Real estate jobs come in many shapes and sizes. But what are those? And what do they pay? We’ll answer each of these in detail along with requirements, experience needed, and how to get started in a variety of jobs.
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Getting a real estate job is usually associated with becoming a real estate agent or broker, but there are dozens of job options in the real estate field. If you want to work in real estate, you only need to decide which job title would be the best fit for you.
You can look through the real estate job options below to see a job description, salary or pay range, and the type of training, education, or licensing required for each position.
Our complete guide will walk you through every one of your options. Keep reading to find out all the jobs available in the real estate field and see which one might be a good fit for you.
Real Estate Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Requirements
Here are examples of jobs in the real estate industry. They all have different training and education requirements as well as salary/commission amounts, so be sure to consider which jobs you might be well-suited for that meets your own needs.
Agent or Salesperson
- Job Description: A real estate agent sells real estate, interacts with clients, shows homes, and guides clients through the home sale or purchase process through closing. A licensed broker must hold agents’ licenses, and they cannot open their own real estate firm or agency. Agents must work for an existing brokerage.
- Salary: The average real estate agent makes $41,289 per year in commissions (not direct salary), but some agents make over $100,000 per year. Location, experience, real estate specialty, and volume are all factors that determine how much an agent can make.
- Requirements: In the United States, you can’t help another person buy or sell real estate without the proper licensing. In most states, you are required to hold at minimum a real estate salesperson license (though some states require the next license level, broker). You must pass both sections of your state’s real estate salesperson license exam. You can get this license after completing your state’s education requirements, which range from 40 hours up to 160 hours.
- Job Description: Real estate appraisers determine the current value of a property by inspecting the property, researching existing property records, and reviewing nearby home prices. Appraisers’ valuations are critical in real estate, determining a home’s acceptable listing price, the amount a buyer can borrow to purchase the home, and property tax amounts. Appraisers have four license levels: Appraiser Trainee, Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser.
- Salary: The average real estate appraiser makes around $54,000 per year, but the salary depends on which level of appraiser license you hold. Certified General Appraisers make much more.
- Overall Median Appraiser Salary – $54,980/year
- Certified Residential Appraiser Salary – $53,237/year
- Certified General Appraiser Salary – $101,422/year
- Requirements: Appraisers start with 75 hours of required pre-licensing education to become an appraiser trainee. Then, you’ll spend a length of time working under a certified appraiser (6 months to 18 months) and take more appraiser courses (60 hours for Licensed Residential Appraiser license up to 300 hours for Certified General Appraisal license) to apply for the next license level.
- Job Description: Real estate brokers have the same abilities as a licensed real estate agent or salesperson with a few additional responsibilities and capabilities. Brokers don’t need to work under a broker. They “hold” their own licenses, unlike agents. Brokers may work for a brokerage by choice, or they may open their own brokerage. Brokers create the legal documents for each step of the closing process, intermediate between the buyer and seller, and manage the work of all parties involved (attorneys, agents, lenders, inspectors, and other vendors).
- Salary: The average broker salary is about $70,400 per year. Broker pay is commission-based and not a true salary. Brokers in certain states, with higher sales volume, more agents working under them, and with higher commission splits can make up to $108,000 per year on average.
- Requirements: To become a licensed real estate broker, you’ll need to first hold a real estate salesperson license and work as an agent for 1-3 years (depending on your state’s requirements). You will need to complete more real estate education – sometimes more than 300 – and pass your state’s broker exam to get a broker’s license.
- Job Description: A real estate clerk works in a real estate office and does not hold any type of real estate license. Their duties are primarily administrative in nature. They handle office paperwork, access records for agents and brokers, file information, answer phones, schedule appointments, and more. This is considered an entry-level position.
- Salary: The average real estate clerk’s salary is about $27,103 per year. Real estate clerks, unlike agents and brokers, are paid an hourly wage or annual salary that is not based on commission.
- Requirements: Requirements are primarily up to the real estate office to determine, but most real estate clerks need a high school diploma or equivalent, experience working with real estate documents, and experience completing administrative and clerical duties.
- Job Description: Real estate compliance officers are responsible for ensuring everyone at a real estate company follows all rules, regulations, and policies at the local and state levels. Compliance officers might closely manage documents, review all office transactions, agent and broker commissions, and complete scheduled office-wide audits. The compliance officer protects a real estate firm by ensuring they follow all regulations.
- Salary: The average compliance officer makes $74,353 per year. This is not a commission-based role, so compliance officers are paid an annual salary.
- Requirements: Requirements vary, but at minimum, you’ll need a high school diploma (but college degrees are increasingly required – even Master’s degrees), at least five years of experience in the compliance field, understanding of CAR Forms and transaction coordination, and close familiarity with local and state real estate regulations and laws.
- Job Description: Escrow officers help agents and brokers move the real estate transaction (buying or selling) process forward. They create escrow instructions, are responsible for holding funds in escrow, draft title documents, oversee the signing of all documents, and generally manage the exchange of funds from one party to the other.
- Salary: The average salary for an escrow officer is $53,925 per year.
- Requirements: You need at least a high school diploma to work as an escrow officer, and you’ll need a few years of experience along with some type of professional certification from an escrow organization (like the American Escrow Association). Some states require you to obtain an Escrow Officer license to work as an escrow officer.
- Job Description: Home inspectors are responsible for thoroughly checking out a home that is being sold or purchased. They carefully inspect the home and all the systems and structures inside and surrounding it. This includes the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems associated with the home. They look not only for problems and issues but also for compliance with local and state rules and regulations to make sure the home meets requirements and will be safe for the next occupant.
- Salary: Home inspectors make about $58,000 per year on average. This amount can vary based on your location, whether you’re full or part-time, and whether you’re working for yourself or for an existing company.
- Requirements: Home inspectors must be licensed. Every state has different requirements, but at a minimum, you’ll need 60 hours of pre-license education to take the exam. Most states allow you to complete this education online. You need to be insured to work as a home inspector, and you might choose to be self-employed or work for a home inspection company.
- Job Description: Real estate loan officers work for lenders that are involved in real estate transactions and loans. They manage the loan process for the buyer, including showing them the different loan options available to them based on their qualifications, approving or rejecting loans, working with underwriters, and pursuing the collection of delinquent payments.
- Salary: The average loan officer salary is $57,391 per year. This varies based on your location, education, and years of experience in the field.
- Requirements: To become a loan officer in the real estate field, you need a high school diploma at a minimum. You’ll be more likely to be hired with a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. You must hold a Mortgage Loan Officer license, which you can earn by completing the required 20 hours of education and passing a background/credit check. Each year, you’ll need to renew your license and get 8 hours of continuing education credits.
- Job Description: A real estate office manager oversees the non-transaction duties in a real estate office. This includes hiring and supervising administrative workers, overseeing the management of filing and computer systems, scheduling meetings and floor time, managing the supply of office supplies and accounting duties, as well as working with contractors or hiring staff to handle marketing duties, cleaning, and other office tasks. The office manager is usually hired by a real estate broker and reports to them.
- Salary: On average, a real estate office manager can expect to make about $42,000 per year. Higher salaries are typical for managers who work in large offices in high-demand areas.
- Requirements: Office managers need excellent organizational and management skills. While the agents and brokers who work in the office will not be under their supervision, any administrative, clerical, marketing, or custodial workers report to the manager. Office managers typically need at least five years of experience in a management role, or equivalent experience working in an office with a degree of some kind. There is no license or certification required to be an office manager.
- Job Description: Property managers help real estate owners manage their properties, primarily if multiple properties are owned. Property managers oversee the duties that a private landlord would, like creating lease agreements, responding to maintenance orders, rent collection, tenant relations, property inspections, adherence to codes and regulations, evictions, tenant placement, property rental listings, and more. Property managers might manage single-family rental properties, commercial real estate, or apartment/condo complexes with multiple units.
- Salary: On average, a property manager makes about $49,795 per year. Property managers can make six figures each year working with very high property volumes in high-demand locations. You can also start your own firm and make this much, but you’ll have to work long and hard hours for it.
- Requirements: You need at least a high school diploma to become a property manager, but you’ll have a hard time getting hired without some sort of relevant experience or college education. There is no license or certification required, but property managers who have a real estate license or are certified by a professional organization are much more in demand and can bring in higher salaries.
- Job Description: A real estate title examiner is responsible for all duties surrounding the documentation and verification of property titles and deeds. They do extensive research to ensure the information contained on a title is correct and backed up by records. They review all past real estate records, rely on private and public records to verify information, work with lenders and insurance companies, and overall ensure that the information on a title is sufficient for a real estate transaction to move forward.
- Salary: A title examiner makes between $32,000 and $48,000 annually. Title examiners do not get paid on a commission model. Instead, they receive an annual salary.
- Requirements: To become a title examiner, you need at least a high school diploma. Bachelor’s degrees are more commonly the requirement today. You should be certified by a professional organization. This includes the National Association of Land Title Abstractors and Examiners, especially if you do not have previous experience in the field. Related work experience is a bonus, especially in the lending or real estate fields.
Which Real Estate Job Is Best for You?
These are examples of some of the lucrative, satisfying careers you can have in the real estate field. Consider your own personality, strengths, salary requirements, and skillset. Are you an outgoing person who loves to meet new people and build connections in your local area?
You might make a great real estate agent or broker. Are you more comfortable working behind the scenes, ensuring a property is correctly valued and that buyers have accurate information to work with?
You might make a wonderful real estate appraiser. If you pay careful attention to detail and love to dive into intensive research, you’d be well suited for a career as a title examiner or loan officer.
Real estate agents and brokers are certainly the most visible parts of the real estate world, but behind the scenes, there are lots of other job options that keep the industry running. Which of these real estate jobs sounds like a good fit for you?