The Current Problems with Hiring a Trainee Appraiser

Appraiser publications across the country are lamenting the fact that the appraisal industry has lost many of the professionals in just a few years. Furthermore, a large percentage of those professionals still left are very close to retirement. Why are appraisal firms not hiring and training appraisers to replace these jobs?

Prior to HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct), hiring a trainee appraiser and raising him up through the ranks could be a lucrative option, if the appraisal firm did it correctly. An appraiser trainee could be a valuable asset for an appraisal firm who is turning down business. Having a trainee can benefit your company in many ways as well as train the next generation of Appraisers. Within a period of time, a trainee can inspect properties and be trusted with a portion of the process.

It can be beneficial only if the appraisal business owner can have the trainee perform functions which the supervisor manages with the trainee to insure the work meets quality standards.  If a trusted trainee could be sent to inspect a property alone or even in with the Supervisor, then work on the report with the Supervisor, more work could be done in less time. The trainee gets paid for their efforts and earns experience and log hours for their licensure, and the company can be more profitable as well. So, this is a win-win situation.

Certainly, trust and credibility are issues, but the following are some prominent issues that you might face here:

  • Was the inspection done in a professional and thorough manner?
  • Was the appraisal and report completed accurately?
  • Was the process adhering to all laws, USPAP, and quality standards?

The supervisor is required to co-sign the report and take the ultimate responsibility for its quality, compliance to USPAP, and assure the work was completed with integrity and excellence.

Lender work today has made it almost impossible to hire and train an appraiser. Most of the engagement letters that appraisal business owners receive state, “The Certified Appraiser must physically inspect the property, all comparables, and complete the appraisal report. The use of Trainees for this assignment is not allowed.” So, even if you hire a new trainee, he or she is limited in helping your business grow until they are fully certified.

Hiring a trainee can reap long-term benefits for your appraisal business, such as:

  • With the help of a trainee appraiser, you can work on more appraisal projects and can make more money for your business.
  • You do not have to work for late hours, and compromise on personal life. You can share your workload with your trainee, and focus on other imperative business operations.
  • A trainee appraiser can help expand your firm’s expertise. As he/she will most likely develop an interest in a specific area of practice, property type or geographic area, thus increasing your appraisal business’s capabilities.


Hiring and training a trainee appraiser can be problematic only if you do not supervise their work. A supervisory appraiser will be held responsible for trainee appraiser’s work, and therefore, the time the supervisor takes to review the trainee’s work is worth it. With adequate supervision, trainee appraisers may provide a substantial increase in productivity and profitability of your appraisal business.