How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in New Jersey?


Real Estate Professional meeting clients

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As a real estate appraiser in New Jersey, your primary duty is to provide an appraiser report which outlines the market value of a property. Your work products 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 is going through divorce or estate settlement.

Regardless of who is in needs of your appraisal services, your main focus is to provide an independent, unbiased estimate of value of a real property.

To become a real estate appraiser in New Jersey, you need to fulfill the qualifying education, and work experience requirement. Also, you are required to register The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board. This is the State board which establishes the industry standard, regulate and issue the license for real estate appraisers.

There are 4 license levels of appraisers in New Jersey:

  • Trainee Appraiser
  • Licensed Residential Appraiser
  • Certified Residential Appraiser
  • Certified General Appraiser

How to Become a Trainee Appraiser in New Jersey?

Being a Trainee Appraiser is your first step into in the appraisal industry. A certified appraiser will be mentoring you. Your job could involve researching properties, working on reports, or inspecting properties alongside with the supervisor.

An experienced and thoughtful supervisor could guide you into the right direction in this career. The supervisory appraiser should provide you with hands-on training on appraisal methods, how to conduct research on a property, how to extract important information from the data.

The primary goal is to come up with an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

The best way to learn is always to go through every step in the appraisal process, observe carefully on how your supervisor inspect and evaluate real estate, always raise your questions or concerns.

4 Steps to Become a Trainee Appraiser in New Jersey

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 review of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Submit Application to the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board

Now you have completed the qualifying courses, your next step is to begin the registration process. If the Appraisal Board 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 to find out the registration steps.

Step 4: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

In New Jersey, to ensure you can receive the proper training and the attention you need, a Certified Appraiser cannot supervise more than 3 Appraiser Assistants at any given time.

You could have more than one supervisor. However, all supervising appraisers must submit a supervising appraiser form to the State Board for each trainee appraiser under their supervision.

Your assigned tasks 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 networking with Certified Appraisers through different industry associations, forums or even on LinkedIn. The more appraisers you connect to, the bigger the chance you could find a supervisor.

Here are “The Top 10 Tips to Find a Supervisory Appraiser“.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in New Jersey?

Real Estate Agent Showing Prospective Female Buyer Around Property

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you can appraise for 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.

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 Trainee Appraisers.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in New Jersey

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • No college-level education is required

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.

Since you should have completed some of the courses when becoming a Trainee Appraiser, you just need to complete the additional courses. 

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

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board 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!

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to write the exam! Cramming for the exam is ineffective. Instead, you should study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tends to wander if you study for too long. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it.

Here are more details about the NJ Appraiser Exam.

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in New Jersey?

Real Estate Agent Using Mobile Phone In New Property

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 New Jersey only hire or work with appraisers that have the certified credential.

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

There was a job opening from a bank in Trenton. The primary duty was to review the existing appraisal reports that were performed by other independent appraisers. These appraisals were mostly for complex income producing properties, and the reports were used by bank personnel.

As their in-house appraiser, you role would be to advice on bank personnel about the value of the property, marketability, rent-ability, and economics related to real estate. You would also be responsible for contacting and selecting appraisers to complete different appraisal engagement. Discussing with them the work requirement, time frame, and fees.

To make sure the appraisal will comply with the regulatory requirement, you would need to inspect properties including those under construction in some cases.

This is a full-time position with an average working time of 40 hours per week. You must hold the State Appraiser license to be considered. They were looking for an appraiser with 2 to 4 years experience in the appraisal industry.

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 New Jersey

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Complete 1 of the following 6 College-Level Options
    • Option#1: Hold an associate’s degree in either Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, or Real Estate; OR
    • Option #2: Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study
    • Option #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;
    • Option #4: Complete 30 hours of College Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) examinations that cover each of the subjects in Option #3
    • Option #5: Any combinations of Option #3 and Option #4 which consists all the topics mentioned above
    • Option #6: If you have been a Licensed Residential Appraiser for 5 years or more, while your license is in good standing, then the college-level requirements can be waived.

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working 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 a Trainee Appraiser or Licensed Residential Appraiser,  you are only required to complete the extra classes. Click here to find out which specific courses you need to take.

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the State Appraisal Board along with the mandatory documents. 

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. 

Find out the steps to submit your application.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Keep in mind that 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.

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 General Appraiser in New Jersey?

Being a Certified General Appraiser is the highest credential you could get in the appraisal industry. You could assess all kinds of real properties regardless of the transaction value or complexity. There is no limitation on the scope of your appraisal work.

Although you still could evaluate for family-typed of clients, you could also be assess 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. Your responsibility is 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.

So what kind of jobs are available in the commercial real estate appraisal field? At the time we were writing this post, we found the following the job opening.

It was from an accounting firm in Lawrence Township. They were one of the top providers of accounting services firm for growing mid-market public and private businesses in the United States.

They were looking to hire a Real Estate Valuation Manager, to oversight the different aspects related to commercial real estate valuation and appraisal.

Some of the responsibilities include assisting directors and managing directors in client meetings, presentations and proposal development on a regular basis. And also maintaining client relationships, and engagements.

You would need to have a minimum of 5-7 years of experience in Real Estate Valuation field and 2-3 years of supervisory experience. This position would require you to travel based on client and business needs.

Of course, the first step is to become a Certified General Appraiser, so let’s go through the steps for you to become one.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in New Jersey

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’s a table I created with the specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the Real Estate Appraisers Board. 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. Get enough sleep the night before the exam and have a good meal before it. Managing your stress level during the test is another key to passing it.

Here is more info about the NJ Appraiser Exam.

Courses Requirement for Each Appraiser License Level

 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

In addition to the above course work, Trainee Appraisers are required to complete the AQB Supervisor/Trainee course.

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

Register at the New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board.

Once you have fulfilled all the necessary requirement, you could submit your application to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board.

Here’s the application for the Trainee Appraisers and here’s the ones for Licensed/Certified Appraisers.

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

  • Registration fee
    • $100 for Trainee Appraiser;
    • $75 for Licensed Residential Appraiser,
    • $100 for Certified Residential Appraiser
    • $125 for Certified General Appraiser
  • 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)

If you have any questions, you could also contact the State Real Estate Appraiser Board, their phone number is (973) 504-6480.

Schedule in Writing the Appraiser Exam

Upon acceptance, the State Board will send you an approval 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 exam.

More details about the Appraiser Examination Candidate Handbook.

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All licensed/certified real estate appraisers in New Jersey are required to renew their license every two year.  The renewal and payment are to be done online. 

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.
  • All these continuing education classes can be taken online, you you must complete them.
  • Pay the renewal fee. ($630). 

In addition, starting on Jan 1st, 2016, all licensed and certified real estate are required to take a 2 hour course on New Jersey Law and Rules, which govern the real estate appraising practice.

As for Trainee Appraiser, you need to complete 14 hours of continuing education and renew your permit every year. But you can only renew the permit for up to 3 times.

To avoid 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 New Jersey?

Your income 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 New Jersey could vary dramatically.

According to the data on Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2018), the average annual salary of real estate appraisers in New Jersey is $73,200. The starting annual salary is around $32,900, but has the potential to go up to $122,910 for high earning appraiser.  

Based on the Dec 26, 2019 figures on Salary.com, appraisers who focus their work on commercial properties tend to have a higher earning than residential appraisers.

The average annual salary of appraisers who focus their practice in the residential real estate is $59,842. The range generally is between $49,313 and $69,149.

Whereas, an appraiser who specialize in appraising commercial properties has an average annual income of $111,726. The range is mostly between $96,095 and $128,166.

Is there a demand for real estate appraisers in New Jersey?

According to the figures on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there is a total of 2722 appraisers in New Jersey. The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 1178
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 1179
  • # of Licensed Residential Appraisers 365

New Jersey has over 9 million people, it’s one of the state with the most densely population. The four largest cities in terms of population are Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and Elizabeth.

As long as there are people in New Jersey who need a professional opinion of the valuation of a property, there would be a demand for real estate appraisers.

When you are considering the regions to conduct your appraisal practice, you should target areas that have a high population. After all, businesses can only occur when there are customers.

Career Tips for Appraisers in New Jersey

Tip#1: Connect with Other New Jersey Real Estate Appraisers

To have a better understanding of a career in the appraisal industry, you should start connecting with other appraisers. You could do so by joining industry associations, forums or even LinkedIn groups. For instance,

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.

Furthermore, you should also network with other professionals in the real estate industry.  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.

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

Tip#2: Complete the Appraisal 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 I like.

Tip#3: Consider the Commercial Real Estate Route

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 an article you might be interested: “Is Commercial Real Estate Appraisal a Good Career?” In there, a CRE appraiser shared his view on what he thinks about this profession.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in New Jersey

[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 New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, New Jersey Real Estate Appraiser Board.

Reference:

  • Mckissock Learning- New Jersey Appraisal License Requirements: (Source)
  • Mckissock Learning- Learn Appraisal Educational Requirements for New Jersey (Source)
  • The Appraisal Foundation- National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations: (Source)
  • Appraisal Subcommittee- Active Appraiser Credentials Summary Report (Source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate (Source)
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Commercial Real Estate) in New Jersey: (Source)
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Residential Real Estate) in New Jersey:  (Source)
  • New Jersey Division Consumer Affairs, State Real Estate Appraiser Board – (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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