How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Louisiana?


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To become a real estate appraiser in Louisiana, you must fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, work experience requirement and register with the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board.

This State Board 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.

You would begin your career as a Appraiser Trainee, then gradually work your way up toward other designations such as Certified Residential Appraiser, and the Certified General Appraiser.

Louisiana has over 4.6 million of population with steady growth over the years. New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport are some of its most populous cities. Keep in mind, the greater the population, the higher demand of appraisal works.

As a real estate appraiser in Louisiana, your job is to evaluate the properties’ market value 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.

Regardless of who is in needs of your appraisal services, your work products must remain objective, unbiased and professional.

Louisiana real estate appraisers license requirements

How to Become a Appraiser Trainee in Louisiana?

To begin your journey as an appraiser, your first step is to become a Trainee. 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 hands-on appraisal techniques, effective ways to research on a property, and how to analyze the data.  Most importantly, 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 Appraiser Trainee in Louisiana

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
  • No college-level education is required

Step 2: Complete the Pre-License Education

You need to complete the 75 hours of qualifying appraisal-related education and the Trainee/Supervisor 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 review of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Submit Application to the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board  

Now you have completed the education prerequisites, your next step is to register with Appraisers Board. If they have the online submission available, I 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. Here are the details.

Step 4: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

If you are wondering how to find a mentor, then here is a post which might be helpful to you. “The Top 10 Tips to Find a Supervisory Appraiser.”

Once you start working alongside with a supervisor, you and your supervisor would need to inform the Appraisers Board about the mentoring relationship. The form to be filled out is in the same application when you do your registration.

You also must keep track of your working hours with the board-approved experience log. Because you’ll need to provide them when you upgrade your appraiser licenses in the future.

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

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Louisiana?

Real Estate Appraiser Continuing Education

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 Maryland only accept assessment work from Certified Appraiser.

That being said, let’s review the steps for you to become a Certified Residential Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Louisiana

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Fulfill one of the following 5 college-level education requirement:
    • Route #1: Hold an associate’s degree in either Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, or Real Estate; OR
    • Route #2: Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study
    • Route #3: Complete 3 hours of each of the following college-level courses with a total of 30 semester hours
      • Algebra, Geometry, or Higher Math
      • Computer Science
      • English Composition
      • Finance
      • Macroeconomics
      • Microeconomics
      • Real Estate Law or Business Law
      • Statistics
      • 2 elective courses (3 hours each) in any of the above subjects or in Accounting, Agricultural Economics, Business Management, Geography, or Real Estate;
    • Route #4: Complete 30 hours of College Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) examinations that cover each of the subjects in Route #3
    • Route #5: Any combinations of Route #3 and Route #4 which consists all the topics mentioned above

Step 2: Complete the Appraisal Work Experience

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,  you are only required to complete the extra classes. Click here to view the specific classes requirement.

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

Step 4: Submit Application to the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board 

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, it’s time to submit the license application. 

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! Here are the submission details in Louisiana.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Don’t try to cramp up all the study materials all at once. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it.

Click here for more details about the exam writing.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Louisiana?

real estate client meeting

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.

But first you would need 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 Louisiana 

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 half of the 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 are the specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board 

Once you have completed all the education and working experience prerequisites, you should fill out 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. Click here to view the submission steps.

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 the details to schedule an exam writing.

Courses Requirement for Each Appraiser License Level

 Trainee Appraiser (Credit Hours)State Registered Appraiser (Credit Hours)Licensed Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 1515 15 15
Basic Appraisal Principles30 3030 30 30
Basic Appraisal Procedures303030 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 hours75 hours150 hours200 hours300 hours

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!

Register at the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the State Board. Here are the online applications for:

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

  • Registration fee ($245)
  • 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.)

Then you could mail the entire set of documents to the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. Their mailing address can be found on the application. 

If you have any questions, you could contact them at (225) 765-0191 or 1-800-821-4529 (Ext 241).

More info about the Louisiana Real Estate Appraiser Exam

real estate exam

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

  • 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.

The exam fee is $125. You could find out more details in the Louisiana Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Information Bulletin.

After you pass the exam, you need to need to inform the State Board. Then you will submit the request for them to review your working experience. Here’s the Experience Review application.  There will be a $100 review fee.

(If you want to increase your chance in passing the exam on the first time , be sure to check out these 10 Practical Exam Tips)

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in Louisiana are required to renew their license every two year. You could do so through the online services on their website

In addition to the renewal application, below are the requirements to renew your appraiser license:

  • Finish 28 hours continuing education every 2 years, of which must include 7 hours of National USPAP Update course. (Actually, the previous regulations would require 30 CE hours, but they changed it in 2014)
    • There’s no limitation on the number of courses you can take online.
  • Pay the renewal fee

To prevent interruption to your appraisal practice, you should renew it and complete all continuing education requirement before the license expiry date. 

How Much Does a Real Estate Appraiser Make in Louisiana?

Real estate career

Your income as a real estate appraiser depends on many factors 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.

However, when you look at the income gap among real estate appraisers, it isn’t as wide as most other states.

According to the figures on Sokanu.com, the starting annual salary is around $33,170, which is at a pretty good level when you compare to those in other states. While it has the potential to go up to $66,060. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

The average annual salary of real estate appraisers in Louisiana is $47,900,  which is 79% higher 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 more lucrative compensation than residential real estate appraisers.

The average annual salary of appraisers for residential real estate appraiser is $48,758. The range generally is between $40,179 and $56,334.

Whereas, an appraiser who specialize in assessing commercial real estate has an average annual salary of  $90,831 . The range is mostly between $78,126 and $104,198.

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.

Helpful Tips for Appraisers in Louisiana

Tip#1: Complete the required appraisal classes 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 in the selection process, here’s a review of the appraisal courses provider that I like.

Tip#2: Build your network with other real estate professionals in Louisiana

Connecting with other appraisers in Louisiana 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 groups 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 network 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#3: Consider the commercial real estate route

Just like many other states, the business to appraise for residential properties could be quite competitive.

To differentiate your skills and broaden your scope of practice, you could consider pursuing the Commercial General Appraiser designation as your long-term goal.

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.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in Louisiana

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 Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board

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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