I think like a lot of professions, it is more stressful the first few periods that you are really busy. After you go through a few periods of high volume/stress, and you have clients that appreciate your work, then it starts to be less stressful. One of the hardest parts early on is saying no to any job that comes your way. There is the fear that you will lose that client and you take on more than you can handle. Later, you will realize that most or all appraisers either turn down some work, or quote longer turn times when really busy. Good clients understand this, and you will remain employed. Though it is somewhat in the nature of this job to take on more at times than you should.
(ps-all my experience is self-employed...it might be more or less stressful as part of a larger company)
Good answer Michael!
I'd add that as a starving newbie, your ethics will be tested in every way. Every slim ball lender in the world will smell new blood, and hope they can mold you into what they need. You will loose these client very quickly, and it's hard to not worry about making it. But, if you just hang in there, you will eventually become known for being honest, true to ethics, and a good appraiser. Clients come and go...... just a business cycle. This is a long term business building career, no such thing as getting rich quick here. Your basic training for appraising simple residential properties will take about 2 years; and it will take another 3-5 years to build a really good business.
Like Andrew said, it can be stressful, but I don't know of ANY business that is not stressful..... if you let it. Most of us came from other fields, and found that this too is no walk in the park. But hey, change can be a good thing. However, don't get the idea that this is easy. No doubt, I like what I do because I make my own schedule, am not crammed in an office all day, and am in charge of what direction I want to take my company. If you are self motivated, ambitious, and don't mind working out in the field, go for it!!
Andrew probably said it best - it's only as stressful as you let it be. But my kids might dispute that - they often wondered if dinner was gonna be avail. before they went to bed - HAH - it taught them to cook etc...
as to recommending it as a profession, you have to like puzzles and numbers in my opinion - i wouldn't trade it for anything in good weather (winter's another story), and have gotten lots of others into the business because they see how much i love it. I do think the best appraisers are the ones who like what they're doing no matter what the fees be!