Assessor Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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An assessor's median annual salary is about $52,000, but is it worth the training requirements? Get real job descriptions and salary information to see if becoming an assessor is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being an Assessor

Assessors analyze property and real estate for state governments, local municipalities and corporations. Find out more about whether you're interested in pursuing this career by reviewing the common pros and cons.

Pros of Being an Assessor
Advancement opportunities available*
Decreased time spent for research due to technological advances*
Career is not considerably affected by economic fluctuations*
Needed throughout the country*

Cons of Being an Assessor
Slow employment growth anticipated*
Some assessors work only part-time*
Extensive work/training experience needed to qualify for jobs*
Lack of training institutions willing to take on new trainees*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Assessors generally work for local government, evaluating properties to determine how much property tax is owed. Their work usually encompasses entire neighborhoods and communities. Assessors are not to be confused with appraisers, who determine the value of individual properties. Assessors keep track of property owners, tax information and property histories. Some assessors use financial, map creation and analytical software in their work.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), assessors (who are classified with appraisers) can expect job growth of only 6% between 2012 and 2022. This may be due to technological efficiencies, including automated valuation modeling programs. The BLS noted there is a dwindling number of training positions for this occupation in financial and real estate offices because companies are not looking for new hires. This may prevent individuals interested in becoming an assessor from gaining the work experience needed.

Assessors may not be as affected by economic downturn as appraisers are because state and local governments always need assessors to determine property taxes, added the BLS. In May 2014, the BLS noted that assessors earned a median annual salary of about $52,000. During that same period, the highest-paid workers made about $95,000.

What are the Requirements?

To work as an assessor, you should first check the requirements set by your state or local government. Because assessors share many similar duties with appraisers, you may be able to take state appraisal courses. Many states require assessors to be licensed or certified. Licensure or certification involves passing exams, meeting training requirements and gaining work experience. You can obtain on-the-job training from revaluation firms, smaller municipalities or an assessor's office.

While there are no set educational requirements to become an assessor, you might consider earning a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate coursework in mathematics, finance, computer science, English, business administration and economics could help develop your analytical skills and provide you with greater advancement opportunities in the future. Depending on your state, you may be required to seek continuing education to maintain your certification or licensure status.

Useful Skills

If you want to become an assessor, you should possess the following qualities:

  • Able to work independently as well as with others
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong mathematical and analytical skills

Job Postings from Real Employers

Requirements vary widely for assessor jobs. However, most employers seek assessors who are proficient in Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel. Employers also sought assessors who had several years of experience or an undergraduate degree. Here are some job postings for assessors from Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com in March 2012:

  • A construction consulting company in Washington, D.C., was seeking a senior facility assessor. The applicant needed at least 10 years of experience in assessing the conditions of facilities. This individual also needed to know how to use Microsoft Excel, Word and Project, as well as data capture assessment software.
  • A city in Connecticut needed an assessor to evaluate real estate and personal property in the area. The applicant needed to be certified as a municipal assessor pursuant by the states, and he or she needed knowledge of taxes, rules and regulations.
  • A multidisciplinary services firm in Texas sought a facility assessor who had a bachelor's degree related to construction management or 8-10 years of work experience. Applicants needed a working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite programs and commercial construction and classification codes.
  • A county in Virginia needed an assessor with a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting or a related field. The applicant also needed 7-10 years of experience. This individual needed to know how to use Microsoft Office programs and related assessment software. The applicant needed to be a Certified General Appraiser from the state of Virginia. Applicants with a credential from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) or the Appraisal Institute were preferred.

How Can I Stand Out?

One way you can stand out from other applicants is by gaining work experience and professional credentials. According to the BLS, various industry certifications require 5-10 years of experience or training. One organization that provides professional credentials is the IAAO. The association has designations for an Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS), Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE), Cadastral Mapping Specialist (CMS), Personal Property Specialist (PPS) and Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES).

Alternative Careers

If you're not sure you'd enjoy a career as an assessor, you might consider a career as a real estate agent or broker. Real estate agents help people find and buy homes. They highlight the selling points of property and research a property's history. They also lease and manage real estate. Real estate agents usually work for brokers, who are in charge of their own businesses.

Real estate agents and brokers need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, and they must complete state-approved pre-licensing courses, according to the BLS. These courses might be waived if you've completed certain college courses or hold a college degree; the BLS notes that candidates who have some college education often are preferred by employers. In addition to completing the required courses, you must pass an exam to become a licensed real estate agent. Other requirements vary by state. Earning your broker's license typically requires completion of more classes as well as experience as a licensed real estate agent.

While the BLS projects employment growth for these workers of 11% between 2010 and 2020, the real estate industry is highly affected by economic trends. A recession may reduce the need for these workers. In May 2011, the BLS reported that agents and brokers earned a median annual wage of about $39,000 and $59,000, respectively.

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Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing Specialization

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Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business

What is your highest level of education completed?

American National University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Business Administration Management - Associate
  • Business Administration - Diploma

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Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration

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Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Management
  • BS - Marketing
  • BS - Business Management

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Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

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Queens University of Charlotte

  • Master of Business Administration - General
  • Master of Business Administration - Undecided

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