Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Although brokers and agents do similar work, brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a real estate broker.
Most real estate brokers and sales agents are self-employed. Although they often work long and irregular hours, many are able to set their own schedules.
How to Become a Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent
Every state requires real estate brokers and agents to be licensed. Requirements vary by state, but all states require candidates to be at least 18 or 19 years old, have a high school diploma, complete a number of hours of real estate courses, and pass a licensing exam.
In May 2012, the median hourly wage for real estate brokers was $28.05. The median hourly wage for real estate agents was $18.82 in May 2012.
Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as the real estate market continues to recover from the recent economic recession.