Real Estate Agent: Occupational Outlook and Career Profile for Real Estate Agents
Although, real estate agents will see an increase in employment, job opportunities may be dictated by factors outside the industry, such as economic downturns. Read on to learn more about the occupational outlook for real estate agents.
Real Estate Agent Occupational Outlook
According to the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for real estate agents was expected to increase 16% from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). This growth is due to the increasing population and the high turnover rate within the real estate industry. While growth is expected, the industry is still vulnerable to economic downturns, which may cause real estate prices to fall. While most agents work in traditional real estate offices, they may also be employed by building construction and land subdivision companies.
In May 2010, BLS statistics reflected that the average real estate agent made $52,490 annually. Most agents earned between $20,460 and $95,220 annually. Agents located in the Wilmington, NC metropolitan area received $95,020 annually, the highest of all metro and non-metro areas.
Real estate agents represent buyers and sellers of commercial, residential and other properties. These professionals must be knowledgeable about local neighborhoods and property laws. Real estate agents may also need marketing skills to promote themselves and their properties. They may be required to do research when pricing a property or negotiating an offer.
Real estate agents may work evenings and weekends, depending on their client's schedule. While some time is spent in the office, many hours are spent hosting open houses or prospecting for clients. Real estate agents often work for brokers and may interact with lawyers, accountants and financiers during the selling process.
Educational Requirements and Options
Aspiring real estate agents must complete high school. While a college degree isn't a necessity, postsecondary institutes offer certificate, associate's and bachelor's programs in real estate. These programs include coursework in real estate law, investing and finance. Some programs may integrate courses that are required by state licensing boards into the program.
The BLS states that all 50 states and the District of Columbia require agents to be licensed. In order to become licensed, individuals must pass an exam that covers real estate concepts. Some states may have educational requirements that must be completed before individuals sit for an exam. Licenses must be kept current, and may be done by completing continuing education requirements.
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