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Career and Education Opportunities for Assessors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for assessors in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. About 2,150 people are currently employed as assessors in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 9% to about 2,350 people employed. This is better than the national trend for assessors, which sees this job pool growing by about 4.6% over the next eight years. Assessors generally appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value.

The income of an assessor is about $20 per hour or $42,370 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $47,370 per year on average. Earnings for assessors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: field appraiser, city assessor, and tax assessor.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as an assessor. Assessors usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • 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

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Real Estate which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has a bachelor's degree program in Real Estate which graduated one student 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.