A property management degree prepares students to oversee the operations of real estate properties owned by others. Property managers are responsible for ensuring that a property generates a profit and remains in good condition. While a degree isn't necessarily required, employers prefer to hire property managers with career education through an associate's or bachelor's degree program. Prerequisites for these programs include a high school diploma or GED.
Associate's Degree in Property Management
An associate's degree program in property management educates students in the fundamentals of operating a property. This includes lessons in communication techniques for owners and residents and increasing real estate property values. Prospective property managers must learn to handle complaints, enforce lease terms, keep accurate records and submit reports to owners.
The curriculum of an associate's degree program in property management consists of courses that focus on economics and property management. The goal of the coursework is to teach students how to maintain a profitable property through sound financial and management principles. Courses cover:
- Tenant relations
- Managing commercial property
- Apartment management and operations
Bachelor's Degree in Property Management
A bachelor's degree in property management offers education in strategic management, commercial valuation techniques, portfolio analysis, property law and property industry. A Bachelor of Science in Property Management degree program offers both business administration and property management courses.
Students gain knowledge and skills in property management, including the ability to write professionally, speak effectively, use computers, understand finances and deal with residents in different settings. Advanced courses emphasize:
- Residential property management
- Affordable housing administration
- Housing for an aging population
- Commercial property management
Popular Career Options
Individuals who work in the property management field show apartments, manage grounds crews, make repairs and maintain the upkeep of a complex. While some property managers work on-site and are responsible for the day-to-day operations, others act as a liaison between the owner and on-site personnel. Career opportunities are available with:
- Real estate firms
- Apartment complexes
- Private owners
Job Outlook & Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, property, real estate, and community association managers could anticipate an 8% growth in career opportunities between 2014 and 2024. The average annual wage for these professionals was $63,570 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Those who work in public housing that is subsidized by the federal government must become certified, while many other property management professionals choose to become certified voluntarily. Property management certification is a formal recognition that proves to potential employers that a candidate has formal education and experience in property management. Certifications such as the Certified Property Manager designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management, which is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, outline a code of ethics for property managers.
Although a degree is not required for work as a property manager, many employers prefer to hire job candidates with associate's and bachelor's degrees in property management. Graduates of these programs can also earn voluntary certifications that can further enhance their credentials and job opportunities.