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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Certified Auto Appraiser

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Certified Auto Appraiser

Have cars always fascinated you? Do you simply like driving them or do you also have in-depth knowledge of vehicles? If you take a deep interest in cars and other vehicles, you can convert your passion into a full-time or a part-time job. The role of an auto appraiser would be perfect for you. The career offers opportunities for various kinds of employment and a competitive salary. What exactly are the duties and responsibilities of a Certified Auto Appraiser? Do you need a license to work in this field? Having answers to these questions will make it simple for you to make a decision. So, here’s everything you must know about the profession, its salary and career options, and the perks you can enjoy.

In 2021, the number of second-hand light vehicles purchased by US inhabitants was 43.1 million. This data proves that the used car market is thriving in the US. With more than 70% of US citizens buying used cars, people in the United States are constantly looking for experienced and skilled auto appraisers. An auto appraiser’s average salary in the country in 2023 is $70,400, which makes it a fantastic career choice for aspiring auto appraisers.

What do auto appraisers do?

Auto Appraisers

Before you find out how to become a certified auto appraiser, it is important to understand the roles and responsibilities, the necessary skills, and the type of work environment you will get. So, who is an auto appraiser? An auto appraiser is a person who works with private clients, third-party services, and insurance agencies to figure out the fair value of a second-hand vehicle or a damaged vehicle This process is known as auto appraisal. And an auto damage appraiser inspects vehicles and assesses how much of the repairing costs the insurance company is liable to pay.

Work Environments for Certified Auto Appraisers

Auto appraisers work in several types of environments. Sometimes you will have to visit an accident site or the service center for examining a damaged car. Other times you will sit in an office and file information about the condition of a vehicle. You may also have to spend time at the auto repair shop for overseeing the restoration work done on the claimant’s automobile. So, be prepared to move around and travel to diverse locations if you take up this job.

Typical duties of an auto appraiser

  • Traveling to the site of an accident for evaluating a damaged vehicle
  • Clicking photos of the automobile damage
  • Asking questions to the driver and other spectators to learn the details of the accident
  • Communicating with the insurance company on behalf of the car owner to discuss claims and policies
  • For cars that are up for resale, look into every detail like a car’s mileage, the engine’s condition, the kilometers it has covered, its servicing records, etc.
  • Determining the worth of a vehicle in case of a total loss
  • Being informed about auto insurance policies as well as automobile resale and repair practices
  • Being adept at preparing appraisal reports after conducting the research

Essential Skills for Certified Auto Appraiser

What are the relevant competencies to excel in this line of work? You’ll have to brush up on the following skills to succeed as an accomplished auto appraiser:

  • Industry knowledge- When you are dealing with the resale of used cars and insurance claims of cars damaged during accidents, having industry-specific knowledge is compulsory. If you want to correctly decide a car’s value, technical knowledge about car parts is also necessary.
  • Communication- As an auto appraiser, you will act as a bridge between different parties involved in an automobile reselling or accident. Excellent conversation power will help you handle multiple people involved in the process.
  • Organization- Compiling multiple reports after going through documents like policy details is a complex task. And as an auto appraiser, you will be handling multiple clients and working on various kinds of reports. If your organizational skills aren’t good; you will end up committing mistakes that will cost your client dearly.
  • Critical thinking- An auto appraiser for cars or other vehicles has to make vital decisions about the kind of damage and the condition of the car. If someone is buying a second-hand car, you can make sure the person strikes a good bargain. This analysis has an impact on how the person can proceed with the claim. So, in case you sense that the car dealer is quoting a higher price than the original worth of a used car, you can warm your client. So, with your thinking ability, you can save your client from taking bad financial decisions.
  • Attention to detail- Assessing vehicles is the main job of an auto appraiser. Identifying damage with the help of photographs and paying attention to minute details is a skill you will need. When you travel to a site to examine a vehicle, nothing should escape your eyes. From pollution certificates to tax payment receipts to maintenance records – you will have to scan everything before preparing the appraisal report. Only then you will be able to prepare an appropriate appraisal report after taking into consideration all the factors.

Steps to Follow to become a Certified Auto Appraiser

Now if you think the job role suits your career ambitions, you can follow these steps to chase your dream of working as an auto appraiser:

  1. Complete the educational requirements
    The first thing that you will require is a high school diploma. Only then you will have the basic qualification to approach an institution that provides certifications to budding auto appraisers. Some employers also prefer candidates to be college graduates. Any experience in auto workshops will certainly work in your favor.
  1. Earn your certification
    In order to practice, you must earn the certification. For that, you have to receive training and pass a test. Once you have the license, nobody can stop you from practicing as an auto appraiser. Reputed auto appraisal agencies and insurance firms will be interested in hiring you.
  1. Decide if you will work independently or with an appraisal company
    It is for you to decide whether you are comfortable working alone or with an auto appraisal company. One of the advantages of joining a company is that you won’t have to look for work. If you are part of a well-known agency, they will make sure you don’t sit idle. As they will provide constant work, they will also keep a percentage of the income. On the contrary, if you are on your own, you won’t have to share the profits. But first, you need to build a market reputation to be popular as an auto appraiser.
  1. Gain knowledge of vehicle parts and repair techniques
    Keeping up to date with the latest trends and innovations in the auto industry is crucial. Enrolling in a course to equip yourself with extensive knowledge of vehicles and repair terms and conditions. Independent study to strengthen your base knowledge of the different parts of vehicles is equally crucial.
  1. Renew your license when required
    Lastly, earning a license is not enough unless you renew it from time to time. Recertification is mandatory as your license won’t be valid forever. It also ensures that you keep learning policies and market trends.

How much will you earn as an auto appraiser?

The salary of an auto appraiser varies from one state to another. The level of experience, area of practice, and several other factors will together determine your monthly or yearly income. However, auto appraisers are high in demand as a lot of people in the United States prefer to purchase second-hand recreational vehicles and cars. So, as long as you are competent, you will get paid accordingly.

Tips to get your first job as an auto appraiser

Here are some suggestions on how you can land your first job after you have acquired your certificate.

  • Create a resume- A resume reveals everything about your talents, educational background, and areas of expertise. So, it is important to prepare an attractive resume that will reflect your professionalism and highlight your best qualities. You can also upload it on leading professional networks like LinkedIn where auto appraisal firms with vacancies can notice you.
  • Networking with professional groups- To get a quick placement, attend networking events where you will meet like-minded people in the industry. They might be of assistance in giving you some leads and supporting your career path. It is easy to find a job this way.

The Takeaway

Working as an auto appraiser for cars and other vehicles can be an interesting job. You will also positively impact the lives of thousands of people by helping them claim their insurance or get a fair value for their used car. So, do you think the profession is an ideal fit for your talents and interests? Do you believe you possess the right set of skills to thrive in this domain? In that case, follow the above-mentioned tips and keep expanding your knowledge of vehicles.

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Certified Auto Appraiser

Daniel “Dan” Jendrowski

Certified Public Auto Appraiser Diminish Value Experts B.C.A.A. & I.A.C.P.

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