How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Arizona?


real estate client meeting

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So you want to become a real estate appraiser in Arizona? That’s great!

To do so, you would need to start off in working as a Trainee Appraiser, then work your way up toward other designations such as the Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and the Certified General Appraiser.

To become a real estate appraiser in Arizona, you are required fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, and work experience requirement. You also need to register with The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Real Estate Appraiser Division.

This Department is the regulatory agency which governs individuals and companies that appraise the value of real estate, and also appraisal management companies (AMCs), in accordance with federal guidelines.

As a real estate appraiser in Arizona, your role is to provide an objective market value of properties for your clients. Your assessment could be used by a home buyer or seller, a mortgage lender who wants to understand the value of the collateralize assets, an individual who needs it for tax assessment or even lease negotiation.

No matter who is in needs of your appraisal services, your main focus is to provide an independent, unbiased estimate of value of a real property.

Real estate appraiser Arizona license requirement

How to Become a Trainee Appraiser in Arizona?

To start your career as an appraiser, your first step is to become a Trainee Appraiser.

At this stage, you will be trained and supervised by a certified appraiser. An experienced supervisor could guide you into the right direction in this career. The supervisory appraiser should provide you with practical appraisal methods, how to conduct research on a property, how to extract important information from the data.  Of course, how to determine an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

Your daily routine could include doing property research, working on appraisal reports, or inspecting real estate together with the supervisor.

To get out the most from this trainee stage,  it is recommended you to walk through each and every step in the appraisal process, observe carefully on how your supervisor inspect and evaluate real estate, and always raise your questions.

4 Steps to Become a Trainee Appraiser in Arizona

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • No prior related experience is needed

Step 2: Complete the Pre-License Education

You need to complete the 75 hours of qualifying appraisal-related education, and AQB Supervisor/Trainee Course. 

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 reviewOpens in a new tab. of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Submit Application to the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

Now you have completed the education prerequisites, your next step is to register with Real Estate Appraiser Division.

If the Licensing Department in your state has the online submission available, then I would strongly encourage you to use that option. Not only this is the quickest and most convenient way, but less paper mailing is also good for the environment. Click here for more details about the registration process.

Step 4: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

In Arizona, all supervising appraisers must submit a Notification of Engagement formOpens in a new tab. to the Department of Financial Institutions to indicate who is Trainee Appraiser they are mentoring.

Your assignment could also involve appraising commercial property, but only given your supervisor is a Certified General Appraiser.

You might wonder how to find a mentor. You could start connecting with Certified Appraisers through different industry associations, forums or even on LinkedIn. The more appraisers you connect to, the more likely you could find a qualified supervisor. (Check out these helpful tips in finding a supervisory appraiser.)

Also, here’s a list Opens in a new tab.of Certified Appraisers who are already supervising a Trainee Appraiser.  You could give them a call to see if they are willing to take on another Trainee Appraiser. However, a supervisory appraiser cannot mentor more than 3 trainees at the same time.

Once you start working alongside with a supervisor, you need to keep track of your working hours with the board-approved experience log. This document is important for the purpose of upgrading your appraiser license in the future.

Also, keep in mind that you and the supervising appraiser are required to sign on every page of the experience log.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Arizona?

Real Estate Agent Using Mobile Phone In New Property

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you can evaluate non-complex residential properties with 1-4 units, while the transaction value is cannot be more than $1,000,000. Although you can also evaluate complex properties, the maximum value is up to $250,000.

When working as a fee-based appraiser, you could be writing appraisal reports for clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC). Your job duties could include doing research online, going on the field to inspect properties, and writing the appraisal reports.

Being a self-employed professional could give you more flexibility in scheduling your work hours and ways to conduct the business. However, just like any other business, there are expenses and setup you’ll need to take care. Here’s a post on how to start an appraisal business.

On the other hand, you could also be hired by an appraiser company or financial institution as their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and employee’s benefits.

This license could be worth considering for those who have not fulfilled the necessary work experience or college-level education to become a certified appraiser but wish to advance their career from the Appraiser Trainee.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Arizona

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold an Associate Degree or higher. Or complete 30 semester credit hours covering specific subject topics.

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 1000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience, where they need to be acquired for over a 6 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 150 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider.

You should have taken some of the courses when becoming a Trainee Appraiser,  so that you are only required to fulfill the additional course works.

Interested in becoming a real estate appraiser? Here is an Education Resources PageOpens in a new tab. which could be helpful to you in getting the appraiser license.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the Real Estate Appraiser Program along with other required documents. 

The Licensing Board in some states may require you to apply within a specific period after you complete the pre-licensing education. Therefore, don’t wait till it expires!

Click here to view the registration procedure.

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to write the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations. The purpose is to test your appraisal knowledge, especially the subjects that are covered in the pre-licensing courses.

To increase your chance in passing the exam on the first time, make sure to check out our exam hacks. In there, not only you will find the content of the exam, but also 10 effective tips on how to prepare for it.

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Arizona?

Realtors In Front Of A House

As a Certified Residential Appraiser, you can assess for:

  • residential properties with 1 to 4 residential 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

Just like a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you could a self-employed appraiser running your own practice, servicing clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC).

Alternatively, you could work for an appraiser firm or financial institution to become their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and company’s benefits.

However, there is no restriction on the transaction value of residential properties you could assess. The scope of your practice and business opportunity would be a lot wider than being a Licensed Residential Appraiser. In fact, many reputable lenders and financial institutions in Arizona only accept assessment work from Certified Appraiser.

So what is like to be a residential appraiser in Arizona? We looked into some job postings and found one that might give you a better insight.

It was from a Real Estate Valuation company in Phoenix. They were looking or a full-time residential appraiser to work in the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area.

Some of the job duties include:

  • Provide great quality appraisals
  • Inspect properties
  • Work with a Trainee Appraiser, where he/she will work as a support role throughout the appraisal process

They required you to have:

  • At least three years of residential real estate appraisal experience
  • Must be Certified Appraiser (Licensed will not be considered)
  • Ability to travel locally for real estate inspections

This position offered a stable and competitive salary. E & O coverage, license renewal, and continuing education tuition would be paid for. There would be medical benefits, holiday pay as well.

Having said that, so let’s go through the steps for you to become a Certified Residential Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Arizona

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

You need to complete a minimum of 1500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience in not less than a 12 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

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

Since you should have taken some of the courses when becoming an Appraiser Trainee or Licensed Residential Appraiser,  you are only required to complete the extra classes. Click here to view the courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, it’s time to submit the license application. Most State Boards allow you to apply through their website. Some would even charge a lower registration fee by doing online. You should definitely check out this option.

Here are the submission steps.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Doing multiple sets of practice questions is an excellent way to prepare for the exam and also boost your confidence.

I included some details which could be helpful to your studying on our education resources page. Be sure to check it out.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Arizona?

So you want to explore appraising for commercial real estate? Then becoming a Certified General Appraiser would be the way to go!

This designation is the highest credential you could get in the appraisal industry. You could assess all types of real estate regardless of the transaction value or complexity. There is no limitation on the scope of your appraisal work.

Although you still could evaluate for residential properties, you could also be appraise a portfolio of commercial real estates for institutional investors.

Since your clients depend on your appraisal reports in making an informed investment decision, you must be extremely careful and responsible when handling your work. Extensive research and site inspections are often required. It is your responsibility to provide your clients with an objective appraised value as accurate as possible.

Due to the requirement of low margin of error in your work products, the amount of work experience and education required to become a Certified General Appraiser is the most challenging among all the levels of licensing.

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.

So what kind of jobs are available in the commercial real estate appraisal field in Arizona? Here’s a job posting we just saw:

It was a nationwide independent valuation and consulting firm. They were looking for a Senior Analyst Commercial Real Estate Appraiser to work in their Phoenix office.

Some of the job duties include:

  • Analysis of complex commercial real estate
  • Producing appraisal reports, market studies
  • Project revenue and operating expenses for properties
  • Verifying and analyzing sales data and lease transactions

They required you to have:

  • At least three years of commercial real estate appraisal experience
  • Must hold the Certified General Appraiser license
  • Ability to travel regionally for real estate inspections

This position offered competitive compensation and benefits.

The first step is to become a Certified General Appraiser, so let’s go through the steps to get you this credential.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Arizona

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any field of study; 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 18 months period. At least 1500 hours of working experience needs to be from non-residential appraisal work.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

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

You should have completed some of the courses when the previous license(s). Therefore, you are only required to complete the extra classes. Here is the list of specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

Once you have completed all the education and working experience prerequisites, you should fill out the license application.

Later in this post, I’ll go over the documents and fees needed for the registration process. But if you want, you may click here and jump to that section.

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

The final step is to pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam. Most test centers would require you to bring at least two valid IDs to verify your identity. Don’t forget to bring them along. Else you won’t be able to write the exam.

Here are more details about the exam writing.

What Courses are Needed to Become an AR Real Estate Appraiser?

 Trainee Appraiser (Credit Hours)Licensed Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 15 15 15
Basic Appraisal Principles30 30 30 30
Basic Appraisal Procedures3030 3030
Residential Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 1515
Residential Appraisal Site Valuation and Cost Approach 1515
Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches 3030
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies 1515
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 hours150 hours200 hours300 hours

Keep in mind no more than 75% of the courses can be taken online.

In addition to the above course work, Trainee Appraisers are required to complete the AQB Supervisor/Trainee course, which must be taken place in a classroom setting.

Here’s the Way to Apply for Your AR Appraiser License

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit the “Application for Real Property Appraiser & Trainee AppraiserOpens in a new tab.” to the Real Estate Appraiser Division.

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

  • Registration fee
    • $300 for Trainee Appraiser;
    • $400 for Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Appraisers
  • Supporting legal documents
  • 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)

Then you could simply mail the set of documents to the ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. Their address is printed at the bottom of the application.

You could find out more details hereOpens in a new tab.,  or contact them at (602) 771 – 2800.

What is the Format of the AR Appraisal Exam?

Once the State Board accepts your application, they will send you a notice with instruction to schedule the exam. Pearson Vue will administer the exam, where you can take it on a computer at their examination center.

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

The licensed and certified 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 Appraisers Examination Candidate HandbookOpens in a new tab..

Be sure to check out these 10 practical tips on how to pass the real estate appraiser exam!

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All Licensed and Certified Appraisers in Arizona are required to renew their license every two year.  

In addition to the renewal applicationOpens in a new tab., below are the requirements to renew your appraiser license:

  • Finish 28 hours continuing education every 24 months, of which must include 7 hours of National USPAP Update course.
  • A maximum of 75% of the continuing education (which is 21 credit hours) can be taken online, while no more than 8 hours of credit can be obtained in any 24 hours period.
  • The National USPAP Update or Equivalent must be completed in a classroom.
  • Pay the renewal fee. ($425 for Licensed/Certified Appraisers and $80 to the National Registry)

On other hand, a Trainee Appraiser only needs to renew the license once every three years, but there will be a 42 hours of continuing education requirement. The renewal fee will be $300. 

You could find out more about the renewal details in the links below:

To prevent interruption to your appraisal practice, you should renew it and complete all continuing education requirement before the license expiry date. Also, a $25 late fee would apply if you renew your license after it is expired. 

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 Arizona?

Real Estate Appraiser Earning

Your earning ability as a real estate appraiser is subjected to many variables such as your experience, licensing level, the type of properties you specialize in appraising, the company size, its location, and most importantly, the amount of effort you are willing to put into this career.  Therefore, the income differential among real estate appraisers in Arizona could be large.

According to the figures on sokanu.com, despite the starting annual salary is only around $24,520, it has the potential to go up to $96,300 for high earners. Of which would consist both full-time and part-time appraisers.

The average annual salary of real estate appraisers in Arizona is $53,650, which is 85% more than similar careers.

Based on the Oct 31, 2018 figures on Salary.com, appraisers who focus their practice on commercial properties tend to have a higher earning than residential real estate appraisers.

The average annual salary of appraisers who focus their practice in the residential real estate is $50,390. The range generally is between $41,525 and $58,221.

Whereas, an appraiser who specialize in appraising commercial real estate has an average annual salary of  $93,874 . The range is mostly between $80,743 and $107,688.

Can real estate appraisers earn six-figures income annually? Here’s an article that talks about the different factors that could affect an appraiser’s earning.

Is there a Demand for Real Estate Appraisers in Arizona?

When I reviewed the figures (as of July 2019) displayed on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there are a total of 2062 appraisers in Arizona.  The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 763
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 1154
  • # of Licensed Residential Appraisers 145

Arizona is the home to over seven million people, where the population is heavily concentrated around Phoenix and Tucson. Whenever someone needs to get a valuation of a property (i.e., buying/selling, applying for a mortgage or refinance, divorce/estate settlement.), there would be demand for real estate appraisers.

Helpful Career Tips for Appraisers in Arizona

Tip#1: Build your network with other real estate professionals in Arizona

Networking with other appraisers in Arizona is a good way to gain a better understanding about  the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining industry affiliations, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. For instance,

Here’s a list of real estate professional groupsOpens in a new tab. on our resource page. Remember to check it out!

Begin with a friendly conversation. Let them know that you are starting your career as an appraiser, ask them if they have any tips or advice for newbies to the industry.

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

Tip#2: Complete the pre-licensing courses asap

You could read as much about the appraisal career as you want, but your journey would not begin unless you start taking action.

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.

To assist you in the selection process, here’s a review of the appraisal courses provider that we like.

Tip#3: Consider the becoming a commercial real estate appraiser

Just like many other states, the business to appraise for residential properties could be quite competitive. Well, as you could imagine, there is a considerable overlap of targeted customers for the first three levels of licensing.

To differentiate your skills and broaden your scope of practice, you could consider pursuing the Commercial General Appraiser designation as your long-term goal. Here’s a post about the career of being a commercial real estate appraiser.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in Arizona

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 any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Real Estate Appraiser Division.

Reference:

  • Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Real Estate Appraisal Division (Source)Opens in a new tab.
  • The Appraisal Foundation- National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations (Source)Opens in a new tab.
  • sokanu.com – How much does a Real Estate Appraiser make in  Arizona? (Source)
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Commercial Real Estate) in Arizona (Source)Opens in a new tab.
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Residential Real Estate) in Arizona (Source)

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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