How Much do Real Estate Appraisers Make in California? (Trainee| Residential| Commercial)


California Real Estate Appraiser Income

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

Real estate appraisers in California make an average yearly income of $84,260. The income range typically ranges between $61,190 and $98,560. Top earning California appraisers make over $125,310. (-)

Real estate appraisers are not paid by commission. Rather they are usually paid a flat fee or compensated by the time to complete the assignment.

This fee structure helps ensure that the appraiser’s only motivation is to provide an accurate estimate of a property’s value rather than earning a commission from the sale. Thus, it minimizes any potential conflicts of interest that could arise.

In this guide, I will uncover how much do real estate appraisers make in California, the areas with top-earning appraisers, and whether being a commercial or residential appraisers has any effect on the income.

Source: (-) Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2021)

Income Demographics of Real Estate Appraisers in California

Income Demographics of Real Estate Appraisers in California

How Much do Trainee Appraisers Make in California?

Real estate trainee appraisers in California make an average yearly income of $35,047. The income typically ranges between $24,932 and $40,390. Top earning trainees are making as high as $35,047 per year. (*)

At the beginning phase of your real estate appraisal career, you probably would not make a lot because you would be working as a trainee under the supervision of another Certified Appraiser.

However, the payout for evaluating the commercial real estates could be more lucrative, so that they might be able to compensate you better even when you’re just working as a trainee. One of the appraisers I spoke to said that CBRE, Colliers, JLL, and Cushman routinely hire trainees. You may check whether they are hiring in your area.

As you continue to accumulate work experience and obtain the necessary licensing (i.e., Certified Residential/General Appraiser License), you should be able to notice a significant improvement in your earnings.

Source: (*) ZipRecruiter (May 2022)

The first step to your appraisal career is to complete the pre-licensing courses from a trusted education provider. McKissock Learning received an incredible rating from its students, and their online lessons are taught by instructors who have actual experience in the appraisal industry. You may click here to find out more about their courses. (**)

How Much do Residential Real Estate Appraisers Make in California?

Residential Real Estate Appraiser thinking about income potential

Residential real estate appraisers in California make an average yearly income of $84,498 typically range between $55,350 and $106,711. Top earners are making as high as $96,023 per year. (*)

A residential real estate appraiser is a professional who assesses the value of properties, such as houses or apartment units. You may appraise homes for a buyer or a mortgage lender by performing market research on comparable homes in similar areas sells for.

You may also work for a government agency, such as a county appraiser’s office or housing authority, or an appraisal firm to perform similar duties.

If the residential market is the niche you are pursuing, consider obtaining the Certified Residential Appraiser License. It gives you a broader scope of work than being a Licensed Residential Appraiser – thus, leading you to greater income potential.

Source: (*) ZipRecruiter (May 2022)

How much do real estate appraisers make per appraisal in California?

Residential Real Estate Appraiser thinking about business volume

According to HomeAdvisor, real estate appraisers make an average of $300 to $400 per home appraisal in California. Let’s take an median fee of $350.

Then you would need to complete 241 home appraisals per year to earn an average annual income of $84,498, which works out to be 20 appraisals per month or 5 appraisals per week. (Calculation: $84,498 div by $350 =241 )

However, if your work order is obtained from Appraisal Management Companies (AMC), you may need to share a portion of the appraisal fee with them for referring the business to you. Thus, you may need to complete a greater volume of appraisals to achieve your desired income level.

How Much do Commercial Real Estate Appraisers Make in California?

Alabama commercial real estate appraiser talking about income potential

Commercial real estate appraisers in California earn an average yearly income of $118,756, typically range between $102,148 and $136,229. Top earning CRE appraisers are making $152,137 per year. (+)

The role of a commercial real estate appraiser is to provide an objective and unbiased opinion on the value of a property based on market data, comparable sales, income analysis, and other relevant factors.

Unlike residential real estate appraisers, which focus on home valuation, CRE appraisers have a much broader scope of work, such as office space, retail stores, warehouses, hotels, golf courses, industrial properties, etc.

To become a commercial real estate appraiser, you must obtain the Certified General Appraiser license. This is the highest appraiser license you could get, which requires extensive work hours, pre-licensing education, and passing an exam.

Furthermore, if you aim to achieve greater recognition in the appraisal industry, you may consider obtaining the MAI designation. Many clients would prefer hiring an appraiser with such credentials for high-value projects or complex assignments.

According to HomeAdvisor, MAI appraisals are often completed for commercial properties, which cost between $2,000 to $10,000.

Source: (+) Salary.com (April 26, 2022)

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Different data sources report different CA appraisers income figures

Average SalaryBureau of Labor StatisticsZipRecruiterSalary.com
Real Estate Appraiser $84,260$75,390N/A
Residential Real Estate Appraiser N/A$84,498$63,243
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser N/A$59,893$118,756

Most of the data in this article are obtained from different sources such as Bureau of Labor Statistics, Salary.com and ZipRecruiter. As you can see, there is quite a discrepancy among various sources.

Perhaps, it really depends on the appraisers in the sample. After all, their experience in the appraisal field, license level, and the real estate niche they specialize in could be different from one another.

But to confirm the validity of the figures, I also reviewed figures from other different sites. Below are some job postings I found on indeed.com, which should give you a more updated idea of real estate appraisers’ income in the current market.

Job TitleIncome RangeEmployerCity
Appraiser $104,038 to $150,703 per yearUS Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal HousingSan Francisco
Appraiser (II)$5,112 to $6,241 per monthCounty of NevadaNevada City
Appraiser – Unlicensed$41,282 /yearAmerican AgCreditTurlock (Hybrid remote)
Assistant Property Appraiser (Board of Equalization)$4,936 to $6,181 per monthCalifornia Pubic Utilities CommissionSacramento County
Appraiser II$67,246 to $90,522/yearCounty of OrangeOrange
Auditor-Appraiser$44,658 to $59,842 per yearButte CountyChico
Auditor-Appraiser IV$6,659 to $8,094 /monthSan Joaquin CountyStockton
Senior Commercial Real Estate Appraiser$60,000 to $125,000 per yearIntegra Realty ResourcesIrvine
Certified General Appraiser$80,000 to $120,000 per yearValbridge Property AdvisorsSan Luis Obispo
Residential Staff Appraiser $54,000 to $140,000 per yearThe Property Sciences Group Inc.Los Angeles County

Video Summary of Real Estate Appraisers Income in California

Here are more incredible resources to learn about the California real estate appraisal career!

This article is part of the “California Real Estate Appraiser Career Series.” If you want to know more about being a real estate appraiser in California, the following articles would be helpful to you: 

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in the real estate appraiser profession. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. McKissock is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

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. Some of the posts on this site may contain views and opinions from individual not related to JCHQ Publishing. They do not reflect our view or position.

Reference:

  • ZipRecruiter (May 2022)
    • Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Salary in California (source)
    • Residential Real Estate Appraiser Salary in California (source)
    • Real Estate Appraiser Salary in California (source)
    • Appraiser Trainee Salary in California (source)
  • Salary.com (April 26, 2022)
    • Appraiser (Commercial Real Estate) Salary in California (source)
    • Appraiser (Residential Real Estate) Salary in California (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Property Appraiser and Assessors (source)
  • HomeAdvisor – How Much Does A Home Appraisal Cost? (source)
  • RedFin – California Housing Market (source)
  • Indeed – Real Estate Appraiser California (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate (Source)

Author

  • 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.

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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