Property Management Career Options, Duties and Employment Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a property manager. Get a quick view of the educational requirements, career options and job duties to find out if this is the right choice for you.

Essential Information

Property managers oversee the maintenance of rental buildings and grounds, handle tenant issues and take care of finances associated with the property. Careers in property management range from residential on-site management of apartment buildings to corporate jobs working for management companies who handle large retail, commercial or industrial properties. A high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, but many employers look for managers with a bachelor's or master's degree in real estate, business administration, finance or public administration.

Required Education Variable; a high school diploma is sometimes acceptable, though a bachelor's or master's degree in a relevant field is preferred
Other Requirements Real estate license required if selling or buying property; voluntary certification is available
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 12% (for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers)
Median Annual Salary (May 2013)* $53,200 (for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options in Property Management

There are many different career options in property management. Property managers for residential homes or apartments may work on or off-site for the property owner or property management company. Retail, industrial and commercial properties are usually overseen by management companies that hire both on and off-site staff. These companies often have several properties that they manage.

Additional career options in property management include working for real estate companies or real estate departments at banks. The property management field also includes opportunities to manage senior housing and healthcare facilities, homeowner or community associations, or government-subsidized public housing.

Job Duties

Property managers have many duties to perform, including collecting rent and late fees, evicting late or troublesome tenants, processing refunds of security deposits, corresponding with tenants and showing vacancies to potential tenants. They are also responsible for scheduling contractors for maintenance, landscaping, trash removal and janitorial services.

Some property managers are responsible for handling financial operations, including preparing financial statements for owners or investors, taxes, insurance dues, payroll and payroll taxes. Community and homeowner association managers collect association dues and use them for various services provided to the community, such as landscape, playground, swimming pool or clubhouse maintenance.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), property, real estate, and community association managers held 165,960 jobs in 2013 (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicts that employment in property management should grow by 12% from 2012 to 2022, which is about average compared to all occupations.

The BLS reports that median yearly income for property, real estate, and community association managers was $53,200 in May 2013. On-site managers, whether independent or working for a company, often live on the property rent-free as part of their compensation.

Formal education isn't required to enter into property management, but opportunities are best for those with degrees in real estate management, business administration, accounting or finance. Opportunities are expected to be good in the senior housing and healthcare areas.

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