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Getting Your Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Live or Online?

by Administrator on May 24, 2019 Appraiser Education 783 Views

If you have taken hundreds and hundreds of hours of often useless continuing education  courses that have been required to sustain your appraisal or real estate license over the past several years you may have concluded, like me, that much of your precious time has been wasted.

Like all education there is the lofty idea that keeping appraisers and agents in course will prepare them for procedural and process changes.  The problem is that there are few if any changes that happen in the real estate field in a 2-year period.  Like the real estate law field there are relatively few appraisal-related changes that occur in any 2-year period.  So why is there the incessant 30 hours of continuing education required?

It’s my opinion that like many other things in the real estate industry continuing education has become an industry that makes millions of dollars for schools and educators with no other purpose than to sustain itself.  You have to ask yourself “how many appraisers are committing major crimes or are inept doing their jobs after taking hundreds of hours of required licensing education and thousands of hours of required work as interns?”

What are the costs of continuing education to real property appraisers (30 hours every 2 years) and real estate agents (24 hours every 2 years)?  Beyond the thousands of lost hours in classrooms or online, CEU units in Nevada cost about $ 15 per CEU hour to $ 40 per CEU hour.  Real estate agents, who I guess need less quality education and a lesser amount of education, pay only about $ 5 per CEU hour to $ 25 per CEU hour.  If you pay a school for an educational “package” you can usually get the lowest per unit rate. 

I have found that there is little difference in the cost per CEU unit of appraiser CEU’s that are offered live versus those that are offered online.  In my market there are not that many live offerings, so it’s more difficult to get live classes than online ones.  There are many more live real estate agent CEU’s offered locally (live) and thus they are often discounted.  

It’s my opinion, based on anecdotal evidence, that older appraisers and agents prefer live classes while younger ones prefer online courses.  Some online courses are well written and a pleasure to take while other courses are poorly written and extremely painful to complete.  Someone should do appraisers and agents a favor and review online courses.  it’s painful to find out that you just paid for one or more courses that are so painful to complete that you decide to walk away from your money rather that wrestle with them for hours and hours.

Agents in Nevada are forced to take half of their 24 hour CEU requirement via live classes.  Why?  It’s because we have to support our local real estate schools of course.  No benefit to the agent there.

Live classes require that you travel and that may be a difficult task if you live in an outlying area.  Having to spend hours listening to someone present something that you are not interested in to meet a “requirement” can also be very boring.  In Nevada some agent courses are monitored so closely that you cannot even open your computer because you may not be doing something that the instructor approves of.  It sounds a lot like grade school.  This is the state of professional continuing appraisal and agent education for practicing real estate agents and appraisers?

When you have taken CEU’s continuously since appraiser licensing began in 1991, or about 28 years, you discover that there really are not a great many choices.  There are various versions of courses with the same topic.  How many times can you take an income approach or sales approach class?  Many of the courses offered have little or no application to what I’m doing.  Does anyone care?  Not really, if I work doing commercial appraiser for example I could take all residential classes.  It would drive me crazy but there are no requirements that I take my CEU’s relating to my area of practice.  So you have to ask why?  So, why are so many CEU’s required for appraisers and agents year after year?  In Nevada most of the appraisal hours are electives so they may or may not have anything to do with what I am doing.  Now you know the answer, it’s “just because we can require them.”

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, IFAS, ASA who is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based broker and appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (, or, 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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