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Real Estate is dynamic — buying a house or property is one of the most significant financial events in a person's life. It is such a complex process that most people typically seek help of real estate agents and brokers when selling or buying property.

If you are interested in working in real estate, you should be mature, highly motivated, flexible, organized, and detail oriented. Real Estate agents and brokers need to have a thorough knowledge of the real estate market in their communities. They are familiar with zoning and tax laws and are generally at the center of most real estate transactions.

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May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX

Occupation CodeOccupation titleMedian hourly wageMean hourly wageAnnual mean wageMean wage RSEEmploymentEmployment RSELocation quotient
11-9141 Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers$28.23$36.87$76,6808.8%1,22016.9%1.09
13-2021Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate$31.67$35.19$73,2009.4%30031.1%0.71
41-9021Real Estate Brokers$45.81$56.11$116,70013.6%Estimate not releasedEstimate not releasedEstimate not released
41-9022Real Estate Sales Agents$27.20$33.36$69,38010.0%1,79016.8%1.73
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • SOC Code Number: the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system's unique, six-digit (plus hyphen) numerical identifier for each occupation. When the SOC code is a link, clicking on it leads to a page that contains the occupational definition and national cross-industry estimates.
  • Occupation Title: a descriptive title that corresponds to the SOC code.
  • Median Hourly Wage: the estimated 50th percentile of the distribution of wages based on data collected from employers in all industries; 50 percent of workers in an occupation earn less than the median wage, and 50 percent earn more than the median wage.
  • Mean Hourly Wage: the estimated total hourly wages of an occupation divided by its estimated employment, i.e., the average hourly wage.
  • Mean Annual Wage: the estimated total annual wages of an occupation divided by its estimated employment, i.e., the average annual wage.
  • Mean RSE: the relative standard error of the mean wage estimates, a measure of the reliability or precision of the mean wage estimates. The relative standard error is defined as the ratio of the standard error to the survey estimate. For example, a relative standard error of 10 percent implies that the standard error is one-tenth as large as the survey estimate.
  • Employment: the estimated total occupational employment (not including self-employed).
  • Employment RSE: the Relative Standard Error of the employment estimate, a measure of the reliability or precision of the employment estimate. The relative standard error is defined as the ratio of the standard error to the survey estimate. For example, a relative standard error of 10 percent implies that the standard error is one-tenth as large as the survey estimate.
  • Location Quotient: (State, metropolitan, and nonmetropolitan statistical area estimates only) the ratio of an occupation's share of employment in a given area to that occupation's share of employment in the U.S. as a whole. For example, an occupation that makes up 10 percent of employment in a specific metropolitan area compared with 2 percent of U.S. employment would have a location quotient of 5 for the area in question.

About May 2014 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Texas

Occupation CodeOccupation titleMedian hourly wageMean hourly wageAnnual mean wageMean wage RSEEmploymentEmployment RSELocation quotient
11-9141 Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers$29.13$37.66$78,3403.1%13,2706.4%0.93
13-2021Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate$27.20$30.26$62,9303.8%5,40010.8%1.03
41-9021Real Estate Brokers$36.25$52.49$109,17013.6%2,52013.0%0.78
41-9022Real Estate Sales Agents$23.35$28.91$60,1303.2%15,8506.1%1.21
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • SOC Code Number: the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system's unique, six-digit (plus hyphen) numerical identifier for each occupation. When the SOC code is a link, clicking on it leads to a page that contains the occupational definition and national cross-industry estimates.
  • Occupation Title: a descriptive title that corresponds to the SOC code.
  • Median Hourly Wage: the estimated 50th percentile of the distribution of wages based on data collected from employers in all industries; 50 percent of workers in an occupation earn less than the median wage, and 50 percent earn more than the median wage.
  • Mean Hourly Wage: the estimated total hourly wages of an occupation divided by its estimated employment, i.e., the average hourly wage.
  • Mean Annual Wage: the estimated total annual wages of an occupation divided by its estimated employment, i.e., the average annual wage.
  • Mean RSE: the relative standard error of the mean wage estimates, a measure of the reliability or precision of the mean wage estimates. The relative standard error is defined as the ratio of the standard error to the survey estimate. For example, a relative standard error of 10 percent implies that the standard error is one-tenth as large as the survey estimate.
  • Employment: the estimated total occupational employment (not including self-employed).
  • Employment RSE: the Relative Standard Error of the employment estimate, a measure of the reliability or precision of the employment estimate. The relative standard error is defined as the ratio of the standard error to the survey estimate. For example, a relative standard error of 10 percent implies that the standard error is one-tenth as large as the survey estimate.
  • Location Quotient: (State, metropolitan, and nonmetropolitan statistical area estimates only) the ratio of an occupation's share of employment in a given area to that occupation's share of employment in the U.S. as a whole. For example, an occupation that makes up 10 percent of employment in a specific metropolitan area compared with 2 percent of U.S. employment would have a location quotient of 5 for the area in question.

About May 2014 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

 

May 2014 Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents - Pay, U.S.

The median annual wage for real estate brokers was $57,360 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $178,770.

The median annual wage for real estate sales agents was $40,990 in May 2014. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,270.

Brokers and sales agents earn most of their income from commissions on sales. The commission varies by the type of property and its value. Commissions often are divided among the buying agent, selling agent, brokers, and firms. 

An agent’s income, therefore, often depends on economic conditions, the agent’s individual motivation, and the types of property available. Income usually increases as agents become better and more experienced at sales. Earnings can be irregular, especially for beginners, and agents sometimes go weeks or months without a sale. Some agents become active in community organizations and local real estate organizations to broaden their contacts and increase their sales. 

Many real estate brokers and sales agents work more than 40 hours per week. They often work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients’ schedules. Many brokers and sales agents spend a significant amount of time networking and attending community events to meet potential clients. Although they frequently work irregular hours, many can set their own schedules. 

Some brokers and sales agents work part time and may combine their real estate activities with other careers.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Pay

2014-2024 Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents - Job Outlook, U.S.

occupational_outlook_handbook_joboutlook1Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.

Because people are increasingly using real estate brokers and sales agents when purchasing homes, employment is projected to grow as the real estate market improves.

Both financial and nonfinancial factors spur demand for home sales. Real estate is perceived as a good long-term investment, and many people want to own their homes.

Population growth also will continue to stimulate the need for new brokers and agents. The large millennial generation will be entering the prime working-age and household-forming age cohort over the next decade. Although this generation has delayed home ownership because of financial and debt considerations, it is projected that many will enter the housing market over the next 10 years.

In addition to being first-time home buyers, people will need brokers and agents when looking for a larger home, relocating for a new job, and other reasons.

An improving job market and rising consumer spending also will drive demand for brokers and agents to handle commercial, retail, and industrial real estate transactions.

However, the real estate market is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, and employment of real estate brokers and agents will vary accordingly. In periods of economic growth or stability, employment should grow to accommodate people looking to buy homes and businesses looking to expand office or retail space. Alternatively, during periods of declining economic activity or rising interest rates, the amount of work for brokers and agents will slow and employment may decline.

Job Prospects

It is relatively easy to enter the occupation, but getting listings as a broker or an agent depends on the real estate market and overall economic conditions. As the economy expands and more people look to buy homes, job competition may increase as more people obtain their real estate license. In contrast, although the real estate market declines in an economic downturn, there also tend to be fewer active and licensed real estate agents.

New agents will face competition from well-established, more experienced brokers and agents. Because income is dependent on sales, beginners may have trouble sustaining themselves in the occupation during periods of slower activity.

Brokers should fare better because they generally have a large client base from years of experience as sales agents. Those with strong sales ability and extensive social and business connections in their communities should have the best chances for success.

occupational_outlook_handbook_joboutlook2

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job Outlook