The Appraisal Foundation, the organization that sets the Congressionally-authorized standards and qualifications for real estate appraisers, has announced a change to the Federal requirements to become an appraiser. These changes have been outlined here:

While the changes are set to take place on May 01, 2018, this only affects the standards at the Federal level. The law states that all states must meet the minimum requirements set by the government, but states are free to raise the bar (or to keep the bar raised). If a state has their requirements pegged to the Federal standard, then the states requirement will change as of May 01, 2018. But if the state requires an act of legislation, or a vote within the state board, these changes may or may not be implemented this year, if at all.

The new government standards effectively lower the bar to entering the appraisal field, but still have fairly ridged requirements for advancing beyond the initial steps. This has been a problem over the last decade as the number of practicing appraiser has slowly decreased while the number of appraiser entering the field has also been decreasing. These changes are an attempt to get new appraisers trained and into the field a little faster.


However, the most difficult requirement for those wanting to become appraisers is that all appraisers must be trained by state certified appraisers, that have been in good standing for a minimum of three years.

This means anyone looking to become an appraiser must find someone willing to take them on as an apprentice, which is difficult. Appraisers often don’t want to train new recruits that will then open shop across town and become competition. Other appraisers don’t have the time or resources to take on a trainee. More difficult still is the fact that if you do find someone willing to train you, a trainee is often unpaid for the duration of their training which lasts between 1-5 years.

Often a trainee will make an agreement with the appraiser that after becoming trained, they will not work in the area. However becoming familiar with an area is an essential part of the appraisal profession and relocating to establish a new appraisal practice can take time and effort.

So while these new Federal guidelines address some of the most blatant aspects of the slow appraiser training process, it does nothing to address the root of the appraiser shortage problems. However these are problems that cannot be regulated away.




LevelPrior RequirementNew Requirement (May 2018)
Licensed Appraiser30 semester hours of college-level education 2,000 hours in minimum of 12 monthsNo college-level education 1,000 hours in minimum of 6 months
Certified AppraiserBachelor’s degree or higher 2,500 hours in minimum of 24 monthsChoose one: Bachelor’s degree Associates in specific field 30 semester hours in specific courses 5 years minimum of being a licensed appraiser AND 1,500 hours in minimum of 12 months