Should I Become A Real Estate Agent Or Appraiser?

All of us have thought about switching careers at some point. It can become dull to do the same job, over and over again.

Don’t beat yourself up, it happens to everyone. Now that you’re thinking about it, you may as well search for career choices you may like or you may enjoy doing.

More often than not, when people have enough of their job, they start looking into real estate. Real estate is a great, lucrative field – you can earn more than six figures if you truly click with the job.

Of course, there isn’t only one position available in the real estate world. In reality, there are a few different jobs in this branch.

If you’re new at it, you may find yourself lost searching for job descriptions of each and every one position in a real estate brokerage.

You may even ask yourself: should I become a real estate agent or appraiser? Since we researched the topic thoroughly, read our article to find out!

Real Estate Agents – What Do They Do?

Real estate agents’ job description mostly consists of them helping out a client to pick out a property for them, among other things. Realtors help clients buy, sell, or rent a property.

Real estate agents work to find the ideal home for their clients. They use multi-level real estate platforms to list and to find listings of appropriate properties.

Real estate agents don’t earn a fixed salary. In reality, realtors receive a commission for every job they finish successfully. 

So, the more they work, the more they earn. Commission for only one property sold can be large enough that the real estate agent doesn’t have to work for the rest of the month! However, an agent has to work a lot to get to that position. 

There are two types of property a real estate agent can work with – residential and commercial. Residential property is a property made for living in – like houses, apartments, and apartment buildings.

On the other hand, commercial real estate is not meant for living in, it’s meant for businesses. So, commercial properties are office buildings, factories, warehouses, land, etc.

Real estate agents usually choose to work with only one property type. The reason behind that is that it can get rather tricky to keep track of changes in both fields.

It’s a whole different market for residential and commercial property. Changes in the residential market can mean nothing for the commercial market, and vice versa.

However, in small towns, the real estate agent dabbles in both fields. It’s mostly because there aren’t many realtors there, to begin with.

Also, real estate agents can choose to work from home, and it has many benefits. For example, it’s often much cheaper to work from home.

Real estate brokerages require a desk fee to be paid if you want to work in their office. That desk fee can cost a lot of money, so much that it affects the level of your income.

That’s why many agents choose to work from home. The other benefits would be cutting travel costs and flexible hours.

Sure, you show houses and work with clients during typical working hours, but the rest of your work can be done whenever you feel like it. Sounds pretty great, right?

Can a real estate agent also sell insurance? Is there a legal obstacle to doing this? Read our article to find out!

Real Estate Appraisers – What Do They Do?

Rdl Should I Become A Real Estate Agent Or Appraiser

The real estate appraiser’s job may seem similar to the job of agents, but it’s quite different. Real estate appraisers examine the property and estimate the market value.

Their job is to oversee a thorough inspection of the property. Then, use one of the few available methods to correctly calculate the value of the property.

The real estate appraisers do not have to work for anyone. The appraiser can work as an independent contractor, and many choose to do it this way.

But, an appraiser can also work as an employee for lending institutions, appraisal companies, escrow agencies, and government and tax agencies. So there is a variety of workplaces an appraiser can choose from, which is pretty great.

The reason why many appraisers choose to work as independent contractors is because of flexible work hours. You can organize time better, and also, many consider this to be a part-time job or a side hustle. Many appraisers don’t work this job for a living – for them, this is just a good way to earn some extra income.

Real estate appraisers can also work with two different property types – residential and commercial. Of course, residential appraisers are far more popular than commercial.

In fact, many people have only heard of residential appraisers. Almost all people have at least once encountered an appraiser. You must be asking yourself: why?

Because you cannot apply for a loan without an official appraisal report on the property you own or property you want to acquire.

That’s just one of the reasons why a person would need an appraisal. Other popular reasons are for domain purposes, and to calculate the level of taxation. The level of taxation is calculated by appraisers working for government agencies.

There are a few different types of real estate appraisers. Each type has a different license, which varies on the level of education and has certain limits to it.

A trainee appraiser is an entry-level position, which isn’t recognized in every state. Next up, we have a residential appraiser, that cannot appraise homes that are worth over a million dollars if they’re non-complex, and complex property worth under $250,000.

A certified residential appraiser is the level-up, and they can appraise any type of property that is worth under a quarter-million dollars. They also have no restrictions for the complex and non-complex property.

A general appraiser has the license with no limitations when it comes to appraisal. This type of license takes the longest to acquire, but you can appraise any type of property with it!

Should I Become A Real Estate Agent Or Appraiser?

There is no easy answer to this question. The jobs themselves are so different, but we’ll try to put it simply. We cannot decide for you, but we can point to the advantages of both jobs, so you can figure out what suits you better.


  • This is one of the key differences when we’re talking about these two careers. To become a real estate agent, it can be done in just a few weeks!
  • The coursework hours are never over 100 hours. All you need is to pass an exam after completing coursework, and that’s that! All you need is a high school diploma to start – but it varies from state to state.
  • On the other hand, it takes at least 6 months to become a residential appraiser. It takes at least 100 of coursework and 15 hours of US-mandated coursework, and 1,000 hours of experience. 
  • And that’s just to become a residential appraiser! To become a general appraiser, the whole process takes around three years! Also, to become an appraiser you have to earn a bachelor’s degree first.


  • When a real estate agent does their job for a client, they cannot be objective. The agent has to work to protect their client’s best interests.
  • On the other hand, a real estate appraiser has to remain fully objective while they’re doing their job. They shouldn’t work to protect anyone’s interests, the appraiser just has to do their job correctly and to do it well.

Career Possibilities

  • There are almost four times more real estate agents than appraisers in the US. There might be a few reasons why the number one reason being that it’s easier to become an agent rather than an appraiser.
  • This is why almost every state in the US needs appraisers. Being an appraiser means you’ll never run out of work since the appraiser’s job is always in demand. 
  • So, if you’re looking for some steady work current, a real estate appraiser is a better career option, then. Simply, it’s the more stable option.

Can a real estate agent also be an appraiser? Read our article to find out!

Should I Become A Real Estate Agent Or Appraiser? – Conclusion

To conclude, it’s a great idea to become a real estate agent or an appraiser. Both jobs can be fun and every client is different – so it’s not likely that you will burn out in just a few years in this branch.

This may be the same field – real estate, but these two jobs are entirely different. When appraisers have to remain objective all the time, real estate agents shouldn’t! Their success solely depends on their ability to protect their clients.

Our official advice is to pick the career of a real estate appraiser. If you’re asking yourself: should I become a real estate agent or appraiser? We advise you go after the latter.

Appraisers are always in demand, and you can find a job pretty much anywhere in the US. Moving doesn’t mean you’ll lose volume of work – appraisers have a steady job anywhere. Stability is something everyone needs, especially in difficult times like these!