How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Texas

inside a home in Texas

So, you want to become a real estate appraiser. Perhaps you’ve been in the real estate industry for a while, and you’ve decided to take your career in a different direction. Or maybe real estate is a brand new field for you. Either way, here is some important information on real estate appraisal in Texas that you’ll want to know.

What Does an Appraiser Do?

An appraiser's job is to supply impartial and unbiased information in order to estimate the value of a property. Each appraiser has to have the ability to analyze information from multiple sources and use sound judgment to determine the worth of a property. To be an appraiser, you need:

  • Strong analytical skills 

  • The ability to observe and assess market trends 

  • The ability to separate opinion from fact 

Beyond these skills, an appraiser also needs to obtain an appraisal license. A licensed real estate agent cannot perform an appraisal unless they are also a licensed appraiser.

Here are specific steps in the appraisal process:



Meet TALCB and USPAP

Appraisers in Texas are regulated by the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (TALCB). Once an individual gets their application to be an appraiser approved, they will become an Appraiser Trainee. Their supervisor is required to sign off on all of the appraisal reports they do. 

Besides TALCB, anyone interested in appraisal should know about the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). This is the ethical code that appraisers in the United States must follow. All state-certified, practicing appraisers must follow these guidelines.

Appraiser Levels

There are three different levels of appraiser that a trainee can aspire to attain:

  • Licensed Residential Appraiser

  • Certified Residential Appraiser

  • Certified General Appraiser

No matter the level of appraisal the trainee aspires to, they will need to take four courses:

  • Appraisal 1: Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours)

  • Appraisal 2: Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours)

  • USPAP: Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (15 hours)

  • Texas Appraising for the Supervisor and Trainee (4 hours)

This base education requirement adds up to 79 hours.


Licensed Residential Appraiser 

A licensed residential appraiser cannot appraise subdivisions, but they are qualified to appraise:

  • One-to-four family non-complex residential units where the transactions are valued at less than $1,000,000

  • One-to-four family residential complex units having a transaction value of less than $250,000

Note: In this context, "complex" has nothing to do with an apartment complex. Units are deemed "complex" if they involve atypical factors (such as age, size, use, or environmental hazards) that are significantly different from surrounding properties.

To become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, an Appraiser Trainee needs:

  • 75 additional education hours on top of the 79 they’ve already taken

  • To verify that their USPAP course was taken after Feb. 1, 2002

  • 2,000 hours of experience logged over a minimum of one year 

  • Either an Associate’s Degree or 30 course credit hours from an accredited college or university

Certified Residential Appraiser

After Licensed Residential Appraiser, the next level is Certified Residential Appraiser. This kind of appraiser can participate in one-to-four residential unit transactions, no matter the value.

For this level, the Appraiser Trainee will need:

  • 125 hours of education on top of the 79 hours they’ve already taken 

  • To verify that their USPAP course was taken after Feb. 1, 2002

  • 2,500 hours of experience logged over a minimum of two years

  • A Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university

Certified General Appraiser

A Certified General Appraiser can appraise any kind of property, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. To progress from Appraiser Trainee to Certified General Appraiser, there’s a big jump in what a trainee needs to accomplish. This is the top tier of appraisers, after all. For this level, the Appraiser Trainee will need:

  • 225 hours of education on top of the 79 hours they’ve already taken

  • To verify that their USPAP course was taken after Feb. 1, 2002

  • 3,000 hours of experience logged over a minimum period of two and a half years (30 months) and half of these hours (1,500) need to be concerning nonresidential real property

  • A Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university

The Appraisal Exam

Once a trainee completes the requirements for the level of appraiser they want to become, they’ll have to take the state appraiser test before they can become an appraiser. An appraiser trainee who has met all their requirements will be notified about their ability to sit for the state exam

Once they pass that test, they will be a full-fledged appraiser! 

Interested in Other Aspects of Real Estate?

Maybe you’re still exploring which real estate path you want to take. Learn more about how to get a Texas real estate license here!

Learn more about real estate licensing and get exclusive offers