Be a Land Developer: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Mar 03, 2020

Learn how to become a land developer. Research the job description and education and experience requirements and find out how to start a career in land development.

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Should I Become a Land Developer?

Land developers purchase tracts of land for the construction of commercial, industrial, or residential projects. They work with local governments to acquire permits and ensure that development complies with regulations. Developers may then manage the building project, including the labor, budget, and sales, or they may sell the land to a builder for development.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; advanced education is available for professionals in the field
Degree Field Real estate or related field
Salary $58,340 (2018 median salary for all property, real estate, and community association managers)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Let's take a look at the steps needed to become a land developer:

Steps to Become a Land Developer

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

A minimum education of at least a bachelor's degree is usually required in order to obtain a job in the field of land or real estate development. A bachelor's degree in real estate is likely to cover land development concepts such as zoning, site plans, the permit process, and subdivision. Other possible bachelor's degree options appropriate for careers in this field include soil and land development or geography. A bachelor's degree program may include internship opportunities, either coordinated by the school or self-directed, and these can take place in land or real estate development firms, real estate management offices, or related workplaces.

Step 2: Acquire Work Experience

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in real estate and related fields can work in entry-level positions with public or private companies and agencies. Common job titles include property manager, title researcher, real estate sales agent or broker, real estate counselor, and asset manager. Corporate real estate departments typically encompass site selection, lease negotiation, and site development. For some careers, such as real estate sales agent, a state license is required.

Step 3: Obtain Advanced Education

Aspiring land developers with relevant work or education experience may enroll in advanced education programs. Students who hold a bachelor's degree can pursue graduate certificates in land or real estate development. A few schools offer master's programs in real estate, land development, or business administration with a real estate concentration. Programs typically cover topics such as zoning, planning, construction, negotiation, land use, finance and investment, sustainable development, and project management. Some organizations, like the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, offer continuing education courses and certificate programs in real estate development.

In summary, land developers typically have at least a bachelor's degree in real estate, soil and land development, or a related field. They earned a median salary of about $58,340 annually in 2018.

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