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Career and Education Opportunities for Assessors in Seattle, Washington

Assessors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 2,760 working assessors in Washington; this should grow by 12% to about 3,100 working assessors in the state by 2016. 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.

Assessors earn about $27 per hour or $56,840 per year on average in Washington and about $22 hourly or $47,370 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for assessors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Accounting and Auditing category nationally. People working as assessors can fill a number of jobs, such as: field appraiser, personal property assessor, and county assessor.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as an assessor. Assessors usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so 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 Seattle 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

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Real Estate which graduated twenty-seven and eight students respectively in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Real Estate which graduated nine and four 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.