Certified Residential Appraiser vs. Licensed Appraiser

In 1990, a new law was passed requiring state certification of real estate appraisers. The Appraisal Foundation sets the minimum requirements for the amount of education and experience required for appraisers, and these do vary from state to state.


Types of Licenses

There are four types of appraisal licenses. In order, from low to high, in terms of required education and experience they are: registered/assistant, licensed, certified residential and certified general.


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At a minimum, a licensed appraiser must have 150 hours of appraisal courses, while a certified residential appraiser must have at least 200 hours of appraisal courses and at least an associate's degree. According The Appraisal Foundation, 21 semester hours in composition, economics, finance, math, business or real estate law, statistics and computer science can be substituted for the degree. Each must include in their real estate appraisal education 15 hours of National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice coursework.


Continuing Education

The required continuing education for each of the appraisal licenses is 42 hours every three years, and USPAP update every two years. USPAP hours are counted toward the 42-hour requirement.



A licensed appraiser must have at least 2,000 experience hours earned in no less than 12 months. A certified residential appraiser must have 2,500 experiences hours earned in no fewer than 24 months.


Scope of Work

Typically, a licensed appraiser is permitted to undertake uncomplicated residential--single family up to fourplexes--appraisals with a maximum value of $1 million. A certified residential appraiser can take on any 1-4 unit residential appraisals for which the appraiser is competent, and there is no cap on property value.