The Highest-Paying
Real Estate Careers of 2021

According to the Federation of American Scientists, the real estate industry contributed $885 billion to the US economy in 2020. With such high numbers, there are some lucrative careers in real estate. Although these jobs are often challenging and time-consuming, the potential in the industry is high. In this article, we survey 10 of the best real estate careers.

What Is Real Estate?

Real estate refers to the buying and selling of land and other property. The five categories of real estate are commercial property, industrial property, raw land, residential property, and land for special use. With such a broad spectrum, there are many career opportunities in the real estate industry.

Why You Should Pursue a Career in Real Estate

Although real estate isn’t growing as fast as other industries, it is still a great career choice. Real estate is always appreciating in value, and so are real estate salaries. Cash is always flowing to and from different investments. You could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if you enter a more valuable sector of the real estate industry.

There are many different real estate jobs out there, so you can choose which is best for you. You can choose a more social, financial, or hands-on job. With the right real estate experience, you will also be able to make your own investments and benefit from your knowledge. A career in real estate is a great choice.

Top 10 Real Estate Careers at a Glance

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the real estate industry had 477,200 jobs in 2019. By 2029, the profession is expected to grow to a size of 488,500 jobs. This modest growth suggests that real estate is a fairly stable industry.

The table below shows the best real estate careers to consider and their projected growth from 2019 to 2029. Job growth estimates are pulled from BLS. The salary figures, which are subject to change, come from BLS, Salary.com, and Glassdoor.

Job Title Education Requirement Projected Job Growth Average Salary
Commercial Appraiser Associate Degree
State License
3%* $103,932
Real Estate Manager Bachelor’s Degree 0%** $59,660
Real Estate Agent Bachelor’s Degree
State License
2%*** $51,220
Home Inspector Bachelor’s Degree
State License
3% $62,860
Leasing Consultant Bachelor’s Degree 0%** $33,741
Managing Broker Bachelor’s Degree 2%*** $153,089
Real Estate Attorney Bachelor’s Degree
Juris Doctor Degree
4% $126,930
Real Estate Investor Real Estate Experience 2%*** $70,192
Real Estate Mentor Real Estate Experience 2%*** $58,135
Residential Appraiser Bachelor’s Degree
State License
3%* $58,650

*Projected job growth is based on BLS data for Property Appraisers and Assessors.
**Projected job growth is based on BLS data for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers.
***Projected job growth is based on BLS data for Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents.

The Best Real Estate Careers in 2021

The Best Real Estate Careers in 2021

As long as people buy and sell property, the real estate industry will continue to grow. If you’re interested in a real estate career, read more about the best options below.

Commercial Appraiser

A real estate commercial appraiser determines the value of business properties. When someone wants to purchase a commercial asset, an appraiser can be useful. They can help make sure a buyer is paying the best price possible.

Commercial appraisers can determine the value of everything from shopping malls to raw land. Because they deal with more valuable properties than residential appraisers do, the average commercial appraiser is compensated handsomely.

Commercial Appraiser Responsibilities

  • Inspects and reports on a property’s condition
  • Provides photographic documentation on the interior of a property
  • Determines the value of a property
  • Consults with other real estate professionals to find trends in the field

Real Estate Manager

A real estate manager oversees all operations in a rental property. They follow the leasing organization’s policies and standards. They work with the property owner, financial institutions, tenants, and more to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Real Estate Manager Responsibilities

  • Presents amenities to prospective tenants
  • Clarifies doubts that prospective tenants may have
  • Uses different media to advertise the commercial property
  • Researches leases

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents act as liaisons between property owners and prospective owners. These workers are usually hired by buyers and sellers to help find the best deals. To become a real estate agent, you will need to look up the licensing requirements in your location.

Real Estate Agent Responsibilities

  • Finds and shows different properties to prospective buyers
  • Negotiates prices during the purchasing process
  • Conducts market research to better understand prices and availabilities
  • Researches and documents maintenance costs

Home Inspector

A home inspector can come in handy for any prospective homeowner. In this role, you will make sure that a home has no blemishes or faults. You can inspect the home and advise whether or not to purchase it depending on its condition. Home inspectors also assess how much it might cost to repair a property.

Home Inspector Responsibilities

  • Inspects a residential property on behalf of the client
  • Visits the property and makes reports on the condition
  • Checks and inspects the condition of electric lines and plumbing
  • Examines the exterior of a property to check for hazardous conditions

Leasing Consultant

A leasing consultant is a rental estate specialist who acts as a middleman between the owner and the tenants. They make all the transactions and keep the documents concerning the lease. As a leasing consultant, you can help both owners and tenants save time and money. This job might require a leasing license depending on your location.

Leasing Consultant Responsibilities

  • Communicates with tenants to gauge interest
  • Shows the property to potential tenants and provides information
  • Advises tenants about rent and security payments
  • Executes the terms of a lease

Managing Broker

A managing broker is a licensed professional who manages a real estate office alongside other agents. It is one of the jobs in real estate that requires a license to be able to practice. Managing brokers supervise and manage real estate agents. If you are interested in a leadership position, this could be the career for you.

Managing Broker Responsibilities

  • Leads a team of real estate agents
  • Checks in with agents to make sure they are following company policies and standards
  • Works with buyers and sellers to resolve any issues
  • Interviews and recruits new real estate agents

Real Estate Attorney

A real estate attorney is a certified lawyer who advocates for the rights of tenants. They are also sometimes consulted before a real estate deal is closed. This is one of the most lucrative jobs in real estate because studying law requires more education. If you can commit yourself to hard work, this career is a great option.

Real Estate Attorney Responsibilities

  • Prepares and reviews legal documents of the property at hand
  • Handles the portfolios and legal documents of properties and estates
  • Checks for any legal risks pertaining to a real estate decision
  • Handles any legal disputes and documents

Real Estate Investor

A real estate investor is an entrepreneur who actively or passively buys and sells real estate for a profit. Active investors purchase a property, make renovations, and later sell it. This job is similar to a real estate developer, but with less hands-on work and more financial knowledge.

Real Estate Investor Responsibilities

  • Adds value by renovating and repairing the property
  • Sources and purchases inexpensive properties
  • Plans and coordinates the selling of a property to make a profit
  • Stays up to date with trends in the industry

Real Estate Mentor

A real estate mentor is a person who tutors or offers mentorship services for a fee. The relationship between the mentor and mentee is mutually beneficial. Real estate mentors can work with investors to educate them about the market and how to make profits. To do this job, you should have real estate and financial experience.

Real Estate Mentor Responsibilities

  • Offers advice to mentees on real estate issues
  • Shares their experience and wisdom on real estate
  • Addresses and solves issues and concerns raised by the mentee
  • Stays up to date with trends and issues in the real estate industry

Residential Appraiser

A residential appraiser is usually summoned when any property is being sold or purchased. The appraiser comes in to check the value of the estate and evaluate its condition. This can affect the selling or purchasing price. These professionals should have a license to practice, but it depends on your location.

Residential Appraiser Responsibilities

  • Inspects a property or piece of land for clients
  • Documents their findings to communicate with others
  • Assesses the value of a property based on its condition
  • Offers advice based on the assessment
What Education Is Required for a Career in Real Estate?

What Education Is Required for a Career in Real Estate?

Some real estate jobs don’t require a college degree. However, to secure an excellent job in this industry, it’s best to get higher education or training. For instance, a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Communications, or any related field is an added advantage.

Also, you may need a license for certain careers, such as real estate management. These are not always difficult to get, but you must fulfill the requirements and pass the exams. A high school diploma is a minimum requirement.

Can I Study Real Estate Online?

Yes, you can study real estate online. In fact, there are many online classes and licensing exams available if this is your preferred mode of study. Online college is generally more convenient and affordable, which attracts many real estate workers. However, most employers prefer that you go through a traditional college or university.

Personality Traits Necessary for a Real Estate Career

Soft skills are an important part of real estate jobs, especially for real estate agents. You will interact with many people throughout the day, so you need to be a clear and friendly communicator. You should also be able to work independently and take care of your responsibilities without being pushed or reminded.

You will need to cultivate a welcoming personality so your clients and organization can trust you with different obligations. It will also help you coordinate with other players in the industry, such as carpenters, plumbers, IT professionals, and more.

You also may need to have high emotional intelligence to read cues and effectively sell different properties or ideas. These personality traits can be the difference between a good and bad real estate worker.

Is a Real Estate Job Good for Me?

A career in real estate is perfect for you if you are hardworking and outgoing. This can be a highly independent job, so you need to be self-motivated and good at networking. Real estate can be a complicated business, but it can pay off if you put in the effort. There are many options out there if you want to pursue a career in real estate.

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