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Career Info for a Real Estate Sales, Appraisal & Finance Degree

Degrees in real estate sales, appraisal and finance typically cover appraisal of property valuation methods, assessment of buyer and seller needs and resources, and finance regulations and methods. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for real estate sales, appraisal, and finance graduates.

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A degree in real estate sales, appraisal and finance is an ideal educational foundation for those interested in becoming a real estate sales agent and broker, a property manager, a real estate appraiser, a personal financial advisor, or an instructor. Graduate studies are required to pursue an academic career, while a bachelor's degree, and in some cases a license, will meet the requirements for careers in these other professions.

Essential Information

Degree programs in real estate sales, appraisal and finance can prepare students for careers in real estate sales, property management, appraisal or financial advising. Students who pursue additional training may also be able to teach others, either in vocational schools or at the university level.

Students can earn associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in real estate and finance at many colleges and universities. Appraisal-specific programs can be more difficult to find, but many real estate curriculums include courses in appraisal and valuation methods. Many schools now offer an MBA program with a concentration in real estate or finance, or a master's degree program specifically in finance, real estate or real estate development. Doctoral students may choose to concentrate their research on real estate while studying in a related discipline, such as urban planning or economics, or may decide to enter a dedicated Ph.D. program in real estate.

Career Real Estate Sales Person and Broker Property Manager Real Estate Appraisers Personal Financial Advisor Instructor
Education Requirements High School Diploma or Equivalent High School Diploma or Equivalent Bachelor's Degree Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree or PhD
Other Requirements The District of Columbia and all states require a license to sell real estate License required if selling real estate Licensure or certification required for federal appraisals License to sell stocks, bonds, insurance policies required Teaching license or certification may be required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 3% 8% 8% 30% 13%
Average Salary (2015)* $58,410-$80,210 $68,240 $58,400 $118,050 $54,260-$92,220

Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Students with training in real estate sales, appraisal, or financing become key players in the transfer of real estate from one party to another. Since there are many players in this type of transaction, students have a wide range of options available to them. A student might become a real estate salesperson or broker who matches buyers and sellers according to their needs. Students interested in the rental market can become property managers who supervise and maintain properties. Students interested in property valuation can choose to become appraisers who insure that buyers and sellers are getting fair market value for their properties. Those interested in the financial side of the transaction can become financial advisors who match buyers with lenders in order to make real estate affordable. Students may also choose to become a real estate instructor to help others in obtaining licensure.

Real Estate Salespersons and Brokers

By earning a degree in real estate, an individual may be eligible to apply for a real estate salesperson's or broker's (firm owner's) license. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for real estate salespersons and real estate brokers were expected to grow by 3% from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, the average salary for a real estate salesperson was $58,410, while the average salary for a broker was $80,210.

Property Managers

People with degrees in real estate can become property managers, overseeing the operations of commercial or residential rental property. In some states, property managers must also have a valid real estate salesperson's license. The BLS predicts 8% job growth between 2014 and 2024 for property, real estate and community association managers, noting that degree holders have the best job prospects, particularly those who have experience in managing properties that cater to the elderly. The average salary for property managers as of May 2015 was $68,240.

Real Estate Appraisers

Real estate appraisers examine properties and determine their value. They then use this information to make decisions about property sales, mortgages and other financial transactions. Job growth is predicted by the BLS to be slightly faster than average, with an increase of 8% in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. The average salary for appraisers in May of 2015 was $58,400.

Financial Advisors

People with degrees in finance can become financial advisors, providing investment and financial planning information to their clients. The mean salary of a personal financial advisor as of May 2015 was $118,050, according to the BLS, and the industry is expected to see a 30% growth in jobs between 2014 and 2024.

Instructors

Individuals with degrees in real estate, appraisal and finance can get jobs as instructors in diploma, certificate and degree programs. Those who have a bachelor's degree may be able to teach pre-licensing programs for real estate agents, appraisers or financial advisors through vocational schools and adult education programs. Those who pursue graduate studies in these areas may become professors at community colleges and universities. The BLS predicts a 13% growth in postsecondary education teaching jobs from 2014 to 2024. Vocational school teachers had a mean income of $54,260 as of May 2015, while postsecondary business teachers earned a mean salary of $92,220, according to the BLS.

There are many careers for those interested in real estate or finance, and they can prepare by completing a degree in real estate sales, appraisal and finance. Educational backgrounds needed for these jobs range from a high school diploma to a graduate degree, and licensure may be necessary. Financial advisors will see the most growth, with job opportunities expected to rise by 30% through the year 2024.

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