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How Do I Become an MTS Appraiser

What is an MTS Appraiser?

The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) offers a Machinery & Technical Specialties (MTS) designation for those appraising all types of machinery and equipment, aircraft, and marine assets. MTS appraisers are also involved in cost surveys and the appraisal of oil and gas resources, mines, quarries, and public utilities.

An ASA professional designation demonstrates that an individual has proven their skill and education as an appraiser. The ASA currently offers three specialties in the MTS designation. The machinery and equipment specialty includes the valuation of assets like construction equipment, farm equipment, medical equipment, manufacturing equipment, and many other types of general machinery and equipment. The marine survey specialty includes the appraisal of commercial and pleasure marine craft. The aircraft specialty includes fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and related support equipment. (For information about how to become an aircraft appraiser, visit ASA’s Aircraft Valuation page.) These MTS specialties may be collectively referred to as "equipment appraisal."

“ASA offers one of the most recognized equipment appraisal designations in the world through its MTS program. Classes are taught by some of the most well-respected experts in their fields who have literally written the book on the valuation of machinery of all types.”

Garrett Schwartz, ASA
Editor, ASA’s Valuing Machinery and Equipment textbook










What is a Certified Equipment Appraiser?

There are no state licensing requirements in the United States for appraisers of machinery and equipment. Most U.S. states license appraisers for real property (land and buildings), so those who meet state licensing requirements are "certified" real property appraisers. There is no state licensing for "certified equipment appraisers."

Since state licensing doesn't exist in equipment and machinery valuation, professional equipment appraisers follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). These ethical and performance standards for appraisers, known as CUSPAP in Canada, require appraisers to certify in their reports that they are following USPAP standards. Some appraisers state that their signing of the USPAP certification indicates that they are "certified equipment appraisers," but that isn't technically accurate.

Rather than working to become a certified equipment appraiser, those looking to work as professionals would get a designation, sometimes called an accreditation, from a recognized valuation society. The American Society of Appraisers is the oldest and largest appraisal organization with equipment appraisal designations and includes machinery valuers in the U.S. and worldwide.

How Do I Become An Equipment Appraiser?

To become an accredited equipment appraiser, you need the training to earn a designation from a recognized valuation organization. The American Society of Appraisers offers a Machinery & Technical Specialties designation, with specialties including Machinery & Equipment, Aircraft, Marine Survey - Commercial, and Marine Survey - Yachts.

“MTS appraisers live on the cusp of equipment, markets, and finance. You should become an equipment appraiser if you are interested in a variety of equipment but aren't an operator, find market trends intriguing but aren't a salesman, and understand some finance basics but aren't a banker. We make referrals and work together, even if we're competitors.”

Sharon Desfor, ASA
ASA past president

The steps to becoming an ASA equipment appraiser with any of these specialties include:

  • Step 1: Apply to join the American Society of Appraisers, including an application with your resume and references to become an ASA Applicant.
  • Step 2: Complete the ASA online ethics exam and complete and pass the 15-hour Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) course to become an ASA Candidate.
  • Step 3: Complete the four ASA Principles of Valuation courses for your equipment appraisal specialty. Different courses are available for those specializing in Machinery & Equipment, in Aircraft, and in the Marine Survey specialties.
  • Step 4: Submit an accreditation application, including an appraisal experience log and an equipment appraisal report that ASA's Board of Examiners would review.
  • Step 5: Become an Accredited Member or an Accredited Senior Appraiser.


“Becoming an accredited equipment appraiser has opened doors for me with a variety of clients including, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals. They recognize the work required to become an ASA appraiser and value that effort.”

Douglas R. Krieser, ASA
ASA past president

ASA is the oldest and only major appraisal organization designating members in all appraisal specialties and offers its members unparalleled education, renowned appraisal events, diverse networking channels, and increased referral opportunities. Enhance your career and gain credibility by becoming an equipment appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers.

Start today to become an equipment appraiser