4% 400
Georgia 12% 340

Source: Projections Central

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 2,240 $88,800
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 2,150 $84,670
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 1,480 $94,920
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 1,200 $88,550
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 1,170 $65,910

Source: BLS

Best Industries

Most real estate appraisers work for real estate organizations or local governments. In government positions, these professionals provide appraisals for budgetary, tax, research, and acquisition purposes. Appraisers in the private sector provide property valuations for individuals and organizations for mortgage, insurance, and tax purposes.

As evidenced in the tables below, privately employed property appraisers earn higher average salaries than their publicly employed counterparts. To access some of the even higher-paying industries, appraisers may need specialized expertise or advanced credentials.

Federal government and management consultant positions, for example, may require a combination of advanced education, certifications, and experience. Similarly, workers in the specialized oil and gas extraction industry likely require extensive industry experience. Some of the top-paying industries employ appraisers in small numbers, so jobs may be more competitive.

Top-Paying Industries for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
Industry Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers 60 $123,690
Oil and Gas Extraction 150 $119,640
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 610 $99,590
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 750 $96,750
Postal Service (Federal Government) 50 $95,970

Source: BLS

Top-Employing Industries for Property Appraisers and Assessors, 2021
Industry Number of Property Appraisers and Assessors Employed Average Annual Salary
Local Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals (OEWS Designation) 25,110 $62,850
Real Estate 17,850 $76,250
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 and 5223 Only) 2,250 $88,640
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 2,190 $55,500
State Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals (OEWS Designation) 1,900 $64,950

Source: BLS

Questions About Real Estate Appraiser Income

What type of appraiser makes the most money?

According to the BLS, appraisers make the most money in specialized industries like store retailers and oil and gas extraction. Both of these industries pay average annual wages above $119,000, nearly twice as high as the median salary for all real estate appraisers.

Where is the best state to work as a real estate appraiser?

According to the BLS, Washington, D.C. and Maine pay the highest wages, whereas Texas and California have the largest workforces. According to Projections Central, Utah and North Dakota have the largest projected percentage growth for these careers between 2020 and 2030.

What is the best industry to work in as a real estate appraiser?

While store retailers and oil and gas extraction are the highest-paying industries, they offer limited employment opportunities and may require specialized knowledge. The local government and real estate industries employ the most appraisers, but average salaries are not as high as other industries.

Is being an appraiser stressful?

As with any job, working as a house appraiser can be stressful. According to the BLS, appraisers typically work 40-hour weeks. Their jobs involve office work and travel between appraisal sites. These professionals may encounter challenges if they must work under tight deadlines or invest more time than anticipated in specific appraisals.

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