Along with brokers and builders, appraisers play an important role when it comes to residential real estate. They're counted on to correctly appraise and value homes. Mortgage lenders, for example, won't approve applications from borrowers until a home appraisal is conducted by a licensed or certified appraiser. For their work, home appraisers earn relatively good incomes, although their salaries may depend on regional and other factors.
In addition to work they perform on behalf of mortgage lenders, home appraisers also evaluate properties at the request of homeowners. Of course, a home appraiser must be paid for services performed, and many do in fact make decent incomes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that appraisers and assessors of real estate earned median salaries of $51,030 a year, as of 2013. Home appraiser salaries are frequently higher or lower than the median, however.
How much a home appraiser earns depends on a number of factors, including experience and particular employer. The majority of real estate appraisers across the country earned between $26,510 and $90,030 annually, according to 2013 BLS reports. Appraisers working specifically in real estate and not for government agencies earned median salaries of $60,370 a year. Although many appraisers can be found working for government agencies, these professionals earned nearly $10,000 less per year than their private sector counterparts.
BLS data demonstrates that location affects a real estate appraiser's earnings. New York metropolitan area appraisers, for instance, earn an average of $77,000 per year, as of 2013. At $76,650 annually, Los Angeles area appraisers earn nearly what their New York peers are paid. Atlanta real estate appraisers, though, tend to make much less than those in New York or Los Angeles, bringing in $47,410 in 2013. Appraisers in the Chicago area also did better than those in Atlanta, earning $58,690 a year.
Becoming a Home Appraiser
Home appraisers must be either licensed or certified, but educational and experience requirements vary widely. Some states require real estate appraisers to attend approved vocational or educational certification courses, while others require education plus a licensing test. In some cases, residential or home appraisers must have an associate's or even a bachelor's degree before they can work. The BLS says job growth for real estate appraisers and assessors from 2012 to 2022 is expected to be 6 percent, a slower than the average rate for all jobs.