How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Alaska?


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How to become a real estate appraiser in Alaska? The quick answer is to fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, work requirement, and register with the Alaska Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers.

They are responsible for issuing licenses to appraisers and protecting the public interest by regulating the appraisal industry. 

As a real estate appraiser, your job is to provide an objective opinion of the properties’ market value for your clients.  Your appraisal report could be used for home purchasing/selling, refinancing, mortgage lending, tax assessment, divorce settlement, estate sales, investments analysis, etc. But no matter who is in needs of your appraisal services, your assessment must remain objective, unbiased and professional.

In this guide, you’ll learn the step-by-step procedures to become an appraiser, the income figures, and tips in helping you to build the appraisal career.

Alaska Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Requirement

How to Become a Trainee Appraiser in Alaska?

Your first step beyond the textbook world is to become a Trainee Appraiser.

You will receive training and work under the supervision of a certified appraiser. Your mentor could assign you with tasks such as researching a property and its neighborhood, working on reports, or going on site to inspect the real estate. Depending on the compliance rules in your state, some of the jobs can be done independently, while some must be accompanied by your trainer.

An experienced supervisor could prepare you in becoming a qualified appraiser. He/she should equip you with the following knowledge:

  • Practical ways to conduct research on properties (i.e.: proximity, zoning, obsolescence)
  • Proper method to analyze the data
  • Compliance rules and standard
  • Industry accepted approaches in determining an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

To learn as much as possible from your mentor,  you should walk through each and every step in the appraisal process, and review carefully on how your trainer inspect and assess real estate.

Here’s a list of things you should look for when choosing a supervisory appraiser.

4 Steps to Become an Appraiser Trainee in Alaska

Step 1: Fulfill the Basic Requirement

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • No prior related experience is needed

Step 2: Complete the Qualifying Education

You must complete the 75 hours of appraisal courses and the AQB Supervisor/Trainee course.  

Note that Board does not recognize distance education. So make sure to check with the Board and your courses provider before you enroll. 

Study tip: Whenever possible, I prefer to take online courses. You can study at your own pace at the convenient of your home, library, or wherever there is internet access. Here’s an article review of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Search for a Supervising Appraiser

Your next step is to find a supervising appraiser. Some trainees might find it challenging in locating one. To assist you through this process, here are the 10 tips in finding a supervisory appraiser.

Once you and the supervising appraiser decide to work together, you both need to inform the Board about the mentoring relationship. That could be indicated on the application.  

Real Estate Appraiser Experience Log

You must also document your working hours with the approved experience log. These logs are essential when you upgrade your appraiser license in the future. In order for them to be valid, make sure you and the supervising appraiser sign on every page of them.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Alaska Real Estate Appraisers Program

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Alaska?

Unlike most other states, the Board does not offer the Licensed Residential Appraiser license in Alaska.  

As a Certified Residential Appraiser, you have the options to work for a company or government agency as their salaried appraiser or become a self-employed business owner.

If you decide to run an independent practice, then you will have more flexibility in your work schedule and the ways to conduct the business. You could be fulfilling appraisal orders from mortgage lenders, banks, credit unions, or appraisal management companies (AMC).

Just like other businesses, there are many expenses you need to take care of – for instance, payroll, marketing, liability insurance, tuition for continuing education, license fee, and many others. I have another article which covers how to start an appraisal business. Hope you’ll find it helpful too.

On the other hand, if you crave for more stability in your career, you could consider working as an in-house appraiser for an appraisal firm or financial institution. You may be provided with a stable salary and employee’s benefits.

With the Certified Residential Appraiser license, you can evaluate:

  • residential properties with 1 to 4 units regardless of the transaction value or complexity.
  • non-residential 1-4 units property given that the transaction value is no more than $250,000

There is no restriction on the transaction value of residential properties you could assess. So let’s review the steps to get you Certified Residential Appraiser license.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Alaska

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher

Step 2: Complete the Appraisal Work Experience

You need to complete a minimum of 2500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience in not less than a 24 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 200 hours of qualifying appraisal courses from an approved provider.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Alaska Real Estate Appraisers Program

You can find out more details on the registration later in this post.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Don’t worry, more details about the exam will be covered in this guide.

Is real estate appraiser a good career? This is one of the common questions I hear a lot. Therefore, I spent months and months in connecting with different real estate appraisers. Here are their valuable insights about this profession. Make sure to check it out!

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Alaska?

Certified General Real Estate Appraiser

If you want to expand your scope of work to more complex type of real estates, then becoming a Certified General Appraiser is definitely worth considering! In fact, out of the 229 appraisers in Alaska, around 45% are holding Certified General Appraiser license. 

This is the most sophisticated license type you could obtain in the appraisal industry. You could provide assessment to all types of real estate regardless of the transaction value or complexity. (i.e.: commercial properties, golf courses, hotels, wind generating plants, marina, oil refiners, federal or land acquisition.) 

Tip for Success: Rather than being just another appraiser, consider specializing in a specific niche. (i.e: expert witness, farm appraisal, re-location appraisal). Here’s an article which covers 7 profitable appraisal niches.

Since the transaction values involve could be significant, you need to be  extremely careful and responsible when handling your work. Extensive research and site inspections are often required. 

The amount of work experience and studying required to become a Certified General Appraiser is the heaviest among all the levels of licensing. So let’s go over the steps to get you the Certified General Appraiser license.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Alaska

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 3000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience where they need to be obtained for over a 30 months period. At least 1500 hours of the working experience needs to be from non-residential appraisal work.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to finish 300 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Alaska Real Estate Appraisers Program

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

Courses Requirement for Alaska Appraisers

 Trainee Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 15 15
Basic Appraisal Principles30 30 30
Basic Appraisal Procedures30 3030
Residential Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 15
Residential Appraisal Site Valuation and Cost Approach 15
Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches 30
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies 15
Statistics, Modeling and Finance15 15
Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies15
Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 20 30
General Appraiser Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 30
General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach 30
General Appraiser Sales Comparison Approach 30
General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies 30
General Appraiser Income Approach 60
Total75 hours200 hours300 hours

The Board does not recognize distance education. Here’s the website to check whether the courses you want to enroll is being approved by the Board.

Registration with the Alaska Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the Alaska Real Estate Appraisers Program. Here are the applications for:

In additional to the application, you must provide the following:

  • Registration fee ($300 for Trainee, $580 for Certified Appraisers) 
  • Evidence which shows you have completed the required hours of Board-approved appraisal courses. (i.e., Official transcripts, course completion certificates).
  • Proof that you have fulfilled the specific requirement of post-secondary education for your license (i.e.: Diploma, official transcripts, certificates.)
  • Stated Approved Appraiser Experience Log  (Only if you are applying to become Licensed/Certified Appraiser)
  • Supporting legal documents (i.e.: Criminal history record check authorization form)

If you have any questions, you could contact Alaska Real Estate Appraisers Program at:

  • Address: State Office Building, 333 Willoughby Avenue, 9th Floor, PO Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806
  • Phone: (907) 465-2550 
  • Fax: (907) 465-2974
  • Email: [email protected]

Alaska Real Estate Appraiser Exam

You will be writing the computerized exam at am approved testing center.  Pearson Vue will be the exam administer. 

  • Certified Residential Appraiser Exam is a 4 hours exam;
  • Certified General Appraiser Exam is a 6 hours exam

The exams consist of 125 questions. Only 110 questions will be scored, the other 15 are pretest questions. The required passing score is 75. You will immediately know your score once you finish writing the test.

You could find out more details in the National Appraiser Examination Candidate Handbook. 

To increase your odds in passing the exam on the first time, make sure to check out our 10 tips on how to pass the real estate appraiser exam.

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in Alaska need to renew their license biennially. Here are the renewal applications for:

In addition to the renewal application, you also need to:

  • Complete 28 hours continuing education every 24 months which include 
    • 7 hours of USPAP Update course
  • If you have been licensed for less than 2 years, then you need to complete 14 hours of continuing education, including the required 7-hour USPAP course.
  • You must complete at least 50% of the required hours in a traditional classroom setting. 
  • Trainees do not need to take continuing education classes, but are required to submit a renewal
  • Pay the renewal fee (The amounts are printed on the application form)

The renewal processing time could take 4 to 6 weeks. You should always renew the license and complete all continuing education requirement before the expiry date, else there could be late fee and unnecessary interruption to your appraisal practice.  

Career tip: Since you’ll need to take the CE courses, don’t waste your money by taking random classes. Choose the one that could really sharpen your appraisal skills, where you could apply what you learn into the field. Here is an article review of the 10 CE courses that I like.

How Much Does a Real Estate Appraiser Make in Alaska?

Real Estate Appraiser Income

Your earning ability as a real estate appraiser depends on many things. For instance, your experience, licensing level, the type of properties you specialize in appraising, the company size, its location.

Here’s an article where we discussed in depth of the different factors that could affect the real estate appraisers salary. 

According to the figures on Sokanu.com, the average annual salary of real estate appraisers in Alaska is $76,820,  which is higher than 94% similar careers in the same state.

The starting annual salary of a real estate appraiser in Alaska is only around $51,630, but could go up to $107,840 for high earners. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

Based on the Dec 1st, 2018 figures on Salary.com, appraisers who focus their practice on commercial properties tend to have a compensated better financially than residential real estate appraisers.

  • The average salary for residential real estate appraisers is 
    $58,451. The range mostly falls between $48,172 and $67,535.
  • The average salary for commercial real estate appraisers is 
    $108,922. The range generally falls between $93,687 and $124,948.

Is commercial real estate appraisal a good career? Check out this complete guide. In it, you’ll find the type of work involved as a commercial real estate appraiser, the income potential, and the training you need to have to become one.

How Many Real Estate Appraisers are in Alaska?

There are approximately 739,000 people residing in Alaska. Not only it is one of the least populated states, but it is most sparsely populated in the US. You could consider delivering your appraisal services in cities with high population such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.

When we reviewed the figures (as of Dec 2018) displayed on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there are a total of 229 appraisers in Alaska.  The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 102
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 127

Helpful Tips for Appraisers in Alaska

Tip#1: Complete the Appraisal Courses Asap

You could read as much as you want, but procrastination would not get your career started. Taking the real estate appraiser classes would be your first step. Not only you could gain valuable knowledge and practical skills, but you will also have a better understanding about what is like to be an appraiser.

Besides, most states would require you to complete all the trainee education before your working experience could count toward the licensing requirement.

I include some education providers on our resource page. Hope this would be helpful to you.

Tip#2: Build Your Network with Other Real Estate Professionals in Alaska

Connecting with other real estate appraisers in Alaska is a good way to know about the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining appraiser coalitions, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. You could checkout the list of real estate groups on our resource page.

Start with a casual conversation by letting them know that you are starting a career as an appraiser. Ask them if they have any tips or advice for newbies to the industry. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who are willing to share their insights with you.

In addition, you should network with other professionals in the real estate field. Mortgage agents, lenders, and realtors can all provide you with valuable feedback, which could be very helpful to your career building in the long haul.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in Alaska

Note: The list of Appraiser Jobs Opportunity is coming soon. Please stay tune

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact The Alaska Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers.

Reference:

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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