Associate of Real Estate: Degree Overview
Learn the details of an associate's degree program that focuses on real estate. See the courses that are included in the curriculum and check out the career options for graduates. Review the employment and salary projections for real estate brokers and agents.
Students may earn Associate of Applied Business, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees in real estate. All of these programs teach students about the workings of the real estate industry, including sales techniques, customer service, real estate law and appraisal methods. Internships are often encouraged or even required. Most programs require a high school diploma or equivalent for admission.
It's important to note that real estate sales agents and brokers typically only need a high school diploma. Some postsecondary coursework may be necessary to qualify for state licensing exams, and some associate's programs in real estate include those courses.
The curriculum in a real estate associate degree program covers business, management, professionalism, customer service and sales techniques specific to the real estate industry. Students take courses in communications, management, public speaking and college math as part of the general education requirements. Students also take courses to help them develop basic business skills, such as business law, human resource management, customer service and marketing. Real estate-specific topics covered may include:
- Real estate appraisal
- Real estate brokerage
- Property investing
- Property management
- Real estate marketing
- Real estate law
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate degree programs may pursue careers in the real estate industry that involve sales, marketing, finance or management. Possible job titles include:
- Property inspector
- Real estate appraiser
- Real estate broker
- Property manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012, real estate brokers earned an annual median salary of $58,350 and real estate sales agents earned $39,140. The BLS predicted employment growth of 11% for brokers and agents, from 2012-2022. The BLS also projected slower than average job growth of 6% for appraisers and assessors during that decade and an annual median salary of $49,540 in 2012.
Continuing Education Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals may need to be licensed by the state, depending on the chosen career (www.bls.gov). The BLS states that real estate brokers and real estate agents must be licensed in all states; licensing is initially based on successful completion of an exam in addition to completing educational requirements and gaining experience. Renewal of licenses is usually needed at 1-2 year intervals.
Federal regulations require that most real estate appraisers be certified. The actual certification and the requirements for earning it are set and administered by each state individually, although the BLS notes that some federally set thresholds must be met. Appraisers have several types and levels of certifications to choose from. Real estate managers who buy or sell property must also be licensed in every state. Managers of federal housing units must be certified.
Individuals who want to take a further educational step beyond the associate's degree can continue their education in a bachelor's degree program in real estate. Many associate degree programs are designed so credits can be transferred into a bachelor's degree program.
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