A certified general appraiser is the highest level of licensing. He or she is able to appraise all types of property – residential or commercial – with no value limit. Typically, these appraisers will spend the majority of their time appraising commercial properties. The type of appraisal could vary from a small, one-story office building valued at $250,000 to a high-rise apartment building with a value of $20,000,000.
For most states, the main differences between a certified appraiser and certified general appraiser are many additional hours of coursework and 1,500 of commercial appraising (non-residential) experience under a certified general appraiser, and a bachelor’s degree. Commercial appraisals are much more complex and time consuming and require far more research. There is far less margin of error. The intended user of the appraisal may be basing a significant business decision on the outcome and an erroneous appraisal could result in a loss of millions of dollars. As a result, the requirements to become a certified general appraiser are more stringent.
As a certified general appraiser, you will typically work in a small to medium sized firm devoted to commercial work. You may but rarely will complete residential assignments. But if you do decide to complete residential appraisals you can (just like licensed or certified appraisers) do work for local and national clients devoted to residential transactions.
Per the AQB, the minimum requirements to become a certified general appraiser are 300 hours of qualifying education, 3,000 hours of field experience in no fewer than 30 months; at least 1,500 hours in non-residential and a Bachelor’s degree or higher. However, some states may have additional requirements.
Curious about becoming an appraiser? Join an appraiser on real appraisal inspections in our video series!