How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in South Dakota?

real estate office

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How to become a real estate appraiser in South Dakota? You would start off as a State Registered 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 South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Appraiser Certification Program. They are responsible for issuing licenses to appraisers and protecting the public interest in making sure the individual appraisal practice is up to the industry standard.

There are nearly 870,000 people residing in South Dakota. It only has one city with a population of more than 100,000, which is the Sioux Falls. You should focus in providing services in areas with high population. 

According to the figures (as of Dec 2018) displayed on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there are a total of 361 appraisers in South Dakota.  The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 224
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 97
  • # of Licensed Residential Appraisers 40

As a real estate appraiser, it is your responsibility 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.

How to Become a State Registered Appraiser in South Dakota?

Your first goal in the real estate appraisal career is to become a State Registered Appraiser. This is a trainee/apprentice position where you will be mentored and work under the supervision of a certified appraiser. 

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

The supervisory appraiser should educate you 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 South 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.

When you submit your application, you and your trainer need to let the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program know about the mentoring relationship with the agreement form

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.

Step 4: Submit Application to the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in South 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.
Certified Residential Appraiser

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

Or you could operating your own business by being a self-employed appraiser. This gives you more flexibility to run your appraisal practice.

Out of the 361 appraisers (but excluding the State Registered Appraisers), only 11% are Licensed Residential Appraisers while nearly 89% are Certified Appraisers. We believe many appraisers would upgrade to become Certified once they have fulfilled the specific license requirement.

Nevertheless, Licensed Residential Appraiser is still a good transitional position to expand your scope of practice beyond the State Registered title, while you are working toward the Certified credential. 

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in South Dakota

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 courses provider.

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

Step 4: Submit Application to the South Dakota 
Appraiser Certification Program

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

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 Residential Appraiser in South Dakota?

Similar to a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you could work for a company or government agency as their salaried appraiser or start a self-employed business.

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
Real Estate Appraisal

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. Many large lenders and financial institutions only accept assessment work from Certified Appraiser. 

Even though, both licenses are Residential Appraisers, due to added recognition and broader work opportunity, more people choose to become a Certified Residential Appraiser (97) than a Licensed Residential Appraiser (40) in South Dakota.

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

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in South Dakota

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Complete 1 of the 6 college-level education requirements
    1. Bachelor’s Degree or higher;
    2. Associate’s Degree in a specific field of study (i.e. business, economics, or real estate);
    3. Complete 30 college semester credit hours in specified topics;
    4. Completion of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)1 exams equivalent to a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in specified subject matter areas; or
    5. Any combination of #3 and #4 above that includes all of the subjects identified.
    6. If you have been a licensed residential appraiser for at least 5 years while your license has been remain in good standing, then the college coursework requirement can be waived.

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 courses from an approved provider.

Step 4: Submit Application to the South Dakota 
Appraiser Certification Program

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in South Dakota?

Become Real Estate Appraiser

If you want to advance your appraisal work to more complex type of real estates, then becoming a Certified General Appraiser would be the option! In fact, out of the 421 appraisers in Montana, over 60% 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.) 

Since the transaction values involve could be significant, 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 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 18 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 South Dakota
Appraiser Certification Program

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

Courses Requirement for South Dakota Appraisers

 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 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 South Dakota 
Appraiser Certification Program 

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the Appraiser Certification Program. 

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)

Once the Department approves your application, they would request your appraisals work for compliance review, which include categories such as residential, multi-family, commercial/industrial and agricultural.

They will also select appraisals randomly from the appraisal experience log to verify experience

If you have any questions, you could contact the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program Office at:

  • Address: 308 South Pierre Street, Pierre, SD 57501
  • Phone: 605.773.4608
  • Fax: 605.773.5405

You could also fill out their online contact form

South Dakota Real Estate Appraiser Exam

Real estate career studying

Once your application is approved, the Appraiser Certification Program will provide you with a candidate handbook which contains information about the exam. 

You would write the exam on a computer at an approved testing 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.

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.

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in South 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 South 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. 

Real Estate Appraiser Earning

According to the figures on, the average annual salary of real estate appraisers in South Dakota is $60,190,  which is higher than 92% similar careers in the same state.

The starting annual salary of a real estate appraiser in South Dakota is only around $33,380, but could go up to $93,340 for high earners. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

Based on the Dec 1st, 2018 figures on, 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 
    $45,095. The range mostly falls between $37,165 and $52,103.
  • The average salary for commercial real estate appraisers is 
    $84,033. The range generally falls between $72,280 and $96,398.

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 South Dakota

Realtors In Front Of A House

Tip#1: Complete the Appraisal Courses Asap

You could read as much as you want, but your career 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 State Registered Appraiser education 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: Build Your Network with Other Real Estate Professionals in South Dakota

Connecting with other appraisers in South Dakota is a good way to gain a better understanding about the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining appraiser coalitions, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. For instance, the Western South Dakota Chapter of the Appraisal Institute

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 South 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 South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program.


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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