Real Estate Careers Overview
If you’re a people person who likes the idea of setting your own hours and helping people buy or sell homes or property, real estate careers such as brokers or agents will appeal to you. Real estate agents and brokers show properties to prospective buyers, negotiate the details of sales including the price, prepare the documentation needed for a sale and advertise properties listed for sale. Agents have to work with a broker, while brokers are certified and approved to run their own real estate offices.
Real Estate Education
You’ll need a high school diploma for both types of realestate You’ll also have to take state-accredited courses to obtain a license to become a real estate agent. You typically cannot pass “go” and skip directly to become a broker. Usually agents spend one to three years on the job getting experience before taking the additional classes needed to obtain a broker’s license. Your education doesn’t stop after your agent’s and broker’s training, though. Most states require agents and brokers to continue taking educational courses, and to renew licenses every few years.
Real Estate Job Market
Population growth and the need for experienced, licensed professionals to assist with home buying and selling is expected to keep the job market for real estate careers positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that real estate jobs should increase by 11 percent over the next 10 years, going up from 422,000 in 2012 to 468,600 by 2022.
Real Estate Salaries
The pay for real estate jobs is typically commission but, based on averaging annual income against hours worked, the BLS reports a median hourly wage for real estate agents to be $18.82. Brokers bring in a bit more — $28.05 per hour — because they collect a percentage of their agents’ commissions. Income for both can be irregular and fluctuate, depending on the real estate market and economic conditions.