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There’s been a rising demand for real estate careers within the last few years.
With the increasing number of students in related programs, the competition for the best paying jobs in real estate is getting tougher. It’s no wonder either — according to ZipRecruiter, top-earning realtors can make over $200,000 annually.
To help you find the right role, we’ve compiled a list of high-paying real estate jobs along with their descriptions and average annual salaries.
Read on to learn more about the most important requirements and how you can succeed in the industry.
Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate
Real estate agent
Real estate agents help clients sell, buy or rent land and buildings, usually for a preset commission. Their duties include creating listings, promoting and showing properties, mediating negotiations and preparing all necessary documents. Agents must be familiar with the most important landmarks, communities and statistics of the area they serve.
To pursue a real estate agent career, you’ll typically need to be 18 years old, take some courses and pass a licensing exam. While most employers prefer candidates with a degree, it’s usually not a requirement.
Real estate agent pay $61,480 on an annual average basis. Because of the nature of the job, earnings and work schedules can be pretty irregular. Being a real estate agent requires a great deal of flexibility, as most agents need to work on the weekends and evenings and spend a great deal of time away from their desks.
Real estate broker
Just like real estate agents, brokers represent buyers, sellers or renters of a real estate property during a real estate transaction. The main difference between the two professions is that real estate brokers can work independently, have their own real estate firms and employ real estate agents. To become a real estate broker, you must be over 18 years old, complete some relevant courses and pass an exam. In most states, you need at least one to three years of experience as a real estate sales agent and must take several additional courses.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate brokers earn an average of $86,490 annually. Some brokers are self-employed, while many manage a real estate office or work under a franchise agreement. Depending on the form of work, brokers usually need to be flexible regarding work schedules, ready to step in at any hour if or when a negotiation goes awry. They also bear a lot more legal responsibility than real estate agents.
Real estate attorney
Real estate attorneys act in the interest of the seller, renter or buyer during a real estate transaction. Some states require an attorney when buying or selling a property. Real estate attorneys can help clients understand the legal side of the transaction and negotiate the best terms.
Real estate attorneys are lawyers by profession, so they need to have a Bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree. They must also pass the state bar examination and adhere to continuing education requirements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers in the real estate field make $189,490 on average per year.
Real estate developer
Real estate developers search for, buy and improve potentially prosperous lands. They manage and supervise the construction of residential or commercial structures on acquired sites. In most cases, they are also responsible for the project’s funding.
To become a real estate developer, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Other requirements, including licensing and certification, depend on the state you plan to work in. It’s useful to gain some experience in the real estate market before pursuing a real estate developer career. Most professionals start with entry-level real estate jobs such as real estate agents.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate managers — a broader category for developers — earn $70,030 annually. Salary research websites, such as ZipRecruiter, indicate that this number can go as high as $146,500.
Property managers are responsible for the financial operations of income-producing residential and commercial properties. They ensure that rent, mortgages, taxes and insurance premiums are paid on time. If you want to pursue a career in property management, you’ll typically need a high school diploma. Most employers prefer candidates with a relevant degree and some years of experience in real estate sales. Certain states require professional credentials or licenses.
On average, property managers in the U.S. earn $70,030 per year. The majority of property managers work full-time out of an office. However, some on-site apartment managers must live in the complex they manage.
Real estate consultant
Real estate consultants guide clients through the most important facts to consider during a real estate transaction. Their work is typically centered around financial analysis, investment planning and asset management. Most of their clients are real estate investors.
To be a real estate consultant, you must be at least 18, take some related courses and pass the certification exam. You’re not required to obtain a degree, but you must possess deep financial knowledge and analytical skills to succeed as a consultant. Real estate sales agents — the broader category for real estate consultants — earn $61,480 on average. Salary research websites suggest that most consultants can make a bit more than that.
Mortgage loan officer
Mortgage loan officers help real estate buyers find the loans with the most ideal mortgage terms. They evaluate clients’ creditworthiness and guide them through the application process. A mortgage loan officer can represent a bank, credit union or mortgage broker.
If you seek to become a mortgage loan officer, you must be over 18 years old. You typically need to register with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry and take 20 hours of courses. Most employers prefer candidates with a degree and prior financial or clerical experience. Loan officers in the U.S. earn $80,570 on average per year.
Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Guide
You’ve read some real estate job descriptions and salaries, but there’s a great chance that you still have a few questions about the industry. Take a look at some general facts about the real estate market and learn how you can find the highest-paying jobs.
What is real estate?
Real estate is a form of physical property including land and any building attached. There are four main types of real estate: residential, commercial, land and industrial.
- Residential real estate refers to empty or developed land acquired for residential, non-business purposes. Some examples include apartments, multi-family houses, and detached and portable dwellings.
- Commercial real estate is a property used by a business to generate income. Almost everything that contributes to generating revenue, from gas stations and offices to stores and hotels, belongs in this category.
- Land includes undeveloped lands acquired for future investment or development, as well as functional land with the potential to generate income. Some examples are vacant lands, farms and ranches.
- Industrial real estate typically consists of larger properties that can be used for warehouses, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and factories.
Types of real estate jobs
There are many different types of real estate jobs, including our top picks for the highest-paying ones. From entry-level positions like real estate assistant jobs to more advanced real estate development jobs, you can find suitable careers for every level of skill set. While there are some remote real estate jobs, most traditional positions require you to travel and meet clients in person regularly. To succeed in these, you need to have outstanding communication and social skills and a flexible schedule.
Based on your expertise and interests, you can pursue a real estate career with more to do with the technical or administrative side of the industry. These positions usually require less contact with people but a deeper knowledge of finance, law or management. You can also choose between residential and commercial real estate jobs.
Requirements for a real estate job
Requirements for a real estate job depend on the position you’re interested in and the state you plan to operate in. Most real estate jobs don’t require you to hold a degree, but employers may prefer to choose candidates with a strong educational background.
For most real estate jobs, you must be over 18 years old. In most cases, you need to pass several exams and apply for a license. Some positions require prior experience in a related role and continuous education.
How to find the highest-paying jobs in real estate
To find the highest-paying jobs in real estate, it’s always a great starting point to examine average annual salaries on reliable salary checkers and job search sites such as ZipRecruiter. This article has compiled a wide range of high-paying jobs worth checking out.
You can observe existing career opportunities within real estate and brokerage firms in search of suitable positions. Finding out how much a job pays is easier if you think of educational, professional and skill-based requirements. Generally speaking, the more and broader requirements a job has, the higher the earning potential.
Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate FAQ
How many jobs are available in the real estate industry?
How do you start a career in real estate?
What jobs can you get with a real estate license?
Obtaining a real estate license can unlock an array of career opportunities. From standard real estate agent, apartment manager and broker to consultant, home inspector and real estate marketing specialist positions, you’ll have a wide range of roles to choose from.
Is real estate a good career path?
Whether real estate is a good career path depends on your personality, interests and needs. Real estate careers have a high earning potential with plenty of flexibility.
On the other hand, earnings can be irregular and uncertain. People buy houses when they aren’t at work, which means you need to be willing to work outside of “normal business hours.” You may need to work on weekends and evenings. For many people, these prove to be reasons for leaving a job in real estate.
How We Chose the Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate
When evaluating real estate jobs, we looked at official U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. We tried to evaluate positions from all levels and different areas and aimed to provide some of the most important facts, advantages and disadvantages of each job. Our goal was to include real estate positions that are relatively easy to get into with high earnings potential.
Summary of Money’s Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate