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Career and Education Opportunities for Assessors in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for assessors. Currently, 1,480 people work as assessors in Iowa. This is expected to grow by 15% to 1,700 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for assessors are expected to grow by about 4.6%. Assessors generally appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value.

Assessors earn about $21 per hour or $45,100 yearly on average in Iowa and about $22 per hour or $47,370 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as assessors in Iowa earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. Assessors work in a variety of jobs, including: director of assessing, certified general mass real estate appraiser, and tax appraiser.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as an assessor. Assessors usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be 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 Des Moines 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.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • 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

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a less than one year and a bachelor's degree program in Real Estate which graduated three and one 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.