MAI Designation

MAI stands for Member, Appraisal Institute. The Appraisal Institute is an international membership association of professional real estate appraisers, with more than 18,000 members and 99 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Its mission is to support and advance its members as the choice for real estate solutions and uphold professional credentials, standards of professional practice and ethics consistent with the public good. The MAI designation, its most prestigious, is held by appraisers who are experienced in the valuation of commercial, industrial, residential, and other types of property and who advise clients on real estate investment decisions.

Appraisers holding the MAI designation have met rigorous requirements relating to education, testing, experience and demonstration of knowledge, understanding and ability.

MAI designates must meet the following requirements:


  • Receive a passing grade on 11 examinations that reflect 380 hours of classroom instruction and that test the appraiser's knowledge of basic and advanced appraisal principles, procedures and applications; report writing; valuation analysis and standards of professional practice
    • ​General Report Writing & Case Studies (4-day course)
    • Business Practices and Ethics (5-hour course)
    • Advanced Income Capitalization (35-hour course)
    • Advanced Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use (35-hour course)
    • Advanced Concepts & Case Studies (37-hour course)
    • Quantitative Analysis (35-hour course)
  • Receive a passing grade on four-module, two day comprehensive examination
    • ​Module 1: General Concepts, is a 3.5 hour exam that tests on areas such as general appraisal concepts, statistics, taxes, market conditions and value reconciliation
    • Module 2: Cost Approach, Highest and Best Use, Feasibility, is a 3.5 hour exam that tests on areas such as the cost approach, land value, depreciation, obsolescence, highest and best use, feasibility and real estate marketability analysis
    • Module 3: Income Capitalization Approach is a 4 hour exam that test on areas such as the income capitalization approach, valuation of partial interests, investment and risk analysis and leverage
    • Module 4: Sales Comparison Approach, is a 4 hour exam that tests on areas such as the sales comparison approach, cash equivalence and reconciliation
  • Hold an undergraduate degree from a four-year accredited educational institution


  • Receive credit for 6,000 hours of experience, including 3,000 hours of specialized appraisal experience, all of which must meet strict criteria

Demonstration Report:

  • ​Receive credit for demonstration appraisal report relating to income-producing property that demonstrates the ability to present a properly supported value estimate or opinion evaluating the nature, quality or utility of a parcel of real estate or any interest in, or aspect of, real property, including handling physical incurable depreciation, or fulfilling an approved comparable alternative.

Because of its rigorous requirements and commitment to providing valuable information, continuing education and other valuable resources to its members,you can be confident an appraiser with an MAI designation will provide you with the very highest quality service on virtually any appraisal assignment, even the most complex commercial appraisal.