Whether you want to own your own business, have more control over your income, or have a flexible schedule, becoming a real estate appraiser is a great option. Even better, it’s an available option to almost everyone as it’s not prohibitively expensive to get started and most states don’t require a college degree to become an appraiser. If you’re living in the Lone Star state, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to become a Texas real estate appraiser.
Want to learn more about how much you may earn as an appraiser depending on your location, license level, and other factors? Download our free 2023 Appraisal Salary Guide.
What does a Texas real estate appraiser do?
Before we dive into becoming an appraiser in Texas, let’s look at what one is and what they do. Basically, an appraiser determines the current fair market value of a property. This is primarily used for a potential buyer or for a homeowner seeking to refinance their mortgage, though appraisers are also needed to determine a property’s value during estate planning, a divorce settlement, or a tax assessment.
An appraiser determines the value of the property by performing a comprehensive on-site inspection, including the condition of the interior and exterior, amenities, lot size, property square footage, and other property-specific details. However, the on-site inspection is only a portion of the project. An appraiser also conducts research into the current real estate market and comparable local properties to provide the most accurate value. Once they have their on-site inspection and off-site research complete, they’ll use the information to draft their appraisal report.
Why become an appraiser in Texas?
As we mentioned above, becoming a real estate appraiser gives you the opportunity to own your own business, have greater control over your income, and set a schedule that works best for you. Texas appraisers have a distinct advantage over appraisers in other states because the housing market is stronger and more stable than it is in most other locations which means there’s a continued demand. While this is especially true in cities like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, even areas with lower populations have a need for real estate appraisers.
But what about when the housing market slows down? Is an appraiser’s business still secure? Typically, yes. You can offer ancillary services, such as tax assessment, expert witness testimony, and property data collection, upgrade your appraisal license to work on commercial properties or multi-unit dwellings, or focus on a niche, such as sustainable homes, farms, or even luxury homes.
How much do appraisers make in Texas?
While the average salary for an appraiser in Texas is around $76,000 per year¹, a real estate appraiser’s income is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
- License level: Trainee Appraisers, Licensed Residential Appraisers, Certified Residential Appraisers, and Certified General Appraisers all have different average salaries, increasing with higher licensing levels.
- Location: Appraisers in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and other higher cost-of-living areas tend to have a higher income than appraisers in rural or lower COL areas in the state.
- Experience: Even with the same license level, an appraiser who has been on the job longer tends to make more than one just starting out as the experienced appraiser may have more connections and has had time to build their business.
- Self-employment or working as an appraiser for a company
In Texas, Trainee Appraisers have an average salary of around $45,441², but upgrading to a Licensed Residential Appraiser brings a significant increase. So, just like in most fields, the more experience and the higher your certification, the more you can expect to earn.
How to become an appraiser in Texas
The first step to becoming an appraiser in Texas is to be an Appraiser Trainee. During this stage, you’re learning how to evaluate properties, conduct research, and write reports. The requirements are:
- Complete 75 hours of Qualifying Education
- Complete a 4-hour Appraiser Trainee/Supervisory Appraiser Course
- Choose a supervisory appraiser who will provide diligent supervision over all appraisal work
- Pass a background check with the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (TALCB)
Once you’ve met these requirements, you can submit your application to become an Appraiser Trainee online or through the mail to TALCB. Once you receive your trainee credentials, you can begin working with your supervisor and earning an income as an appraiser.
How long does it take to become a real estate appraiser in Texas?
Getting started as a Trainee Appraiser is a fairly quick process, especially compared to other career paths. The qualifying education totals 79 hours, but if you take a self-paced class, you can complete that on the timeline that works best for you. Once it’s completed and you have a supervisory appraiser, you just need to wait for the background check to process, which usually only takes about a week, though it can vary. Then TALCB processes your application and sends you your trainee license when approved.
Take the first step to become a Texas real estate appraiser
If you’re ready to become a real estate appraiser in Texas, McKissock is with you every step of the way! We offer convenient, comprehensive Qualifying Education for appraisers in Texas that meet TALCB requirements and help you prepare for your career. And when you’re ready to upgrade your license, we have the classes, exam prep, and more to keep you on track to meet your career goals.
Have questions? McKissock’s Education Specialists can help you understand all of the requirements you need to meet to become a real estate appraiser in Texas. Call us at 877.204.1039.