California Appraiser & License Information

LICENSE LEVEL BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS*
Trainee (AT) 150 hours, including a 15-Hour National USPAP Course.
→ Trainee applicants must also complete an approved Supervisory/Trainee Appraisers course prior to obtaining a Trainee Appraiser license. The Supervisory/Trainee Appraisers course is not eligible towards the 150 hours of qualifying education.
NOTE: Course work for the Trainee level license taken more than 5 years prior to the application date is not acceptable.
Residential (AL) 150 hours, including a 15-Hour National USPAP Course; and 30 semester units of college-level education, ORan Associate’s degree or higher (in any field).
Certified Residential (AR) 200 hours, including a 15-Hour National USPAP Course and a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Certified General (AG) 300 hours, including a 15-Hour National USPAP Course and a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.

*Degrees and college credit must be from an accredited college or university.

License Requirements:

BREA License Levels Education Requirements* Experience Requirements Scope of Practice
Trainee (AT) 150 hours, covering specific modules including the 15-hour National USPAP Course (or its equivalent as determined by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB). Trainee applicants must also complete an approved Supervisory/ Trainee Appraisers course prior to obtaining a Trainee Appraiser license. All initial applicants must complete an approved state and federal laws course prior to obtaining a license. None Any property which the supervising appraiser is permitted to appraise.
Residential (AL) 150 hours, covering specific modules including the 15-hour National USPAP Course (or its equivalent as determined by the AQB); and 30 semester units of college-level education, OR an Associate’s degree or higher (in any field). All initial applicants must complete an approved state and federal laws course prior to obtaining a license. 2,000 hours and encompassing no less than 12 months of acceptable appraisal experience. Any non-complex 1-4 family property with a transaction value up to $1 million; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000.
Certified Residential (AR) 200 hours, covering specific modules, including the 15-hour National USPAP Course; and a Bachelor’s degree or higher. All initial applicants must complete an approved state and federal laws course prior to obtaining a license. 2,500 hours and encompassing no less than 2.5 years (30 months) of acceptable appraisal experience. Any 1-4 family property without regard to transaction value or complexity; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000.
Certified General (AG) 300 hours, covering specific modules, including the 15-hour National USPAP Course; and a Bachelor’s degree or higher. All initial applicants must complete an approved state and federal laws course prior to obtaining a license. 3,000 hours and encompassing no less than 2.5 years (30 months) of acceptable appraisal experience, of which 1,500 hours must be non-residential. All real estate without regard to transaction value or complexity.

Basic Education Requirements to Upgrade a License

The following education is required to upgrade a license to a higher classification (see Handbook section above regarding 2015 changes).

Trainee Licensees Upgrading to: Residential Licensees Upgrading to: Certified Residential Licensees Upgrading to:
Residential License Certified Residential License Certified General License Certified Residential License Certified General License Certified General
License
Evidence of Education or a Degree from an accredited college or university required: 30 semester units of college-level education, OR an Associate’s degree or higher Bachelor’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree
Additional hours of acceptable education required:

 

Must include at a minimum the following modules:

75 hours 125 hours 225 hours 50 hours 150 hours 100 hours
Residential Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 15 hours 15 hours
Residential Appraisal Site Valuation and Cost Approach 15 hours 15 hours
Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches 30 hours 30 hours
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies 15 hours 15 hours
Statistics, Modeling and Finance 15 hours 15 hours 15 hours 15 hours
Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies 15 hours 15 hours
Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 20 hours 20 hours
General Appraiser Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 30 hours 15 hours 15 hours
General Appraiser Sales Comparison Approach 30 hours 15 hours 15 hours
General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach 30 hours 15 hours 15 hours
General Appraiser Income Approach 60 hours 45 hours 45 hours
General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies 30 hours 15 hours 10 hours
Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 30 hours 30 hours

Work Experience Requirements

BREA may grant credit toward meeting the minimum appraisal work experience requirements in the categories shown below. Acceptable experience must, at a minimum, meet the criteria listed after each category shown below and in all cases MUST comply with USPAP.

NOTE: The Applicant must have performed claimed work experience for a business purpose (mock appraisal experience is ineligible). The Applicant may also gain work experience through case studies and practicum courses that are approved by the AQB Course Approval Program. However, case studies and practicum courses cannot be credited for more than 50% of the total experience requirement.

Restricted Appraisal Reports and Restricted Use Appraisal Reports are not eligible for experience credit. To be acceptable for experience credit the applicant must be either:

  • A signing appraiser; or
  • Identified by name (and BREA license number, if licensed) with the extent of the real property appraisal assistance clearly and conspicuously described in the report.

State law requires that the Applicant make documentation of work experience available to BREA upon request. Work samples are one such form of documentation. Each work sample must be an exact, non-redacted copy of the completed appraisal report(s) submitted to the client(s) for a business purpose.

Categories of Experience

Category 1. Fee and Staff Appraisal

A real property appraisal prepared for a business purpose shall:

  • Be a written document
  • Use the entire appraisal process
  • Use all appraisal methods (market, cost, income) customarily used for a particular property type (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.)
  • Include analysis completed by the applicant
  • Conform to USPAP

NOTE: Category 1 experience requires applicants to have effectively completed 100% of the appraisal process (under the guidance of a supervisory appraiser, if applicable).

Category 2. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal – Non-California tax appraisal experience only. See Category 9 for California tax appraisal experience.

A real property appraisal prepared by an appraiser to estimate a value that is used for property tax purposes:

Appraisal

Experience in this category shall:

  • Be a written document
  • Use the entire appraisal process
  • Conform to USPAP

Mass Appraisal

Experience in this category shall:

  • Use highest and best use analysis, model specification (developing the model), and model calibration (developing adjustments to the model)
  • Conform to USPAP

NOTE: Other components of the mass appraisal process, by themselves, are not eligible for experience credit.

This category is limited to appraisals performed as an employee or agent of a County Assessor’s office in another state, or the other state’s equivalent of the California Board of Equalization.

All applicants for Category 2 experience must document their work experience on the Log of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) and the Experience Log Summary (REA 3003) forms. Reports listed on the Log of Appraisal Experience must be available for release to the BREA for verification of work experience.

Category 3. Review Appraisal

A Field or Desk Review

Experience in this category shall:

  • Be limited to a maximum of 400 hours towards meeting the minimum experience hours required, but only after obtaining 1,600 hours of acceptable experience in other categories.
  • Not contain more than 50% of the hours in the performance of desk reviews.
  • Be a written document separate from the appraisal itself.
  • Not be a review of an applicant’s own appraisal.
  • Require the review appraiser to form an opinion as to whether the analyses, opinions and conclusions in the appraisal report under review are appropriate and reasonable, as opposed to work performed by clients and users of appraisal services as a due diligence function in the context of making a business decision, such as underwriting, buying or selling.
  • Conform to USPAP.

Category 4. Appraisal Analysis; Category 5. Real Estate Consulting (NOTE: “Real Estate Consulting” does not include consulting done by a real estate broker or real estate salesperson to help a client determine list price or how much they should offer in purchasing property); Category 6. Highest and Best Use Analysis; and Category 7. Feasibility Analysis and Study – Are not acceptable for reports completed after January 1, 2014.

Experience in Categories 4-7 shall:

  • Be a written document
  • Conform to USPAP.

Category 8. Teaching of Appraisal Courses – No longer eligible for experience credit.

Category 9. Setting Forth Opinions of Value of Real Property for Tax Purposes – This category is limited to appraisals performed as an employee or agent of a County Assessor’s Office or of the California State Board of Equalization.

Experience as an employee of a California County Assessor’s Office or the California Board of Equalization in setting forth opinions of value of real property for tax purposes may be counted towards work experience.

Appraisal experience in this category shall:

  • Be a written document
  • Use the entire appraisal process
  • Conform to USPAP

Mass Appraisal

Experience in this category shall:

  • Use highest and best use analysis, model specification (developing the model), and model calibration (developing adjustments to the model); and
  • Conform to USPAP.

NOTE: Other components of the mass appraisal process, by themselves, are not eligible for experience credit.

All applicants for Category 9 experience must document their work experience on the Log of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) and Experience Log Summary (REA 3003) forms. Reports listed on the Log of Appraisal Experience must be available for release to the BREA for verification of work experience.

Category 10. Assisting in the Preparation of Appraisals

Experience in this category shall:

  • Be limited to a maximum of 400 hours towards meeting the experience requirements.
  • Be a written document.
  • Effectively use the appraisal process performing market research, data analysis and applying the appropriate appraisal techniques.
  • Conform to all applicable USPAP standards, state laws and BREA regulations.

NOTE: Category 10 experience requires applicants to have effectively completed at least 75% of the appraisal process under the guidance of a supervisory appraiser. The work experience must go beyond such tasks as taking photographs, typing the report, or other non-analytical duties. Applicants must be identified by name (and BREA license number, if licensed) with the extent of the real property appraisal assistance clearly and conspicuously described in the report.

Category 11. Real Estate Valuation Experience as a Real Estate Lending Officer or Real Estate Broker

Appraisal – Same requirements as Category 1.

Review of Appraisals – Same requirements as Category 3.

Practicum Courses

Effective January 1, 2008, applicants may gain up to 50% of the experience requirements through case studies and practicum courses that are approved by the AQB Course Approval Program.

NOTE: No practicum courses are approved at this time.

Documenting Experience

Applicants for a Residential License, Certified Residential License or Certified General License must document their experience on the Log of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) and the Experience Log Summary (REA 3003) and shall include all of the following:

  • Document appraisal assignments on the officialLog of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004). BREA will not accept other formats.
  • Follow the Directions of theLog of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) current as of the date the application is submitted.
  • Include signed Certification(s) from theLog of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) current as of the date the certification is signed.

Work Samples

BREA will select and review work samples from the Log of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) to verify applicants have met the experience requirement. Each work sample requested by BREA must be an exact, non-redacted copy of the report delivered to the client, and in full conformance with USPAP requirements. If any of the work samples are found not to conform to any portion of USPAP, BREA may reject the experience claimed and deny the application. BREA reserves the right to require the submission of additional samples and/or complete work files.

Unacceptable Appraisal Reports

Appraisal reports that do not comply with USPAP and/or Restricted Appraisal Report and Restricted Use Appraisal Reports are not eligible for experience credit.

Earning Acceptable Experience as a Trainee

General

To earn acceptable hours of experience, a Trainee licensee must work under the direct technical supervision of a Certified Residential or Certified General licensed appraiser in good standing who meets the Supervisory Appraiser criteria outlined in Changes Effective 2015 section of handbook. The supervisor must be licensed at the appropriate level for the type of property being appraised. “Technical supervision” does not mean that the Trainee is required to be an employee of the supervising appraiser, but must receive direct supervision in the duties performed as an appraiser. In addition, a Trainee may work for more than one supervisor. The Trainee must either:

  • Sign the appraisal report as the appraiser; or
  • Be identified by name and BREA license number with the extent of the real property appraisal assistance clearly and conspicuously described in the report.

NOTE: A maximum of 400 hours of Category 10 experience may be credited toward meeting the minimum experience requirements.

In addition, work experience and the appraisal report must fully conform to both the requirements of USPAP and Title 10, Chapter 6.5, California Code of Regulations (commencing with Section 3500).

Trainee’s Duties

Trainees must:

  • Maintain custody of the work file, or make appropriate work file retention, access and retrieval arrangements with the party having custody of the work file in accordance with the Record Keeping section of the Ethics Rule of USPAP. Since BREA will examine work samples when a Trainee wishes to upgrade his or her license, all appraisals included on the log must be available for review by BREA regardless of USPAP minimum retention requirements; and
  • Maintain an appraisal log. A separateLog of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) must be maintained for each supervising appraiser.

Supervisor’s Duties

The supervising appraiser must do all of the following:

  • Personally inspect the property with the Trainee until the supervisor determines the Trainee is competent to make unsupervised inspections, in accordance with the Competency Rule of USPAP for the type of property being appraised.
  • Review the Trainee’s appraisal report.
  • Accept responsibility for the appraisal report by signing and certifying that the report is in compliance with USPAP.
  • Review and initial each page of the Trainee’s appraisal log to verify that the work was completed under his/her supervision.
  • Sign the certification of theLog of Appraisal Experience (REA 3004) current as of the date the certification was signed.
  • Maintain records of the appraisals in accordance with USPAP.
  • Include trainee’s name and BREA license number (if licensed) and identification of assistance in appraisal report.

NOTE: Supervising appraisers must be licensed at the Certified Residential or Certified General Level and have no more than three trainees under their supervision.

Obtaining Experience Without a License

An individual who is unlicensed may obtain appraisal experience in any of the following ways:

  1. By providing “significant real property appraisal assistance” to a licensed appraiser and properly identifying the assistance in the appraisal report. If unlicensed individuals perform at least 75% of the professional appraisal work and the appraisal conforms to USPAP with the unlicensed individual identified by name with the extent of the real property appraisal assistance clearly and conspicuously described in the report, the experience can qualify under Category 10 (Assistance in the Preparation of Appraisals), up to a maximum of 400 hours.
  2. By performing the entire appraisal process under the direct technical supervision of a Certified Residential or Certified General licensed appraiser in good standing. The final conclusion to value is made by and the appraisal is signed by the supervising appraiser, with the unlicensed individual identified by name with the extent of the real property appraisal assistance clearly and conspicuously described in the report. If the unlicensed individual performs all appraisal methods customarily used for the assignment and the appraisal conforms to USPAP, the experience can qualify under Category 1 (Fee and Staff Appraisal).
  3. By performing appraisals in non-federally related transactions. If the appraisals were performed for a business purpose and conform to USPAP, the experience can qualify under Category 1.

NOTE: Individuals unlicensed in California may not sign appraisals in federally related transactions, even if co-signed by a licensed California appraiser.

Useful Links:

  • California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers Licensing Handbook: http://brea.ca.gov/html/Lic_Hdbk.html#eee
  • Bureau of Real Estate
    1651 Exposition Blvd.
    Sacramento, California 95815
    Telephone: (916) 263-8704
    Fax: (916) 263-8943
    bre.ca.gov
  • The Appraisal Foundation
    1155 15thStreet, NW, Suite 1111
    Washington, DC 20005
    Telephone: (202) 347-7722
    Fax: (202) 347-7727
    appraisalfoundation.org
  • Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)
    1155 15thStreet, NW, Suite 1111
    Washington, DC 20005
    Telephone: (202) 347-7722
    Fax: (202) 347-7727
    appraisalfoundation.org
  • Appraisal Standards Board
    1155 15thStreet, NW, Suite 1111
    Washington, DC 20005
    Telephone: (202) 347-7722
    Fax: (202) 347-7727
    appraisalfoundation.org
  • International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC)   
    Post Office Box 230159
    Montgomery, Alabama 36123-0159
    Telephone: (334) 260-2928
    Fax: (334) 260-2903
    idecc.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This information may change or be updated at any time by the BREA. We do not certify that the information found here is current. View BREA.ca.gov for complete guidelines.