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 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.
Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment generally follows the overall health of the economy and the real estate market.
This occupation supported 422,000 jobs in 2012 and 421,299 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 0.2%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.0% in 2022 to 468,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 431,300, compared with an observed value of 421,299, 2.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 2.6% in 2024 to 432,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 477,900 jobs for 2024, 10.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.