Earning a Master’s in Real Estate Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Real Estate Online?

An online master's in real estate from an accredited university can jump start a career in real estate, or create new opportunities for established professionals. Working in real estate is perfect for organized, outgoing people who can follow changing trends, laws, and regulations, and explain them simply.

Earning a degree online is the best option for working professionals looking to transition into a new field or gain an edge in the job market without quitting their day jobs. This guide will explain what to expect from a real estate master's degree program, highlight some career options, and explore continuing education resources for graduates.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Real Estate Graduates

Master's in Real Estate Salary

Below, we highlight the top-paying states for two real estate-related professions, and explore how salaries change with experience. Many variables impact job availability and pay; you can learn more by speaking with professors and real estate professionals. The tables below show what to expect after earning an online master's in real estate.

Top Paying States for Appraisers and Assesors of Real Estate

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
District of Columbia N/A $95,890
California 4,570 $81,050
Iowa 790 $79,070
New Jersey 1,200 $78,560
Alaska 160 $78,130

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Real Estate Agents

  • Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
    $44,000
  • Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
    $60,000
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
    $62,000
  • Late-Career (20+ Years):
    $75,000

Source: PayScale

Master's in Real Estate Careers

An online master's in real estate prepares you for a variety of careers, including the five listed below. Many career paths combine real estate with other fields, so keep in mind that these are only examples -- not a complete list.

Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents

Annual Median Salary: $47,880

Projected Growth Rate: 6%

Brokers and agents list properties for sale, manage clients, and help customers find the right property. They also help buyers navigate the mortgage process, bid on properties, or file paperwork. Agents usually work for a company, while brokers manage their own businesses.

Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

Annual Median Salary: $54,010

Projected Growth Rate: 14%

These professionals investigate properties to determine their market value, which determines tax rates and sales prices. Assessors work out of offices, but often spend time on-site with the properties they're evaluating.

Insurance Sales Agents

Annual Median Salary: $49,710

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Insurance agents explain and sell insurance plans to customers, often specializing in a particular field, like homeowners or renters insurance. They explain insurance options and evaluate customer finances to determine the best-suited insurance plan.

Loan Officers

Annual Median Salary: $64,660

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Loan officers work for banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions, managing loans for customers. They interview loan applicants and analyze their credit history to determine their qualifications. Some loan officers work in specialized fields, like home or school loans.

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Annual Median Salary: $58,670

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

These professionals assist tenants, show apartments, and maintain properties for resale or leasing value. Depending on the size of the property, they may deal with issues directly, or manage maintenance staff or outside contractors.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Real Estate Program?

This section explores course options for a typical online master's in real estate program, as well as some certifications graduates might pursue. When looking through colleges, be sure to check accreditation status; only accredited schools are up to academic standards. While details vary by program, most universities offer the same core classes.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Real Estate

Real Estate Finance

Students will explore and discuss the finance of construction and property development, including income-generating properties and how that income impacts larger financial concerns.

Real Estate Law

There are a variety of laws at the federal, state, and local levels that impact real estate. This course explores these laws broadly, giving students the tools necessary for navigating real estate regulation.

International Real Estate

This course is usually an elective, but some specializations require it. International real estate features unique challenges, and this course teaches students how to approach managing real estate in foreign countries.

Market Analysis

Understanding the market is just as important as understanding properties when assessing market value. This course teaches students about risk assessment, investment, and property development, and teaches them to set reasonable rates for any given market.

Institutions and Practices

This is a foundational course, introducing students to common practices and ethics in real estate, and to major oversight organizations in the field. This class lays the groundwork for real estate students.

Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Real Estate Prepares For

  • Certificate in Commercial Real Estate: This certification demonstrates expertise in commercial real estate, covering property management, marketing, sales, and trend analysis. Applicants must have at least 10 years of experience in commercial real estate or associated fields, like architecture or urban planning.
  • Certified Property Manager: For professionals with three or more years of property management experience, this certificate demonstrates expertise. Seventy percent of CPM holders are in top management positions.
  • Graduate, REALTOR Institute: A GRI is available to realtors at any point in their career, making it a good choice for early career certification. GRI designees stand out to prospective buyers and employers, and have access to National Association of REALTORS (NAR) resources for networking and continued education.
  • Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist: Also administered through NAR, a RSPS certification helps vacation and recreation realtors stand out. The designation is also available to retirement and second home realtors and property managers, and it can be earned online.