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Career and Education Opportunities for Assessors in Fairfield, California

There are many career and education opportunities for assessors in the Fairfield, California area. About 8,600 people are currently employed as assessors in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to about 9,600 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for assessors are expected to grow by about 4.6%. In general, assessors appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value.

A person working as an assessor can expect to earn about $32 hourly or $67,330 per year on average in California and about $22 per hour or $47,370 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as assessors in California earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. People working as assessors can fill a number of jobs, such as: real estate assessor, real property appraiser, and personal property appraiser.

There are sixteen schools of higher education in the Fairfield area, including three within twenty-five miles of Fairfield where you can get a degree to start your career as an assessor. Given that the most common education level for assessors is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time training to become an assessor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Assessor

In general, assessors appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. They also may assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.

Assessors decide on taxability and value of properties, using methods such as field inspection, structural measurement, calculation, sales analysis, market trend studies, and income and expense analysis. They also inspect properties, considering factors such as market value and building or replacement costs to establish appraisal value. Equally important, assessors have to explain assessed values to property owners and defend appealed assessments at public hearings. They are often called upon to inspect new construction and major improvements to existing structures to establish values. They are expected to analyze trends in sales prices and rents, to gauge property values or decide on the precision of assessments. Finally, assessors conduct regular reviews of property within jurisdictions to establish changes in property due to construction or demolition.

Every day, assessors are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for assessors to complete and maintain assessment rolls that show the assessed values and status of all property in a municipality. They are often called upon to identify the ownership of each piece of taxable property. They also hire staff members. They are sometimes expected to approve applications for property tax exemptions or deductions. Somewhat less frequently, assessors are also expected to ready and maintain current data on each parcel assessed, including maps of boundaries, inventories of land and structures and any applicable exemptions.

Assessors sometimes are asked to furnish sales analyses to be used for equalization of school aid. They also have to be able to maintain familiarity with aspects of local real estate markets And finally, they sometimes have to furnish sales analyses to be used for equalization of school aid.

Like many other jobs, assessors must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fairfield include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Assessor Training

Diablo Valley College - Pleasant Hill, CA

Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Diablo Valley College is a large college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,768 students. Diablo Valley College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Real Estate which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Real Estate which graduated four, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Real Estate which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Rural Appraiser: Appraisals of agricultural enterprises and rural properties demand qualified experts who understand the complexity and intricacy of modern agriculture and today's rural environment.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Residential Evaluation Specialist: The purpose of the RES (Residential Evaluation Specialist) designation is to recognize professionalism and competency in the valuation of residential property for tax purposes.

For more information, see the International Association of Assessing Officers website.

Personal Property Specialist: The purpose of the PPS (Personal Property Specialist) designation is to recognize professionalism and competency in the valuation of personal property for tax purposes.

For more information, see the International Association of Assessing Officers website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Certified Estate Specialist: A Certified Estate Specialist has advanced education in exactly how to deal with the settling of estates, from working with family members to dealing with lawyers and accountants.

For more information, see the National Auctioneers Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fairfield, California

Fairfield, California
Fairfield, California photo by Ryanloney

Fairfield is located in Solano County, California. It has a population of over 103,683, which has grown by 7.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fairfield, 143, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fairfield are valued at $197,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Fairfield, down from one hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fairfield are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 20.4% of Fairfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fairfield is 13.1%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fairfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fairfield is home to the Fairfield City Hall and the Dickson Hill Water Treatment Plant as well as Tabor Park and Sunrise Park. Shopping malls in the area include Geri Towne Shopping Center, Mission Village Shopping Center and Solano Mall Shopping Center.