A high-paying job in San Diego County is becoming an "endangered species."
For the past 12 years, real estate appraiser Matt Pearl has developed a knack for finding what price is right.
"I get to see a lot of interesting houses on a daily basis," said Pearl.
Pearl said local real estate appraisers can make between $75,000 and $100,000 a year -- so why is the value of the job taking a nose-dive?
Since 2010, the supply of appraisers in the county has dropped by 23 percent, with a 5 percent drop in the past year.
"It's a well-paying profession that's becoming an endangered species. Unless the profession does something about it, we're headed for a crisis," said Dave Vancellette, co-founder of Transcontinental Valuations, which manages appraisals for lenders.
"The average age of the appraiser is between 56 and 58 years old," Vancellete added.
Vancellette told 10News while some appraisers are retiring, many are just quitting, as new federal rules make the process more complicated and time-consuming.
Meanwhile, fewer are getting into the profession amid new requirements of a four-year degree.
"It's just sad to see for the entire industry," said Pearl.
Vancellete said a comparable shortage in Colorado has doubled and tripled the appraisal times, delaying the escrow process.
For more information on becoming a real estate appraiser, visit www.orea.ca.gov .