Real estate is, essentially, the buying and selling of property. That property could be a plot of land, a four-bedroom Tudor, or a 60-story high-rise. During these transactions, there are different types of people involved in the real estate process to help in everything from setting prices for properties to showing them to potential renters or buyers to making up the contracts:
A broker is licensed to oversee real estate transactions for a real estate office or commercial firm, as well as sell real estate, rent properties, and arrange loans.
An agent does the same type of work as a broker — renting, buying or selling property for clients — but cannot manage a real estate business. Often an agent will work with a broker on a contract basis, earning commission from the sale of a property.
This person estimates a fair value for the real property.
Similar to appraisers, assessors value properties, but for property tax purposes. They often work for local governments and can value entire neighborhoods, as opposed to one property at a time.
What Can I Do With an Online Degree in Real Estate?
An interest in real estate can be a full-time career or a part-time hobby. According to the National Association of Realtors, those who find success in the business are “goal-oriented, persevering, self-motivated, ambitious, and people-oriented.” The most important thing an aspiring broker or agent can possess, through, is a license. A license is required to practice as a broker or agent in all states, and most appraisers and assessors generally must be licensed or certified, depending on state requirements. Through online courses, you can prepare for any necessary exams needed to practice. A real estate license class can help prepare you for the licensing exam to become an agent, for instance, while real estate broker training may help you advance to get a license to then operate a real estate office. There’s additional real estate training online that focuses on specialties in the field. For instance, a master of science in property management educates professionals in the field of property management. Additional specialties include land-use planning and real estate finance.
Earnings will vary based on education, as well as level of experience, the type of properties being sold, and the economic climate. Since pay is often based on commission, the agreement between the broker and the agent will also play a role. Salary also varies, of course, by position. The median annual salary of sales agents is $52,490, while the median annual salary of brokers is $76,060, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dated May 2010. For appraisers and assessors, the mean annual salary is $54,230. The top-paying jobs also vary by industry. According to the BLS, the highest wages for agents can be found in agencies and brokerages, wired telecommunications, and natural gas distribution, while for appraisers and assessors, the highest paying industries are in the postal service, federal executive branch, and accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
Real estate offices, naturally, offer the highest levels of employment for agents, brokers, appraisers, and assessors, according to the BLS. Local and state governments are also top employers of appraisers and assessors. The amount of work available also varies by region. States with the highest level of employment for sales agents are Florida, Texas, and New York. For brokers, Florida also tops that list, followed by North Carolina and California. For appraisers and assessors, it’s a mix of both, with Texas, California, and Florida. Pay can also vary by state. According to the BLS, the top-paying states for brokers are New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. For agents, it’s the District of Columbia, New York, and Illinois. And for appraisers and assessors, it’s California, Nevada, and Alaska.
While these figures are informative, they are not guarantees of salaries or careers in the real estate field. Both wages and job opportunities will greatly depend greatly on the economic climate and your level of experience.
What Is It Like To Get An Online Degree in Real Estate?
Online real estate license courses impart knowledge of national laws as well as those specific to whichever state you wish to practice in. Some licensing courses let you stop and go as you please, with quizzes at the end of each section that you must earn a certain score on before you can move on. Online master’s degree programs in real estate are more structured in terms of completing assignments.
Topics cover real estate in greater depth, as well, in such areas as finance, law, economics, accounting, management, and investment. Courses generally don’t stop once you’ve earned your license or degree, either. Continuing education is a major component of the field, with agents and brokers required in most states to earn continuing education credits to renew their credentials. Given the constant demands, online courses are a convenient and popular option. We recommend taking classes and degree programs through accredited institutions.