Northeast America. Does this appear to be a tick or a spider?
It is a spider, having a segmented body. This site How Are Ticks Related to Spiders? says
. . . spiders have segmented bodies while ticks do not, and Spiders have a separate cephalothorax and abdomen. Ticks have small, flat, unsegmented bodies that enable them to attach easily to a host
Here are pictures from Wikipedia which show the difference.
Left: spider . . . Right: tick.
They both have 8 legs and an exoskeleton but their bodies are quite different. Clearly the OP's photo has a segmented body.