Choosing a career in real estate can open up a world of exciting opportunities. As a real estate agent or broker, you help people find their dream homes, invest in profitable properties, and build wealth through real estate.
Beyond sales, the industry offers various careers in appraising, developing, financing, managing, and researching real estate.
This comprehensive article will explore the many career paths in residential and commercial real estate and help you learn how to get high paying jobs in real estate.
You’ll learn each role’s job responsibilities, earnings potential, education requirements, and more. Whether you want to sell homes, arrange financing, oversee developments, or invest in properties, there is likely a real estate career perfect for you.
What Are The Top 10 Fast-Growing Jobs in Real Estate?
1. Real Estate Agent
With low barriers to entry, real estate agent is accessible for many. But it takes hustle and savvy to succeed. As an agent, each day is different helping home buyers and sellers navigate transactions.
Patience, marketing ability, and passion for customer service are must-haves. Real estate agents can expect strong job growth and flexible hours. Just be prepared to work weekends and evenings when your clients are available.
2. Real Estate Appraiser
Real estate appraisers analyze property values and complete appraisal reports. Certified appraisers are currently in high demand, especially for commercial property.
Strict education and experience requirements help ensure competent valuation. If you have an analytical mindset and like solving complex problems, real estate appraisal could be an ideal path.
3. Property Manager
Property managers handle the day-to-day oversight of residential and commercial rental properties. Marketing vacancies, collecting rent, responding to maintenance issues, and improving properties are some core tasks.
Strong multi-tasking abilities and people skills are vital. With rental demand rising, property management offers stable career prospects.
4. Real Estate Developer
Real estate developers orchestrate development projects like subdivisions, office parks, retail centers, and apartments.
Finding opportunities, securing financing, overseeing construction, leasing properties, and eventually selling for a profit are key steps in the development process.
Even though it’s complex, real estate development offers tremendous upside for talented entrepreneurs.
5. Real Estate Investor
Real estate investors aim to make money by buying, improving, and selling properties for a profit.
They may also earn income through long-term real estate holdings. Identifying promising investments, accurately estimating rehab costs, financing creatively, and managing effectively are essential skills.
Real estate investing provides potential for high returns.
6. Mortgage Loan Officer
Mortgage loan officers meet with prospective borrowers to assess needs and qualification criteria before presenting loan options.
Guiding borrowers through the home financing process requires financial acumen, communication ability and attention to detail. Loan officers earn commission income with no cap on potential earnings.
7. Real Estate Attorney
Real estate attorneys assist clients with property transactions and cases involving real estate interests.
They review contracts, handle title transfers, and represent clients in disputes or lawsuits. Real estate lawyers must excel at research, analysis, compliance, negotiation and counsel.
A law degree and passage of the bar exam are required.
8. Residential Designer/Builder (test)
Residential designers help homeowners remodel, upgrade, and reconfigure home spaces.
Design expertise, knowledge of building codes/permits, and project management abilities are useful. Many work for design-build firms.
With demand high for remodeling, residential designers have solid career opportunities and potential for self-employment.
9. Commercial Real Estate Broker
After gaining sales experience, real estate agents can transition to commercial brokerage focusing on larger income-producing properties.
Commercial brokers represent tenants or landlords in leasing transactions while also helping investors buy and sell properties. They earn higher commissions but the market is more relationship-driven.
10. Real Estate Asset Manager
Real estate asset managers oversee property portfolios for high net worth individuals, banks, institutional investors, real estate funds, and corporations.
Maximizing returns while minimizing risks is the goal. Asset managers make buy/sell recommendations and develop strategies aligned with investment objectives.
An analytical, numbers-oriented focus is essential.
Key Skills to Succeed in Real Estate Careers
While specific skill requirements vary across real estate jobs, below are several abilities needed to excel:
- Communication Skills – From negotiating deals to guiding clients, communication is vital in real estate. Hone your listening, speaking, writing, and presentation abilities.
- Interpersonal Skills – Building rapport quickly and forging lasting relationships drive success in real estate. Sharpen your emotional intelligence, empathy, and customer service skills.
- Marketing & Sales Skills – Real estate revolves around selling. Practice tailoring your approach for each client or property. Leverage marketing tools and systems.
- Negotiation Tactics – Crafting win-win deals is an art. Become an expert negotiator including assessing motivations, making strategic offers, and finding common ground.
- Financial Analysis – Analyze income statements, valuations, financing terms, investment returns, development budgets, and more. Excel at calculating figures like cap rates.
- Digital & Tech Skills – Utilize real estate CRMs, marketing tools, listing databases, and other technology effectively. Stay updated on the latest real estate tech innovations.
- Problem-Solving Abilities – Think on your feet to navigate inspection issues, transaction hurdles, legal challenges, difficult clients, and more. Anticipate problems.
- Organizational Skills – Juggle paperwork, deadlines, client needs, marketing campaigns, showings, and open houses smoothly. Real estate involves major multi-tasking.
- Local Market Knowledge – Gain an in-depth understanding of area inventory, values, rents, developments, zoning rules, trends, and competition dynamics.
How Much Do Real Estate Jobs Pay?
Salaries can vary greatly depending on your real estate career, experience level, location, and other factors. Here are typical earnings:
(Median Yearly Income)
(Median Yearly Income)
(Median Yearly Income)
- Real estate agents earn 40-50% of their commission on each sale. The median income is $65,850 per year.
- Commercial real estate agents see median earnings of $95,159 but commissions can be much higher.
- Real estate attorneys have median earnings of $160,723, but top earners make $178,045+
- Real estate appraisers earn a median income of $49,920 per year. Appraisals usually cost $200-$500 each.
- Property managers take 8-12% of the monthly rent as a fee. The average salary is $49,958.
- Mortgage loan officers earn 0.5-2.5% of each funded loan. The median income is $47,825 annually.
- Real estate analysts see median pay of $71,206. Senior analysts can earn six figures.
How to Choose the Right Real Estate Career Path
With so many options, how do you narrow your real estate career search?
- Assess your strengths & interests – Do you excel at sales, analytics, finance, marketing, designing, and negotiating? What real estate domains interest you most? Identify strengths and passions.
- Shadow real estate professionals – Talk to people working in roles that intrigue you. Ask to shadow them for a day or meet over coffee. Learn the reality of their jobs.
- Consider work/life balance – Certain real estate careers like agent or property manager require many nights and weekends. Others like analyst or appraisers may offer more typical hours. Factor in work-life needs.
- Research education requirements – Some real estate jobs require college degrees, licenses, certifications, or other training. Understand the education and timeline needed to be eligible.
- Follow the money – Salaries and earnings potential can vary greatly across real estate careers. Evaluating average and top incomes can inform decisions.
- Think long-term – Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Some real estate careers offer more advancement potential and earning capacity over time.
- Consult a mentor – Find a veteran real estate professional to provide guidance on how to launch your career. They can offer invaluable perspective and advice.
How Do You Get Started in Real Estate?
Launching a career in real estate will require some combination of education, licensing, experience, and financial investment. Here are some tips:
1. Earn a Real Estate License
To work professionally as a real estate agent, you must have an active real estate license issued by your state. Each state has its own real estate education and exam requirements. Many offer online pre-licensing courses.
After completing your coursework, you must pass the real estate licensing exam. You can start working as a real estate agent with an active license.
To become a real estate broker, you’ll need to first gain 1-3 years of sales experience as a licensed agent. Then, complete supplemental broker licensing education and pass the broker exam.
2. Consider a Real Estate Degree
While you don’t need a college degree to get a real estate license, earning a bachelor’s degree in real estate or a related field can provide an essential foundation in finance, development, valuation, market analysis, and more. This can prepare you for advanced real estate careers.
3. Join a Brokerage Firm
Once licensed, real estate agents must hang their license with a brokerage firm to start their careers. Explore both big brokerages and independent shops.
When choosing a brokerage, consider factors like training programs, commission splits, culture, and tools/technology.
4. Specialize and Get Certifications
You can boost your expertise and credibility in certain real estate niches by earning professional designations and certifications like:
- Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
- Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA)
- Accredited Management Specialist (AMS)
- Certified Property Manager (CPM)
5. Gain Valuable Experience
Look for entry-level roles or internships in real estate to gain hands-on experience. Opportunities like an assistant, analyst, leasing agent, and appraisal trainee can teach you the ropes while building your resume.
6. Develop Your Skillset
Sharpen sales, marketing, negotiation, contracting, finance, and communication skills. Take continuing education classes throughout your career. Soft skills are especially vital for client-facing real estate professionals.
7. Specialize in Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate careers focus on larger income-generating properties like office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, warehouses, and multi-family apartment complexes.
To succeed in commercial real estate, develop a deep understanding of the local market, build a network of investors and developers, and leverage financial modeling and negotiation skills.
Many commercial real estate agents transition after getting experience in residential real estate. But some enter commercial real estate directly with an educational background in finance, economics, or real estate development.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Real Estate License?
Real estate licensing programs typically range from 40-90 classroom hours plus passing a state exam. It can be completed in as little as a few weeks or over several months.
What Can You Do With a Real Estate License?
A real estate license enables you to work professionally as a real estate agent or broker representing buyers and sellers in home transactions for a commission.
Do You Need a Degree to Work in Real Estate?
In most states, you don’t need a college degree to get a real estate license and begin working as an agent or broker. However, an educational foundation in real estate, finance, marketing, or other business disciplines can be very helpful.
What Is the Highest Paying Job in Real Estate?
The highest paying real estate careers are often in commercial brokerage, development, high-volume residential sales, and real estate investing – where top professionals can earn several hundred thousand dollars or more.
How Can I Learn Real Estate Investing?
To learn real estate investing, start by reading books, researching online, shadowing investors, and joining local real estate investment associations. Consider taking real estate investment courses and seminars as well. Gain knowledge before making purchases.
What Designations Are Best for Commercial Real Estate?
Leading designations for commercial real estate professionals include CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors), and MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute).
What Major Should I Choose for a Career in Real Estate?
Common college majors for real estate careers include real estate, finance, economics, business administration, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Coursework in communication, law, architecture, urban planning or construction may also be helpful.
There are a range of high-paying jobs in the real estate industry that offer plenty of opportunities for growth and success.
From Real Estate Development Managers to Mortgage Loan Originators, each role brings unique challenges and rewards. With the right qualifications and dedication, anyone can have a successful career in this field.
If you are looking to take advantage of the opportunities that a career in real estate can offer, this article will help you give a jumpstart. With passion, hard work, and determination, success will follow you.