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How Valuable is an Appraisal Education?

by Administrator on Sep 20, 2017 Appraiser Education 715 Views

If you are getting the basic educational hours for an internship or intern license in Nevada without having found someone who is willing to take you as an intern then I would say that your money may not have been well spent.  It's not because the information isn't useful, it's just that I get many phone calls from individuals searching out an appraiser who is willing to take them as an intern, and it's a relatively small group of people who are willing to take new people.  When you have gone through the list of practicing appraisers as a student intern you may find that there is absolutely no one who is looking to add an intern when you make your calls. 

I think that individuals who take the appraiser intern course should have prior acceptance by a real estate appraisal firm before they can enroll.  Many of the individuals who take the course now have no way to benefit from it.  The chance of employment as an agent after your required education is 100%, but your chance of gaining employment as an appraisal intern may be 25% or less if you don't have an employer before you enroll.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, I'm just trying to be practical.  If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars and even a week in class you should know that you have somewhere to go as an intern when you are done.  Make your contacts before you spend the money and time.  The real estate appraisal industry is nothing like the real estate salesperson industry.  Brokers take on many salespeople, some firms don't care if they are productive, and they charge fees just for "hanging" a sales license. 

Appraisers generally don't charge interns a monthly fee, but they expect them to be productive.  If you can't be productive as an appraiser you don't have any value to a firm.  It's a chicken and egg thing.  You can't be productive without doing the work but you can't learn to do the work if you can't convince someone that you are productive.  There's nothing worse for an appraisal office than dedicating a computer, internet access, a desk, an office area, a forms program, printer, and on and on to someone who sits and stares at the screen because they have no idea what they are doing.

If you secure an intern position and you continue on with your appraisal education much of the coursework I have seen is beneficial.  It's a lot of material but for individuals who have no real estate background its important.  For those who have been real estate agents much of may be review.

While it's hard to believe that there are people out there who haven't picked up computer skills I can tell you that there are.  If you want to be a real estate salesperson you may be able to get around having to deal with computers, but I doubt it. If you want to land in the appraisal field you will definitely have to have to be comfortable using computers.  You don't need advanced mathematics in the appraisal business but you do need to be strong in your basic math skills.

Experience is just as important as education for appraiser trainees, that's one of the reasons why Nevada licensing requires that an appraisal interns spend a fixed amount of time actually doing the work and not just taking educational classes.  If you are managing an appraisal office you want to hear that the person trying to get hired can already do the job not that he just needs another 6 months occupying space to become proficient. 

Appraiser education is a requirement of licensing and for many an Important part of an internship.  Internship education is however often a cost that cannot be recovered by those who want to be appraisers but who can't find sponsors.  In those situations it has no value.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at

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