What Can You Do With a Real Estate License?

What Can You Do With a Real Estate License?

You've successfully passed the exam and earned your real estate license. What's next?

While your first thought might be to get started helping clients buy and sell homes, real estate licenses are actually pretty versatile. From managing properties to assessing values, helping with mortgages, and getting into real estate investments, getting licensed can lead to a myriad of exciting career paths.

In this blog, we’ll explore the different career options available to you as a real estate professional to help you decide your next move with your new real estate license! 

What Can You Do With a Real Estate License?

Having a real estate license does not lead you down any specific path. Many real estate career paths match the different skills and interests of those with a license.

Before you get your first job in real estate, it’s important to consider your options. There are many opportunities available to those who earn their real estate license. Even though being a real estate agent may seem the obvious first step, there are many options to consider.

Here is our list of the top 8 real estate jobs you might consider after getting your real estate license: 

1. Real Estate Agent (Buyers Agent or Sellers Agent)

This is the most popular first job in real estate. A real estate agent aids in the sale of a property. The main purpose of this job is to represent the seller or buyer of a property. This position involves a fair amount of networking, maintaining relationships, and paperwork. Real estate agents usually earn a commission, or percentage, of the amount their property was sold/purchased for. 

In most states, a real estate agent must work under a brokerage. Learn more about the difference between agents and brokers here. Check out our article about how real estate agents get paid to learn more.


If you want to take one step further into the industry, consider joining the National Association of REALTORS® and becoming a REALTOR®. Taking the extra steps to become a REALTOR® indicates to buyers, sellers, and other real estate industry professionals that you have committed to providing a high level of professional service to your clients by securing a strong educational foundation.

The GRI designation is the mark of a real estate professional who has committed to providing a high level of professional services by securing a strong educational foundation. If you are still in the mindset to learn more about the industry, consider obtaining this valuable certification!

3. Real Estate Broker 

Like agents, brokers assist with the sale, leasing, and purchase of real estate or real property. However, brokers have the unique opportunity to work independently or manage other agents.

A broker may specialize in retail property, investment property, farmland, businesses, industrial or medical facilities, and dozens of other types of property.

Some brokers specialize in resort management or assist government agencies with the redevelopment of industrial sites or reclamation of land. But, in many states, you are required to work in the real estate industry for a few years before you can become a broker. 

Still, this is a great goal to work towards. Additionally, brokers make more money than agents on average, so this may be a great opportunity if you are interested in increasing your salary.

How much do real estate agents and brokers get paid in each state?

What Can You Do With a Real Estate License Besides Sell Houses? 

1. Property Manager 

Once an investment property is purchased or developed, it needs to be managed. The property manager handles the day-to-day operations of a property. This includes staffing, contracting for services, repairs, maintenance, and leasing. Property management is usually a salaried position. This opportunity gives more financial stability to those who are hesitant to work for a commission.

What Do You Need to Become a Property Manager? 

To become a property manager, you typically need a combination of education, experience, relevant skills, and, in some cases, licensing or certification. 

However, let’s start with the requirements. Here's a breakdown of what’s generally required:

  • Minimum age of 18 or 21, depending on the state
  • High school diploma or equivalent GED
  • Legal US citizen or permanent resident 
  • Real estate license coursework and a passing score on the real estate licensing examination (if needed per state law) 

But these requirements might only just scratch the surface. Let’s take a look at some of the experience and skills needed to be a property manager. 


  • Entry-Level Roles: Experience in real estate, customer service, or administrative roles can provide a good foundation.
  • Internships: Participating in internships related to real estate or property management can be valuable.


  • Communication Skills: Essential for dealing with tenants, property owners, and service providers.
  • Organizational Skills: Important for managing multiple tasks and properties efficiently.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Useful for handling maintenance issues and tenant complaints.
  • Financial Skills: Necessary for managing budgets, setting rent prices, and handling financial transactions.
  • Knowledge of Relevant Laws: Understanding of landlord-tenant laws, fair housing regulations, and local property codes. 

How to Become a Property Manager 

If you’re interested in becoming a property manager, you’ll need to follow some key steps. Here's a general outline to guide you through the process:

  1. Adhere to State-Specific Property Management Regulations: Follow the guidelines and requirements set by your state for becoming a property manager. 
  2. Successfully Pass the Real Estate License Exam: If your state requires it, pass the exam required to obtain a real estate license. In many places, property managers need to have a real estate license, especially if they are involved in leasing activities.
  3. Receive Certification for Specialized Areas: Complete the necessary process to receive certifications in your areas of specialty within property management. Certifications like the Certified Property Manager (CPM) or Residential Management Professional (RMP) can enhance credibility and knowledge.
  4. Find Your First Position in Property Management: Seek and secure your first job in the field of property management.
  5. Stay Informed About Property Management Industry Standards: Continuously update your knowledge and skills to align with the latest best practices in property management.

What Is the Average Starting Salary for a First-Year Property Manager?

According to ZipRecruiter data, in 2023, the average annual pay for an entry-level property manager in the United States will be $58,335 a year.

However, while there are annual salaries as high as $96,500 and as low as $28,000, the majority of Entry Level Property Manager salaries currently range between $44,000 (25th percentile) to $68,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $83,500 annually across the U.S.

2. Real Estate Appraiser

An appraiser’s job involves developing an opinion of the market value or other value of real estate property. Almost all houses under contract or people looking to refinance need to undergo an appraisal. It is a great way to be active in the real estate field and get a consistent paycheck. Appraisers need to be experts in their market. If you feel like you are an expert in your area, appraisal may be a great career for you to consider.

What Is a Real Estate Appraiser Salary? 

The average income for home appraisers is $63,988 as of November 2023, according to Indeed. However, a certified residential real estate appraiser may earn $100,000 or more as they become more experienced. 

An appraiser's salary is highly dependent on the appraiser's level of experience and licensing. The range of reported salaries was from $34,681 per year to $118,061 per year in 2023. The lower end of the scale is most likely part-time or beginning trainee appraisers. 


3. Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Loan Originator 

Mortgage loan originators work with loan processors and underwriters to create a home loan. They typically work for a bank or mortgage lender and guide mortgage borrowers through the application process. A mortgage originator helps people find the right type of loan and the best mortgage terms for their individual needs.

What Is the Average Salary of a Mortgage Broker? 

According to Indeed, the average salary for a mortgage broker is $ 169,000 per year in the U.S. That averages to $72.39 per hour and $11,965 per month—however, the annual salary ranges from $77,862 to $366,815. 


4. Real Estate Investor

Real estate investors invest in or purchase real estate that is used for income-generating purposes. Real estate investors will typically purchase a property and rent it out for a few years so the property can gain equity. 

Investors will then sell the property when they can make a profit. The renters typically pay the amount of the monthly mortgage on the property. By the time it is time to sell the property, the seller makes a profit based on equity gained from the past few years and the market’s rising value. 

How Do Real Estate Investors Make Money? 

Real estate investors can make money through several different methods, each with its own strategies and risk levels. Here are some of the most common ways:

1. Rental Income 

Investors purchase residential or commercial properties and rent them out to tenants. The rent collected, minus expenses for property maintenance, mortgage payments, and taxes, constitutes the rental income. This can provide a steady, long-term revenue stream.

2. Property Appreciation 

Over time, the value of real estate typically increases. Investors can profit from selling the property at a higher price than the purchase price. This appreciation can be due to market dynamics, improvements made to the property, or changes in the surrounding area. 

3. Flipping Properties 

Investors buy properties, often at a lower cost due to needing repairs or updates, and then renovate them to sell at a higher price. This strategy can yield quick profits but also involves higher risks and requires knowledge of real estate markets and renovation costs.

4. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 

Investors can buy shares in REITs, which are companies that own, operate, or finance income-generating real estate. REITs offer a way to invest in real estate without having to buy or manage properties directly. They typically pay out a majority of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders.

5. Commercial Real Estate Development 

This involves purchasing land or older properties, developing them into commercial spaces (like shopping centers, office buildings, or hotels), and either selling or leasing them. This can be highly profitable but requires substantial capital and an understanding of commercial real estate market trends.

6. Rent-to-Own Schemes 

In this model, investors lease properties with an option for the tenant to buy at a predetermined price after a set period. This can provide rental income with the potential for a future sale.

7. Short-Term Rentals 

Properties can be rented out on a short-term basis, such as vacation rentals (ex. Airbnb). This can potentially offer higher returns than traditional long-term rentals but may also involve more intensive management and fluctuating demand.

8. Real Estate Crowdfunding 

Investors pool their money together to invest in real estate projects. This allows individuals to participate in larger real estate investments with smaller amounts of capital. 

How Much Money Do Real Estate Investors Make? 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average real estate investor salary sits at $86,796 per year. However, real estate investor salaries range from $36,000 and to $119,000.that works out to be approximately $41.73 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,669 per week or $7,233 per month.

Keep in mind that real estate investor salaries can be influenced by the type of investing you're doing, how many deals you take on per year, the time you devote to it, and a whole slew of other factors. 

5. Real Estate Attorney 

A real estate attorney is licensed to practice real estate law. These attorneys have the knowledge and experience to advise the parties involved in a real estate transaction, such as a home sale.

In a home purchase transaction, both a buyer and seller can hire an attorney to represent their interests. Real estate attorneys typically make a three-figure salary. 

How Much Do Real Estate Attorneys Make? 

As of 2023, the average annual pay for an entry-level real estate attorney in the U.S. is $140,845 a year, according to ZipRecruiter

While there are annual salaries as high as $289,000 and as low as $49,500, the majority of Entry Level Real Estate Attorney salaries currently range between $91,500 (25th percentile) to $171,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $228,500 annually.

The salary for an entry-level real estate attorney can vary significantly, with a potential difference of up to $80,000. This wide range in pay indicates numerous chances for career growth and higher earnings, depending on factors like expertise, location, and professional experience.

Real Estate Jobs - Choosing Your Niche

When it comes to choosing what type of job you'd like in real estate, there are many niches to specialize in. Choosing a specialty will define your career and help you stand out in the industry.

When choosing which real estate specialty to pursue, remember that your interests and skillset are the top priority. While it may seem like choosing the easiest or most lucrative market is the best path, make sure your interests and skills align so that you not only make a high salary but also feel satisfied and fulfilled. 

Here are a few real estate niches to consider if you choose to become an agent or broker:

1. Residential Real Estate

These agents usually work with families or individuals looking for a home. The most common property types are single-family homes, condominiums, co-ops, townhouses, duplexes, triple-deckers, quadplexes, high-value homes, multi-generational and vacation homes.

Consider this niche if you:

  • Love working with people
  • Know how to find properties that suit different families or individuals
  • Are great at multitasking and working with multiple clients at once
  • Enjoy working in fast-paced environments

2. Luxury Real Estate

These agents usually work with ultra-wealthy individuals who have assets of $30 million or more. They're among the world's wealthiest individuals, and it is difficult to break into this field of real estate without connections or an already established network.

Consider this specialty if you:

  • Have connections who are looking for luxury properties
  • Understand what makes a home luxury
  • Love diving into the latest trends and following the top brands
  • Are comfortable working with ultra-wealthy clients

3. Commercial Real Estate

These agents usually work with clients interested in purchasing business properties. These properties include shopping centers, strip malls, medical centers, educational buildings, hotels, offices, and apartment buildings.

Consider this specialty if you:

  • Enjoy working with businesses
  • Have a thorough understanding of commercial property values and assets
  • Have an eye for commercial real estate value
  • Have a background in understanding the needs of businesses

4. Industrial Real Estate

These agents usually work with clients interested in purchasing property for manufacturing and warehouses. These properties are commonly used for research, production, storage, and distribution. The main difference between Industrial and commercial properties is in the zoning of the property and the construction of the buildings.

Consider this specialty if you:

  • Understand the needs of the industrial industry
  • Can work to develop relationships within the industry
  • Know how to assess an industrial client’s needs
  • Have an industrial background and connections
  • Have an understanding of regulations and laws

5. Land and Vacant Property Real Estate

These agents usually work with clients interested in purchasing land. These properties include vacant land, working farms, and ranches. Vacant land includes undeveloped, early development, reuse, subdivision, and site assembly parcels.

Consider this specialty if you:

  • Can see the potential in a blank plot of land
  • Understand the farming industry
  • Can help your clients see multiple possibilities
  • Have thorough knowledge of property values within your area 

What To Expect Your First Year in Real Estate

Every real estate professional’s first year at their first real estate job is different. But, there are certainly similar experiences that can be expected. 

You must find a brokerage that invests in your growth and continued education. Even though you completed some difficult real estate courses, you still have a lot to learn about being in the industry. Make sure you find an experienced mentor who can take the time to show you how the day-to-day business of the industry is handled.

Growing Your Sphere Of Influence

A real estate career is made of the relationships you build. Your first years in the real estate industry will be defined by the success of your networking efforts. Your happy clients quickly become an expanding network of possibilities when they start referring you to their friends and families. It is important to establish positive working relationships with each client you meet.

Learn and Grow as a Real Estate Agent With VanEd 

As a real estate professional, you are a life-long learner. There are many great educational opportunities available in the classroom or out in the market. One of these great opportunities? VanEd. 

At VanEd Real Estate School, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch education and training for all areas of real estate, from licensing to continuing education. Our online course offerings allow for a self-paced learning experience, with the flexibility to complete the course from any location, be it home or office. 

Additionally, our online real estate classes are designed to cater to all learning styles, helping our students achieve success on the real estate exam and in their professional careers.

Remember, as a real estate professional with a real estate license, you still have certain requirements that need to be met when it’s time to renew your license. This includes Continuing Education (CE) courses to help you stay up to date in the real estate world. 

So, are you ready to begin (or continue) your real estate journey with the top real estate school? Get started with VanEd today!

Written and Published by: VanEd

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