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Experienced Trainee in need of advice.

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Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Dec 18, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
I'm in Portland, was working for a gentleman who now is studying for his certified test and is not taking in orders at this time. Things have also slowed down and he's not sure if he can employ me any further. So rather then waiting to see, I'm pretty focused on just finding a new employer. I've been doing it roughly 2 years now and well past the "how do you do this" stage and need minimal training. Not to say I know it all because experience is everything, but I have a good basis of knowledge thus far.

I am seeking employment and I will need to register hours (at roughtly 1,000 now). More importantly I am hoping to find something long term, I plan to work for someone atleast 2-3 years before i go on my own, structure & support is important starting off. I'd be willing to sign a contract now for once im licensed. I have extensive contacts on the mortgage side and could bring some business. Also when licensed I will be generating my own clients. If someone has interest in housing an assistant for just the next 6 month to year and expand there business I'd be a great start. If you have any advice, or interested or know someone interested id appreciate any ideas.

Thanks & merry xmas


Oregon Doug

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public

I understand your plight and I’m fully aware of the many shortcomings and pitfalls incorporated in our appraiser training process. The way you worded this suggests that you are a working toward your license in order to become a residential appraiser. It also sounds as though you’re in it deep enough to want to continue.

I’ll offer some perspective: The license category is going by the wayside as the ACLB will no longer issue new licenses after 1/1/10 (only certified residential & general.) The licensed appraiser faces limitations as to the complexity of assignments that he can perform (limiting business potential.) I have no idea what your educational background is, but if you can, I strongly urge you set your sights on becoming a certified appraiser. A cert general appraiser can do commercial and residential appraisal work (thus expanding business choices.) If that’s not possible, you certainly should be able to meet the new educational requirements for a cert residential appraiser at your local community college in fairly short order.

You’ve noticed that the residential appraisal market has slowed – I suspect that it will remain slow for some time coming. Set your sights a little higher. I know a few larger commercial shops in Portland that are always looking for appraisers who can handle easement, condemnation and corporate work.

For the past few years, I’ve addressed the issue of lack of appraiser assistant support at board meetings but there has been little/no interest. We managed to develop a supervising appraiser certification program but I couldn’t get the board to include any periodic experience review process. I proposed the creation of an appraiser assistant guidance counselor to deal with the very issues you (and many others) now face. There was no interest.

You certainly are welcome at the next board meeting (in Jan) where I encourage you to express your opinions, views & concerns.

I know that this isn’t much in the way of advice or encouragement, but it’s all I got at this time. Keep up the perseverance.

Oregon Doug

Margaret Treat

Sophomore Member
Jan 25, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
Hello All,
Doug, I totally agree with what you've said about the lack of support for trainees. I, like I think many others, have kept Jan busy answering some very basic questions.

I wondered many times if I was documenting my experience correctly. After a while I realized how valuable those logs were and kept them in a safe. If I would have done 1000+ hours and realized the logs were wrong, I wasn't being taught correctly and wouldn't get credit, etc. I could not have afforded to stay in this profession. I worked for so little money as a trainee I could not have afforded to do it twice.

This field is filled with issues because of the trainee/mentor requirement to learn. With as much regulation as we have we only have a few hundred hours of structured instruction with a teacher that someone has deemed qualified. Then we get thousands of hours under whoever will take a trainee. Because the trainee thing can be a profit driven venture, people that are driven by profit will be drawn to this opportunity.

Then there's the you-can-report-a-bad-boss-anonymously thing. Well, if your work is going to be scrutinized by the board to sit for licensing; and you have just worked many hours for little pay for a few years; why would you want to draw negative attention to your situation and take the chance of them disqualifying your work? Yikes, after the trainee thing I just wanted to shut my mouth and move on. :new_all_coholic:

Since I have been licensed I have contacted a few people that I know do good work to ask if they will assist me with difficult assignments. I've had no takers. They have all been supportive, they are good people, and they offer to be available for questions. I am willing to pay the assignment fee to someone just to get the experience but I wanted someone that I knew would take the time to teach me and not just sign off on my work. There appears to be not enough reward/money, something, to make them want to take the time to teach. Somehow, those people who do a good job need to have incentive to teach. Personally, I think the answer is more classroom time with good instructors and less experience time since there is no real measure of instruction with experience.

My two cents. :new_smile-l:
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