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When you first think of the real estate industry, it’s easy to imagine jet-setting around the country, showing fancy homes, and planning open houses. It’s no longer a secret that real estate is one of the most dynamic, challenging, and rewarding careers out there.

But, did you know that there’s even more lucrative careers in real estate beyond being a real estate agent? This exciting industry boasts some of the hottest jobs – with some of the greatest job security – on the rise today.

1) Appraiser


An appraiser is one of the key players in any real estate transaction. This type of specialist is often needed for real estate rentals, sales, and taxes and applying for mortgages. Using guidelines concerning the exterior condition, interior condition, safety, and amenities of properties, appraisers objectively assign value to a home or property.

Appraisers also use knowledge of the surrounding area and homes to make comparisons and determine a fair listing price for the house. A fair listing price ensures that the amenities, location and condition of the home are taken into account in relation to other homes in the area.

For example, if a house has a brand new, remodeled kitchen, it may be fair to price that house slightly higher than a similar house with an older kitchen. As an appraiser, you will work with homebuyers and agents but are likely to be hired directly by a mortgage lender.

Many appraisers start their own freelance businesses to work with a diverse selection of clients, charging by the appraisal depending on how complex and time-consuming the task is.


Demand for appraisers is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. About half the population of appraisers is between the ages of 56-60, nearing retirement. This will open up the marker for a new generation in this field. In addition, technology makes it increasingly easy for appraisers to access information about properties, allowing them to work more efficiently and accurately.

Appraisers can find employment in a number of avenues – directly with a mortgage company, through a bank, or even freelance.

The median salary for an appraiser is around $54,000 per year, with high growth potential depending on continued education and experience.


Appraisers need critical thinking skills, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills. Being confident working with numbers doesn’t hurt, either!

Become an Appraiser:

Each state has their own qualifications for becoming an appraiser. Although no college degree is required, course work in market analysis, site valuation, and sales comparisons is needed to ultimately become certified.

After coursework is completed, prospective appraisers will start as a trainee before finding a supervisory appraiser who can monitor your work for about six months and 1,000 hours. Once you have completed your course work and training hours, you will take the Licensed Residential Exam to achieve certification.

2) Property Manager


The property manager works as support to building or home owners. This jack-of-all-trades handles marketing, finances (the budgeting and expenses), tenant occupancy, and administrative work for a real estate property.

Responsibilities of a property manager can range from finding new tenants, drafting leases, fixing small problems within the building (and hiring professionals for larger problems), collecting rent, conducting background searches – and the list goes on.

Property managers get to meet people from all different walks of life, and spend much of the day communicating with owners, tenants, and legal teams. Normally hired by a property management company or even a building owner, property managers enjoy a secure and steady work environment.


If you love working in a fast paced environment where no day is the same, check out property management. Being a property manager is generally a demanding, yet rewarding, position.

You often receive perks of or discounts to live inside of the building you manage. Salaries are competitive at $55,000 per year, varying with experience and additional areas of knowledge.

For example, if you have a strong background in law, you may be able to assist with drafting leases. If you have experience in electrical work or technology, your ability to troubleshoot with tenants and fix small problems could give you an edge in the market.


A good property manager has great people skills, as well as a solid understanding of marketing and finance. Detailed-oriented individuals normally excel in this career, and stellar organizational skills will help you effectively wear many hats. General knowledge of plumbing, electrical, and landscaping trades can help you become an expert at budgeting and working with outside vendors.

Become a Property Manager:

Qualifications for becoming a property manager vary by state and by what type of building you want to manage. For example, managing a residential apartment building will be much different than managing an office building. Many states require that property managers also obtain their real estate license.

No college degree is required for this position, but taking real estate coursework either in person or online helps to set you apart from the crowd.

Obtaining a certificate is also recommended to maximize income potential. Some reputable certifications include: Residential Management Professional (RPM), Master Property Manager (MPM) or Certified Property Manager.

3) Real Estate Developer


Developers work in the more practical side of real estate. These logistical masterminds find and secure plots of land, then plan and build residential or commercial buildings.

With experience, developers often specialize in a certain type of land or real estate (for example, high end urban apartment complexes) and have high earning potential. Residential developers focus on apartment buildings and houses, while commercial developers can work on projects ranging from shopping complexes to new restaurants and sports fields.

Since developers work closely with architects and even interior designers, an eye for unique spaces and instinct for design can help set potential developers apart from the crowd.


The major benefits of this role come with experience. Once a developer has a positive reputation in the community, the entrepreneurial opportunities are endless. Experts recommend finding a mentor in the field to secure solid contacts and high-paying jobs. The median income for real estate developers is $91,000.


Visionaries thrive as real estate developers. The best developers can take a neglected or inconvenient piece of land and imagine its potential. Important skills for developers include financial management, practical building skills, and market knowledge. Written and verbal communication skills help developers effectively work with architects, builders, banks, and vendors.

Become a Real Estate Developer:

Never fear, career-changers! Many companies require that developer hold a bachelor’s degree, yet are not specific about subject field. Many successful developers start by getting their real estate license, which allows you to gain skills in the field without prior experience.

Gaining certification is not always required, but will help set you apart from other applicants, especially at the start of a new career. Consider the Realtors Land Institute Accredited Land Consultant (ALC), which does require an active real estate license.

Networking is also one of the most important aspects of becoming a real estate developer. Make contacts at big development firms and attend networking events. Check out professional organizations, like NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association for opportunities to meet other people in the field.

Moving Forward With Your Real Estate Career

When you’re looking to break into the field of real estate, think beyond just sales. There are plenty of interesting careers (for career changers, too!) with diverse pathways to get there. Whether you have an entrepreneurial spirit or love working with people, real estate is one of the most reliable and exciting fields to explore.

Written By
Darren Robertson is a top-producing licensed REALTOR® in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Valuing service over sales, Darren is known by his clients for both his extensive local market knowledge, as well his patience and reliability as he helps them on their home buying and home selling journey.

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