How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in North Dakota?


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How to become a real estate appraiser in North Dakota? You would start off as an Apprentice Appraiser, then upgrade your licenses in becoming a Licensed or Certified Appraiser. You must fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, and work experience requirement.

Furthermore, you need to register with the North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board. They are responsible for issuing licenses to appraisers and protecting the public interest to ensure the individual appraisal work is up to the industry standard.

There are approximately 755,000 people residing in North Dakota. Not only it is one of the least populated states, but it is also extremely sparsely populated. 

You should focus in providing services in areas with high population. 
Fargo is the largest city, followed by Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Minot.

According to the figures (as of Dec 2018) displayed on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there are a total of 309 appraisers in North Dakota.  The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 191
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 87
  • # of Licensed Residential Appraisers 31

An estimated population density per appraiser in North Dakota is 2443 people.

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.

North Dakota Real Estate Appraisers Licensing Requirements

How to Become a State Registered Appraiser in North Dakota?

Your first mission in the real estate appraisal career is to become a Apprentice Appraiser, where you will be mentored and work under the supervision of a certified appraiser. 

Your daily routine could involve doing research, working on appraisal reports, and inspecting real estate together with the supervisor.

The supervisory appraiser should provide you with training on practical ways to conduct research on properties, its proximity, zoning, and how to analyze the data.  Most importantly, the industry accepted approaches in determining an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

An experienced supervisor could assist you into the right direction in this career. 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.

4 Steps to Become a State Registered Appraiser in North Dakota

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.  

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 people might find it difficult in locating one. To assist you through this process, here are the 10 tips in finding a supervisory appraiser.

Real Estate Appraiser Courses

You and your trainer need to let the ND Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board know about the mentoring relationship. 

You must also document your working hours with the approved experience log. These logs are necessary 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.

Here is the list of apprentice responsibilities for your reference. 

Step 4: Submit Application to the North Dakota
Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board

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 Licensed Residential Appraiser in North Dakota?

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you will have the authority to appraise:

  • non-complex residential properties with 1-4 units, while the transaction value cannot be greater than $1,000,000.
  • complex properties but the maximum value is up to $250,000.

You could be employed by an appraisal company, financial institution or government assessor’s office as their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and employee’s benefits.

On the other hand,  you could be operating your own business by being a self-employed appraiser. This gives you more flexibility to run your appraisal practice.

Out of the 309 appraisers (but excluding the Apprentice), only 10% are Licensed Residential Appraisers while nearly 90% are Certified Appraisers. We believe many appraisers would upgrade to become Certified once they have fulfilled the specific license requirement.

Anyhow, becoming a Licensed Residential Appraiser is still a good step to expand your scope of practice beyond the Apprentice title, while you are working toward the Certified credential. 

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in North Dakota

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Associate Degree or higher. Or 30 semester credit hours of courses which cover specific subject matter.

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 2000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience, where they need to be acquired for over a 12 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

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

You should have taken some of the courses before you became an Apprentice Appraiser. Therefore, you just need to make up for the additional course works.

Step 4: Submit Application to North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications & Ethics Board

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in North Dakota?

Realtors In Front Of A House

As a Certified Residential Appraiser, 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. The scope of your practice and business opportunity would be a lot wider than being a Licensed Residential Appraiser.

In fact, many large lenders and financial institutions only accept assessment work from Certified Appraiser. You have the options to work for a company or government agency as their salaried appraiser or start a self-employed business.

When we reviewed the statistics, we noticed that more people decide to become a Certified Residential Appraiser (87) than remaining a Licensed Residential Appraiser (31) in North Dakota. This should be due to the greater recognition and broader work opportunity.

Below are the steps to get you Certified Residential Appraiser license.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in North Dakota

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 North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications & Ethics Board

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in North Dakota?

If you want to advance your appraisal work to more complex type of real estates, then becoming a Certified General Appraiser could be an ideal choice. In fact, more than 60% of appraisers are holding the Certified General Appraiser license. 

This is the most highest 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.) 

Since the transaction values involve could be significant, you need to be extra careful and responsible when handling your work. In-depth 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 expectation of low margin of error in assessment, the amount of work experience and studying required to become a Certified General Appraiser is the most challenging among all the levels of licensing.

So let’s go over the steps to get you this credential.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in South Dakota

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 North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications & Ethics Board

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

Courses Requirement for North Dakota Appraisers

 Apprentice 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

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

Registration with the North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications & Ethics Board 

Real Estate Appraiser Application

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the Board. 

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

  • Registration fee (Here is the fees schedule)
  • 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.)
  • Appraiser Experience Log  (Only if you are applying to become Licensed/Certified Appraiser)
  • Supporting legal documents (i.e.: fingerprints, background check)

If you have any questions, you could contact the North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications & Ethics Board.

North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Exam

PSI will administer the appraiser 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.

The exam fee is $130. You could find out more details in the North Dakota Real Estate Appraisers Program Candidate Handbook

(To increase your chance in passing the test 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 North Dakota need to renew their license every year.  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
  • There’s no limitation on the number of courses you can take online
  • Pay the renewal fee

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.  

How Much Does a Real Estate Appraiser Make in North Dakota?

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 North Dakota is $49,740,  which is higher than 70% similar careers in the same state.

The starting annual salary of a real estate appraiser in South Dakota is only around $22,940, but could rise to $79,150 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 assess on commercial properties tend to have a better compensation than residential real estate appraisers.

  • The average salary for residential real estate appraisers is 
    $47,676. The range mostly falls between $39,291 and $55,084.
  • The average salary for commercial real estate appraisers is 
    $88,842. The range generally falls between $76,415 and $101,914.

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.

Helpful Tips for Appraisers in North Dakota

Tip#1: Complete the Appraisal Courses Asap

Taking the qualifying education 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 courses before your working experience could count toward the licensing requirement.

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

Tip#2: Connect with Other Real Estate Professionals in North Dakota

real estate appraiser business networking

Connecting with other appraisers in North Dakota is a good way to know more about the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining appraiser coalitions, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. For instance,

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.

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

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in North Dakota 

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 North Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board.

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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