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How to Become a Tax Assessor

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Tax assessors determine the amount of property tax to be paid for a particular piece of real estate. They are typically employed by state and local governments and must be knowledgeable of tax laws and the areas in which they work. Certification and other requirements for tax assessors vary by state.

General Education Requirements

Aspiring tax assessors should obtain at least an associate’s degree in a finance related field, though some municipalities require only a high school diploma and relevant professional experience. At any education level, tax assessors can greatly benefit from courses in real estate law, finance and economics. Job applicants should also hone their organizational skills, as they are expected to be familiar with entire communities and tax structure.

Certification and Training

While there are no federal certification standards for tax assessors, some states require certification similar to that of real estate appraisers but with a focus on property tax administration. Those seeking tax assessor jobs can obtain certification from programs like the International Association of Assessing Officers, which offers a designation for tax assessors that requires applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. New tax assessors can seek employment in an existing assessor’s office, which typically provides training on the job.

2016 Salary Information for Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

Appraisers and assessors of real estate earned a median annual salary of $51,850 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, appraisers and assessors of real estate earned a 25th percentile salary of $37,490, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $73,080, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 80,800 people were employed in the U.S. as appraisers and assessors of real estate.


About the Author

Olivia Johnson covers issues relating to the U.S. workforce and human resources. A professional journalist since 2001, she has worked in print and broadcast media for news outlets including ABC affiliates in Tennessee and Alabama, CBS Radio News, Westwood One and public radio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and is currently based in Tennessee.

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