Highest Paying Real Estate Careers

Real estate is among the fastest-growing industries and, as such, one with diverse career opportunities. There are several high-paying real estate jobs you can get if you have the right specialization and licensing.

Depending on your interest and passion, you can specialize in residential, industrial, or commercial real estate. You may work in a company, independently, or as a team with other professionals in the real estate industry.

Some careers may require additional licensing and advanced education than others, and it is necessary to conduct thorough research before taking the next step.


Highest-paying real estate careers

This article highlights the highest-paying real estate careers and the requirements for each of them. We also look at some frequently asked questions on real estate jobs. Read on!

1. Architect

Architects plan, design, and oversee the construction of structures. They design new structures and their surrounding space and work on restoring and conserving the existing buildings. To become an architect, you need to be creative and have numerical, communication, artistic, problem-solving, and design skills.

Architects work in teams with other professionals, and one needs strong leadership and teamwork skills. Attention to detail, advanced computer literacy skills, and building & construction skills are also necessary.

The minimum qualification is a bachelor of architecture with accreditation from the National Architectural Accreditation Board. One can also qualify as an architect with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture or a bachelor of arts degree.

The mean annual salary for architects in the US is $88k with the top-earning experts enjoying annual wages exceeding $115k a year.

2. Property manager

A property manager acts on behalf of the owner in the operations and maintenance of a property. They oversee rent collection, repair and maintenance, tenant complaints, and any other issues. They ensure that both the property owner and the tenants enjoy a cordial relationship.

One needs a real estate broker or a property management license to be a property manager. Depending on your state, you can get a property manager’s license from the real estate boards, state government, or local authority. One also needs to understand the local landlord-tenant laws and regulations.

To qualify as a real estate manager, one has to be at least 18 or 21 years old (this depends on the state), have a high school diploma, and be a permanent resident or legal citizen.

Being a property manager is among the high-paying real estate jobs in the US. The average annual salary of a property manager is $51,327 with the top-paid earning more than $77K.

3. Real estate appraiser

A real estate appraiser is one of the highest-paying real estate careers. The professionals estimate a property’s value to be developed, sold, taxed, insured, or mortgaged. One can either specialize as a residential or commercial appraiser. During the evaluation process, an appraiser considers the condition of a structure, such as roofing, foundation, or renovations.

The vital skills for this career include excellent mathematics, analytical, organizational, communication, and customer service skills. The academic requirements for an appraiser vary from one state to another. But, to be a certified appraiser for commercial and residential buildings, one may need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

The average annual salary of a real estate appraiser is $61,340 with the highest-paid 10% earning more than $120K a year.

4. Community development manager

Community development managers deal with the improvement and expansion of community programs. They help identify the areas that need new facilities or reconstruct the existing structures like education and health facilities. The specialists help in budgeting, getting approvals, and ensuring that a project adheres to local rules and regulations.

To qualify as a community development manager, one needs to have strong leadership and communication skills. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, economics, and public policy puts one in a great position for this career.

The average annual salary for a community development manager is $54,332 with the top-paid earners getting more than $71K a year.

5. Commercial leasing manager

The primary duty of a commercial lease manager is to supervise all the rental operations in a commercial property. A commercial leasing manager is a high-paying real estate job where one researches the applicant’s background, negotiates the lease agreements, and fills out any necessary paperwork. One can also hire and train employees, establish strategies and policies, or plan a budget for the leasing department.

One can work for a property management firm or a commercial real estate organization. You need to be conversant with the current lease prices and trends to give your prospective tenants the best rates possible.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or real estate combined with some experience in asset management or leasing gives you an edge when looking to become a commercial leasing manager.

This is arguably among the highest-paying real estate careers in the US. The mean annual salary for a commercial leasing manager is $116,289 and the best-paid earns more than $235K a year.

6. Mortgage loan officer

A mortgage loan officer (also known as a mortgage loan originator) assists homebuyers in finding loans that suit their needs. Their primary responsibilities include identifying prospective homebuyers and compiling their information. They may get the buyers through connections, advertisements, or seminars and provide them with the best loan options.

MLOs keep proper records of all mortgage transactions while liaising with other specialists like appraisers and underwriters. As a mortgage loan officer, you need to be keen to detail, possess excellent communication skills, know the real estate industry, and be innovative.

The average annual salary of a mortgage loan officer is $50,430.

7. Real estate attorney

A real estate attorney oversees the legal property transfer between a buyer and seller. They help prepare and review documents to ensure the title is clear and facilitate the funds’ transfer. A real estate attorney’s responsibilities vary depending on whether the lender or the seller hires them. It will also depend on the laws of the state where one works.

Real estate attorneys can also deal with title searches and insurance to check whether there are any outstanding liens or claims. If a problem arises during the transaction, it is the real estate lawyer who helps to find a solution.

As a real estate attorney, you need analytical thinking, research, negotiation, and strong verbal & written communication. The minimum education qualification is a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, real estate development, or business administration. It would be best if you also had a Juris Doctor degree.

The average annual salary of a real estate attorney is $87,522. It’s among the best-paying real estate jobs with the top earners getting more than $133K a year.

8. Property accountant

A property accountant deals with all financial issues in the sales, purchases, and rentals of commercial, private, and industrial real estate properties. Their duties include asset management, bookkeeping, and accounting for real estate companies.

These professionals also prepare financial reports, maintain records, and handle real estate firms’ budgeting, taxes, expenses, and payrolls.

A property accountant should have critical thinking, time management, analytical, and account organizational skills. One also needs to have the ability to prepare financial statements and proficiency in accounting software.

To become a property accountant, one needs a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business management. Relevant experience in real estate management is a requirement by most employers.

The average annual salary for a property accountant is $63,185 with the top earners getting more than $85K a year.

9. Real estate consultant

Real estate consulting is among the most marketable careers in real estate. You can work for a consulting firm or independently, but your role will largely depend on your clients.

Some of the duties of a real estate consultant include performing market analysis and conducting research on future real estate development. They also advise property developers, lenders, or real estate investors to make proper financial decisions. After researching the investments, a real estate consultant gives their clients a cost-effective plan of action.

To succeed as a real estate consultant, you need to be passionate, persistent, hardworking, and have excellent communication skills. One should also be familiar with the rules and regulations guiding real estate in a particular area.

You don’t need any specific educational qualifications to be a real estate consultant. But, you will require a real estate license and a solid understanding of the real estate industry.

The average annual salary of a real estate consultant is $65,934 and the top earners get more than $108K a year.

10. Home inspector

Home inspectors examine a building or property for issues that may affect its functional performance or safety. The inspection is usually done on a property that is on sale before the sale can proceed. A homeowner may also request an inspection to know if everything is functioning correctly.

As a home inspector, you will examine the functionality of the drainage, electrical, plumbing, foundation, air cooling systems, and heating. You will also issue the home’s detailed inspection documentation for the realtors and buyers and give guidance to help in fixing any issues.

A home inspector needs to have excellent technical knowledge, be attentive to detail, and have excellent customer service and communication skills. The requirements to be a home inspector differ by state, with some not requiring a formal education. But, one needs to pass the licensing exams for home inspection and acquire the relevant experience.

The average annual salary for a home inspector is $78,950.

11. Real estate associate

A real estate associate assists homebuyers in looking for and purchasing a commercial space or a new home. They also guide their clients through the negotiation process to get the best deal/offer when selling a property. Real estate associates ensure adequate property marketing on sale to reach as many buyers as possible.

The primary duty of a real estate associate is to guide and assist buyers and sellers in the selling/buying process. They perform a market analysis to compare similar properties and develop an accurate value for the property.

The necessary skills of a real estate associate include strong negotiation, sales, and communication skills. One must also be able to work independently and have excellent interpersonal skills.

While it is not a must to have a college degree, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can equip you better as a real estate associate.

The average annual salary for a real estate associate is $65,735. With salaries as high as $114K a year, being a real estate associate is definitely among the highest-paying real estate careers.

12. Corporate real estate manager

A corporate real estate manager oversees the operations of properties. Their duties include supervising maintenance workers, preparing financial statements, and negotiating contracts with suppliers, contractors, and vendors. They may also monitor the income and expenditure of the real estate and determine rental income.

To be a real estate manager, one needs a bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, project management, or business administration. You will also require deep experience in sales, property purchases, development, and rentals. Excellent communication and leadership skills and the ability to resolve complaints from tenants and residents are also required.

The average annual salary of a corporate real estate manager is $82,388 with the highest-paid earning more than $123K a year.

13. Commercial real estate agent

Commercial real estate agents assist businesses in managing, leasing, or selling their properties. The professionals provide buyers with financial analysis, environmental research, and market demographic studies.

For a commercial real estate agent, some of the necessary skills include analyzing data, working with numbers, excellent interpersonal skills, persuasiveness, and superior dedication to customer service. A bachelor’s degree in business or finance is helpful when you aspire to be a commercial real estate agent.

The average annual salary for a commercial real estate agent is $104,975. Commercial real estate agents earn as high as $188K a year, which makes this one of the best-paying real estate careers.

FAQs about the highest-paying real estate careers

Let’s now have a look at a few frequently asked questions about careers in real estate.

a). Which is the highest-paying career in real estate?

A real estate broker is among the highest-paying jobs in real estate. Depending on the transactions, one can earn higher commissions.

b). Is real estate a promising career?

While a career in real estate is not easy, it can be financially rewarding and fulfilling. One needs to be hard-working and have the necessary skills to make it.

c). Is a real estate job stressful?

Yes. A real estate career can be stressful, requiring extra devotion and commitment. One has to work for long hours and under strict deadlines. There is also significant competition in this industry, making it more stressful.

d). How can one be licensed as a real estate agent?

Each state has its set regulations for licensing by the real estate commission. It is necessary to fulfill all the requirements to become licensed.

c). How much money can a real estate agent make?

A real estate agent’s amount of income depends on the number of properties one sells and the commission earned.

Wrapping up

There are several high-paying real estate careers that one can pursue with relevant skills, experience, and educational background. Knowing the proper requirements can help one specialize in one or more fields, depending on your passion.

Watch this video for more well-paying real estate jobs. Courtesy: Kenji Explains.

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