Today there are more than 5 million people working in various parts of the real estate industry in the United States. Real estate has many wide-ranging careers associated with it, both directly and indirectly. Many real estate jobs require licensing—such as a real estate license—continuing education, or other certifications or degrees. Below we outline the different types of real estate jobs available today, as well as the typical real estate salary or income associated with each. (Editor’s note: This blog post has been updated August 2018 to reflect the most current salary statistics, including those gathered in the 2018 Real Estate Agent Income Guide.)
“Real estate involves every aspect of our lives: personal, financial, and physical. We agents are in the wallets, the structures, the yards, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the kitchens, the family relationships, and the jobs of the people we work for. The opportunity to learn about people and their lives and be helpful to them is limitless. It is never boring.”—respondent in the Real Estate Express February 2018 survey of 1,029 licensed real estate professionals
Types of real estate careers available
Real estate careers can be associated with the financial side of the industry by way of a mortgage brokerage, loan processing, underwriting, credit analysis, foreclosure management, loan funding, and investment. There are also a number of important and high-paying jobs available on the title insurance, appraisal, escrow, property management, and legal sides of the business, in addition to residential and commercial brokerage sales.
What can you expect from a real estate agent salary? Find out more in our free 2018 Real Estate Agent Income Guide.
30 real estate jobs and their salaries
Let’s take a look at the salary or income opportunity for thirty different real estate jobs available. In this context, the term “salary” might also embrace commissions and bonuses. The usual range, unless otherwise noted, includes salaries from the 25th to 75th percentiles:
- Appraiser (residential): The median annual salary is $50,706 with a salary range usually between $41,795 and $58,572.
- Appraiser (commercial): The median annual salary for an appraiser who works in the commercial sector is $94,104 with a range usually between $107,954 and $80,943.
- Commercial leasing manager: The median annual salary is $105,330 with a range usually between $79,423 and $146,674.
- Commercial real estate broker: The average annual salary is reported by payscale.com to be $64,501, but annual incomes in this field can vary dramatically, going as high as several million dollars per year, depending upon the annual closings. Total pay usually falls between $38,170 and $196,775.
- Commercial real estate loan officer: The median annual salary nationally for a lower-level loan officer is $74,564 with a salary range between $64,454 and $85,995. A senior loan officer’s median salary is $129,743, The sale of just one multi-million dollar commercial property per year can generate over $63,000 in commission income alone.
- Community development manager: The median annual salary range is $105,608 with a range typically between $91,128 and $121,918.
- Compliance specialist: The median annual salary for an entry-level compliance specialist is $54,686 with the standard range between $48, 787 and $62,325. More senior compliance specialists average $68,657 to $92,096, with a median of $79,379.
- Escrow officer: The median annual salary is $46,003 with a standard range between $37,230 and $55,797. Escrow company owners can earn several hundred thousand to well over a million dollars per year in income with enough steady escrow closing volume.
- Foreclosure specialist: The median reported annual salary is $40,690, typically ranging between $34,222 and $48,754.
- Land administration manager: The median annual salary is $153,980, typically ranging between $140,091 and $172,448.
- Leasing consultant: The median salary nationally, early in a consultant’s career, is $28,703, typically ranging between $25,943 and $31,859.
- Lease administrator: The median reported salary is $49,042 with incomes frequently ranging from $43,354 to $62,988.
- Lease administration manager: The median annual salary is $70,111 with incomes frequently ranging between $59,348 and $92,049.
- Mortgage collection manager: The median reported starting salary nationally is $76,567, typically ranging between $62,784 and $88,730.
- Mortgage credit analyst (Level I – newer employee): The median salary is $51,182; the typical range is $42,286 to $59,726. For a senior mortgage credit analyst, the median annual salary is $62,931, typically ranging between $55,916 and $70,162.
- Mortgage loan officer (Level I – starting level): The median annual salary is $40,225 for a newly employed loan officer with a typical range between $32,903 and $48,999. Median salary for a senior mortgage loan officer is $70,993.
- Mortgage loan processor (Level I): The median annual entry-level salary is $35,369 with ranges between $31,919 and $39,981.
- Mortgage loan processing manager: The median reported annual salary is $86,756 with most salaries ranging between $74,037 and $97,170.
- Real estate attorney: The median reported salary is $136,204; the standard range is 118,764 to $150,966.
- Real estate consultant: The median reported annual salary is $64,000 with a standard range between $46,000 and $110,000.
- Property manager: The median annual salary is $91,701; the standard range is $79,618 to $105,511.
- Residential property manager: The median reported annual salary is $55,591; the standard range is $48,430 to $62,761.
- Retail real estate manager: The median annual salary is $119,424; standard range is $100,335 to $138,307.
- Real estate zoning manager: The median annual salary is $106,149; standard range is $94,401 to $118,082.
- Real estate sales agent: The average annual income for a real estate agent in the U.S. is $40,015, with a standard range of $39,090 to $50,898, but top producers can earn far more.
- Real estate and relocation director: The average annual reported salary is $146,127 with a typical range of $124,257 to $181,802.
- Title examiner: The reported annual salary is $39,320 with a standard range of $36,469 to $42,057.
- Top mortgage loan servicing manager: The median annual salary is $146,601 with a typical range of $122,584 to $252,853.
- Top commercial real estate executive: The median reported annual salary is $274,153 with a standard range of $235,548 and $337,424. The job functions can include overseeing a commercial real estate firm’s agents as well as planning and directing policies and objectives for the entire firm.
- Top retail real estate executive: The median annual salary is $260,037; the standard range is $214,593 to $330,733.
How to get started in real estate
Ready to start a new and exciting career in real estate?
- If you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent, the first step is to take your real estate pre-licensing courses.
- We also recommend downloading our free guide: Is Real Estate Right For You?, that will walk you through licensing information.
- Take a look at our real estate agent salary center to find more in-depth information on real estate income.
- Download a free guide to Start-Up Costs and First-Year Costs for Real Estate Agents.