A career as a real estate appraiser provides opportunities to meet new people, see unique locations, and step out from the confines of a desk while making your own hours. The constant fluidity of the real estate market creates a constant need for real estate appraisers in residential and commercial settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate appraisers are projected to experience an estimated 14% growth from 2016 through 2026. Real estate appraisers assess the value of a property by looking at the interior, exterior, and specific features. They collect data related to value, sale, and comparable locations, noting any changes and updates that may be needed. By keeping detailed records, taking photographs, and preparing official documents, real estate appraisers provide a fundamental role in the sale and purchase of properties between individuals and groups.
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How Much Do Real Estate Appraisers Make?
Real estate appraisers earn an annual median salary of $54,980, though on average, real estate appraisers in urban locations outearn their counterparts in more rural settings. Additionally, states with large exchanges of commercial real estate provide the highest salaries for the profession. For instance, real estate appraiser salaries in Nevada exceed $94,000 as an annual mean wage.
The more experience a real estate appraiser accrues, the more they earn. For the first several years in the industry, real estate appraisers make roughly the same salary. But after five years, earning potential significantly increases. Salaries may include tips, bonuses, and overtime pay.
Salary by Degree
Earning an undergraduate degree does not guarantee any graduate a career. Additionally, not all real estate appraisers have business degrees. However, the expertise one develops from a business degree can dramatically boost earning potential. Business degrees incorporate theories and practices related to accounting, finance, and business communication — all applicable to real estate appraisal careers.
Bachelor’s Degree – General Business
Median Salary: $65,000
Master’s Degree – General Business
Median Salary: $89,000
Career Path Salaries
An entry-level real estate appraiser position is a stepping stone for more specialized careers in the field. For instance, real estate appraisers can focus on residential properties or work closely with businesses and corporations to assess the value of commercial locations. Real estate assessors also concentrate on tax assessments related to properties, often as part of work for government agencies.
|Potential Next Step||Salary|
|Real Estate Assessor||$53,257|
|Real Estate Appraiser, Residential||$55,075|
|Real Estate Appraiser, Commercial||$74,518|
What Are the Top States for Real Estate Appraiser Pay?
States in the western half of the United States dominate the top paying locations for the field. With commercial real estate opportunities and large swaths of government land, Nevada, Colorado, and California offer some of the most lucrative settings for real estate appraisal professionals. Similarly, locations with high property values give real estate appraisers higher earning potential.
- Nevada Annual Median Wage: $94,400
- District of Columbia Annual Median Wage: $93,730
- California Annual Median Wage: $84,130
- Colorado Annual Median Wage: $79,390
- Iowa Annual Median Wage: $78,680
What Are the Top Industries for Real Estate Appraiser Pay?
Real estate appraisers enjoy high demand in public and private industries alike. The federal government employs real estate appraisers, as do companies and corporations that work with natural resources and public service distribution.
|Industry||Annual Mean Wage|
|Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||$92,880|
|Postal Service (federal government)||$92,600|
|Oil and Gas Extraction||$85,010|
|Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution||$77,420|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||$77,100|
Are Real Estate Appraisers In Demand?
Historical Career Growth
Real estate jobs took a hit after the 2008 housing crisis and following recession. However, the economy has slowly recovered since then, and real estate jobs have gained strength in recent years. Real estate construction made up 6.2% of the U.S. GDP in 2018, and qualified real estate professionals are necessary to keep up with this growth.
Future Career Growth
Short-term estimates for real estate appraisers indicate an increase in career growth around the United States through 2020. Long-term career growth places real estate appraisers above average, with a projected 14.4% increase from 2016 through 2026. While real estate market fluctuations in the short term may influence smaller increases, the profession as a whole is expected to see significant gains.
Top States for Job Growth
Real estate appraisal professionals benefit from high growth in the field around the country. West coast states like Colorado and Utah are projected to see increases at roughly 7% and 8%, respectively. Additionally, the Carolinas will see similar growth, with projections just shy of 7% through 2026.
- Utah 8.1% Change from 2016-2026
- Colorado 7.2% Change from 2016-2026
- South Carolina 6.8% Change from 2016-2026
- North Carolina 6.7% Change from 2016-2026
- Kentucky 5.9% Change from 2016-2026
How do Real Estate Appraisers Compare to Other Accounting Careers?
The BLS projects real estate appraisers to experience both salary and job growth from 2016 through 2026, while many other accounting careers will see little to no change. Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators — all individuals who work within the insurance industry — are likely to see -1% growth through 2026. This number is similar to what is expected for tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents, as well as bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks.
The BLS projects jobs for cost estimators to increase 11% from 2016 to 2026. These professionals provide valuable services by collecting and analyzing data to estimate overall costs within a business or industry. Accountants and auditors — individuals who prepare and examine financial records — will see a projected 6% growth, comparable to the average growth projected for real estate brokers and sales agents.
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Learn More About Real Estate Appraiser Salaries & Job Growth
- Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a comprehensive look at occupational outlooks, including salary, positions, and related fields. Information on appraisers and assessors of real estate incorporates content on work environment, educational requirements, and state and area data.
- O-Net Online O-Net Online offers holistic information on the types of skills appraisers need. The website also includes content on the types of tasks and duties the position may require. With detailed work activities, education and credential requirements, and job openings, O-Net Online is a database for students, job seekers, and current industry professionals.
- PayScale With information on average salaries for real estate appraisal professionals, PayScale offers a look at the overall market, career paths, and salaries for similar professions. PayScale also provides access to career search databases and salary information for specific areas.
- The Appraisal Institute The Appraisal Institute provides information about the entire appraisal profession, including education and publication resources. Professional practice documents, ethics and standards, and market data information inform appraisal professionals as they pursue career advancement and salary growth opportunities.
- Realtors Property Resource With tools, learning opportunities, and information on real estate partnerships, RPR opens networking and professional opportunities for real estate appraisers. RPR helps individuals promote and build a successful appraisal career.
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