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What is Real Estate?
Real estate is the area of study and practice that is involved with the sale and resale of land and properties for the purposes of residential or commercial development or ownership. Individuals in this field are responsible for providing customers with a variety of options in regards to their purchase as well as listing homes for sale on behalf of sellers. Individuals in this field will typically earn a commission based on the sale of a property. Individuals may be sales agents or brokers. Becoming a broker requires sales experience that varies by state and confers the ability to manage one's own business.
Students earning a degree or certificate in real estate have gone on to advance or start a career as real estate agents, appraisers, loan officers, project managers, analysts, planners, asset managers, property managers, community manager, assessors, and financial planners.
Degrees in Real Estate
For students and working professionals looking to learn more about real estate from accredited colleges and universities, in-depth research is your best ally. Taking the time to thoroughly research programs will bode well for your career and long-term success in real estate. As a result, we have created an overview of the degree and certificate programs to help you understand the options in the field. Earning a certificate or degree in real estate can help you move closer to your professional goals and career objectives. Below you will find a list of programs that range from certificate to graduate degrees in the field of study.
Certificate Programs in Real Estate
Online certificate programs in real estate can be earned from a number of accredited colleges and universities. Schools can provide certificate programs in real estate to help students become an appraiser, broker, sales agent, community association manager, property manager, of finance analyst. Undergraduate certificate programs are designed to provide students with key principles and foundational knowledge to prepare for a career in the field. In most cases, a certificate will allow students to study a series of courses to prepare them for a state-based examination and licensure in a specific area of real estate. A full list of accredited certificate programs can be found below by connecting with top colleges.
Associate Degrees in Real Estate
Associate degrees in real estate can be earned online on in a classroom depending on the school’s offerings and your preferred learning modality. Distance learning or online learning has key benefits to students such as cost savings, convenience, schedule flexibility, easy access, and quality curriculum with an accredited school. Online associate’s degrees in real estate are most frequently conferred as an Associate of Arts (AA). An AA degree will blend general education courses with core classes to provide a well-rounded education to students. Liberal arts classes will generally include communications, history, philosophy, math, psychology, and creative writing.
Core classes in real estate will depend on the school and degree program’s emphasis. In other words, an associate degree in real estate sales will have additional communications and psychology classes versus a degree for an appraiser which would be more math-based courses. Associate degrees in a general real estate course may include classes such as: legal, finance, economics, computer applications, income tax, property management, residential investment, commercial investment, escrow, accounting, loan brokering & lending, marketing, and psychology.
Bachelor Degrees in Real Estate
Online bachelor’s degrees in real estate are 4-year programs. Bachelor degrees are conferred as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) as a function of the program emphasis. Both BA and BS degrees blend general education courses with core classes. The net result of these courses is to build critical thinking skills and integrative problem-solving. Curriculum in the core program will include mid-level classes in accounting, law economics, finance, investment properties, escrow, title reports, appraisals, tenant law, and business management.
Master Degrees in Real Estate
The online master degree in real estate is a 2-year program for most students with part-time students taking longer to complete. Degrees at this level are conferred as a Master of Science in Real Estate (MS) or Master in Business Administration in Business Administration (MBA). Upper-level classes may include courses such as corporate finance, statistical analysis, business leadership, development modeling, risk analysis, infrastructure development, project finance, construction feasibility, market feasibility, advanced valuation and analysis, trusts, and portfolio management.
A degree in real estate prepares individuals for a career by elaborating on the laws and practices necessary to sell and purchase property. Degrees in real estate are generally offered at the associate and bachelor level, though some programs are available at the master degree level. Many career schools and community colleges also offer certificate programs in real estate. In general studying real estate requires the student to learn about business, and then how business relates to real estate within the modern market. Courses designed to understand how to market and sell property are taught alongside economics and accounting courses.
A curriculum in real estate may include:
- Real Estate Transactions
- Mediation and Negotiation
- Land Use
- Administrative Law
- Income Tax and Real Estate
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Individuals interested in a career in real estate do not need to pursue a degree in order to become a broker or agent; although an education in real estate or business with a focus in real estate can be quite beneficial. Real estate brokers and agents must be licensed by the state, requiring the passing of a state issued examination; this requirement may be waived in some states with an education in real estate through a post secondary institution. Additionally, as laws and transaction become more complicated, having a practical amount of knowledge in business and real estate laws through the courses provided in such a program are proving to be more and more valuable.
Individuals interested in becoming real estate brokers must first work between 1 and 3 years as a sales agent, the exact number of which is dependent on the individual's state of operation's laws. Brokers are licensed to manage their own business, assisting others in the sale or purchase of homes as well as maintaining properties, such as apartment buildings, if needed by a client.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Currently the job market for real estate is expected to grow steadily, though unlike some other professions, real estate is highly dependent on the market. In times of boon, plenty of job opportunities are to be had as people are more prone to purchasing properties. During recessions or stagnation, people are less likely to look for and purchase properties leading to limited job opportunities. That said, real estate is a relatively easy profession to enter, and more often than not, job opportunities are available.
The average salary for a real estate agent is $46,410 a year with many agents working part-time. The top 10% of real estate agents in the country average $112,750 a year. The average salary for a real estate broker is approximately $56,790 per year with the top ten percent averaging $162,260 a year.
Top Paying States for Real Estate Brokers
- New Hampshire $129,370
- District of Columbia $124,710
- Hawaii $120,310
- New York $116,980
- Ohio $116,640