Equine Appraisal Certification and Career Information

Equine appraisers determine the value of horses for owners and companies that may need appraisals for a variety of reasons, including business, litigation and tax purposes. Individuals who enjoy working with horses and have a background in the horse industry would be well-suited for this career.

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Certification Information for Equine Appraisal

Professional organizations, such as the American Society of Equine Appraisers (ASEA), offer voluntary membership and certification to equine appraisers according to established experience requirements (www.equineappraiser.com). The ASEA offers two main designations, or membership levels, to appraisers, and these are accredited member and senior appraiser. Additional levels include associate and affiliate members, but they're not intended for equine appraisers.

An accredited member is an individual with prior or current experience working with horses. A senior appraiser is an accredited member who has completed the appraisal courses given by the ASEA and meets the minimum qualification criteria for certification as personal property appraisers established by the Appraisers Qualification Board (AQB). The AQB certification process requires applicants to meet certain education and experience requirements, which involves 120 classroom hours and 700 field hours; additionally, members need to fulfill continuing education requirements every five years to maintain their senior appraiser status.

Career Information for Equine Appraisal

Equine appraisers usually specialize in the valuation of certain breeds of horses, such as Arabians, Clydesdales or Welsh ponies, or types of horses, such as race horses, miniature horses or jumpers. Experience working in the horse industry as a horse trainer, rider or judge provides a good background for entry into this career.

Some common reasons equine appraisals may be conducted are for sales of horses, valuation for insurance purposes and donation of horses to non-profit organizations. Appraisers may also be called as expert witnesses on the valuation of a horse in a lawsuit or contract dispute. The criteria used to assess the value of a horse may include age, health and pedigree, in addition to comparisons to appraisals of similar horses. On occasion, appraisers may have to evaluate a stolen or deceased horse, in which case certain facts are assumed based on documentation and information acquired from trainers, veterinarians and others who may have been familiar with the animal.

According to information from the ASEA website as of April 2013, the equine appraisal industry typically is unaffected by economic downturns. This stability may be due to the fact that appraisals are still needed for other financial reasons, such as bankruptcy, divorce and estate settlements, that will continue to exist regardless of the economic climate.

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect data specifically on equine appraisers, it publishes employment statistics for the broad occupational group of claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators and salary statistics for related careers. The BLS projects that jobs for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators will grow at a rate of 3% from 2012 to 2022. According to the BLS, appraisers and assessors of real estate made a median annual wage of $49,540 in May 2012, and claims adjusters, examiners and investigators made a median wage of $59,960 that same year.

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