Amanda Hamilton, an Appraiser III in the Dickinson County Appraiser’s office, recently was awarded the professional designation of Registered Mass Appraiser (RMA).
This designation is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed at least 200 hours of tested course work, have at least three years (6,000 hours) of mass appraisal experience and successfully tested during a four-hour residential and a four-hour commercial case study exam.
Hamilton, who will observe her five-year anniversary with the appraiser’s office on July 1, has been working toward the certification since she joined the office, but the straight path to getting her RMA has taken about two years.
“I started as a data collector and worked my way up,” Hamilton said. “This certification means a lot to me. It took a lot of hard work. There were a lot of classes and it was pretty intense.”
Hamilton’s journey toward certification was delayed approximately one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state basically shut down and they cancelled a lot of classes,” Hamilton said. “When it came back it was nearly all virtual classes. The state found out they can do more classes and more people can be in class when they’re done virtually.”
The extensive RMA course work includes an eligibility class, case studies for residential and commercial properties and other topics.
Hamilton said she enjoys working in the appraiser’s office, but when she first started in the department she was a rookie.
“I didn’t know I enjoyed it until I started working there,” she said with a laugh. “You don’t really start out as a child thinking I’m going to be in the appraiser’s office when I grow up.”
Dickinson County Appraiser Lisa Berg said the RMA coursework is rigorous and obtaining the designation is a high attainment. Now that Hamilton has the necessary education, Berg plans to begin giving her extra job duties.
“Eventually she may be moved into the deputy appraiser position,” Berg said. “I plan to give Amanda different projects to do in the future,” Berg said. “I’m hoping to train her in Neighborhood Revitalization Project maintenance – this will be a larger project to assist with.”
Hamilton also will be qualified to take on more specialized projects.
Dickinson County is willing to fund the cost for employees to take classes required to further their appraisal education and knowledge. With these classes and experience, employees are able to advance to different job positions within the Appraiser’s Office. With the education and training experience, explaining the different appraisal processes is easier to convey to taxpayers.
The RMA was established by state legislation in 1997 and is one of four options for an individual to meet the professional designation qualifications to serve as a county appraiser. The designation was developed and is awarded by the Kansas Property Valuation Division.
Berg said the RMA designation includes taking not only state-provided classes, but also courses offered through the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). Once the designation has been earned, an RMA is required to take continuing education to maintain their designation.