Real estate degree programs teach students about the workings of the industry. Students may earn Associate of Applied Business, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees in real estate. It's important to note that real estate sales agents and brokers typically only need a high school diploma. Postsecondary coursework may be necessary to qualify for state licensing exams, and some associate's degree programs in real estate include those courses.
It takes four years to complete this program. In addition, an internship may be required to graduate.
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Associate of Real Estate
The curriculum in a real estate associate's 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's 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 2015, real estate brokers earned an annual median salary of $56,860, and real estate sales agents earned $43,370. The BLS predicted an employment growth of 3% for brokers and agents, from 2014-2024. The BLS also projected a job growth of 8% for appraisers and assessors during that decade and an annual median salary of $51,860 in 2015.
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's degree programs are designed so credits can be transferred into a bachelor's degree program.
Students who earn an associate's degree in real estate learn the necessary skills to sell properties and are prepared to be licensed by the state in which they reside. Potential job titles students can pursue include real estate broker, appraiser and property inspector.