2022 Best Online Associate Degrees in Real Estate

Learn about the best online associate in real estate programs; compare stats such as accreditation, tuition, & licensure and certificate information.

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by Alison Plaut

Updated August 4, 2022

Edited by Kristina Beek
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An increasing number of community colleges and four-year colleges are offering associate degrees in real estate. A real estate associate degree can prepare graduates to apply for positions as real estate brokers, real estate analysts, mortgage brokers, property managers, or leasing agents.

The average program cost of an online associate in real estate varies. At some of the top online colleges, in-state tuition ranges from $150-$170 per credit. Out-of-state tuition is $280-$300 per credit.

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To earn an associate degree in real estate, students must earn 60 credits. Some programs require learners to earn up to five additional credits. These programs can be completed in two years of full-time study, however, students should consider accelerated tracks or summer programs if they want to complete their degrees faster.

Median salaries for real estate professionals range from $48,770-$63,380 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the real estate market has been booming, according to the BLS, the projected job growth for these careers is just 1-4% from 2020-2030.

What Can I Expect From an Online Associate Degree in Real Estate?

Careers in real estate are diverse and require different skill sets. For example, real estate brokers and property managers benefit from charismatic personalities and strong sales skills. Mortgage brokers and real estate analysts need strong analytical skills. People who are adaptable and ready to take initiative can do well in real estate careers.

Business associate degree programs often offer a real estate track. Online degrees give students the flexibility to choose classes and set completion timelines. Some online associate degree programs are 100% online and asynchronous, while others require on-campus segments that last for a weekend or longer.

Students can choose between an associate of arts (AA) or an associate of science (AS) degree. Most programs offer one or the other, but the AA degree in real estate is more common than the AS degree. Both have similar coursework, although the AS may require an additional economics course.

Most associate degree programs in real estate require a minimum of 60 credits for graduation. This can be completed in an average of two years, or more quickly with additional classes or accelerated programs. Some programs require students to complete an internship in addition to standard classes.

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Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate Degree in Real Estate?

Introduction to Business

This course gives an overview of the different aspects of business management. Topics covered include strategic planning, marketing, understanding financial statements, and financial planning. Students gain an understanding of leadership styles, sales, financial management, expense control, and labor management.

Real Estate Principles

This course covers the terminology and concepts of real estate. Students gain an understanding of the real estate market, deeds, and leases. Foundational content on contracts, brokerage, appraisal, land uses, and insurance is also covered.

Real Estate Finance

This course covers the major institutions and structures involved in financing real estate investment. Students gain an understanding of REITs, risk analysis, portfolio management, and market trends.

Real Estate Property Management

This course gives students an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of property managers. Course outcomes include understanding leases and lease negotiations, operational guidelines, landlord policies, tenant relations, and habitability laws.

Real Estate Law

This course provides knowledge of the law as it pertains to the purchase, use, and sale of real estate. Topics covered include the laws related to financing, land use regulation, financial instruments, leases, property rights, and administration.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Real Estate Program?

Admission requirements for an online associate degree in real estate vary by program. Most programs require a minimum of an application and a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some programs allow students to transfer up to 45 of 60 credits from another program.

Associate degree programs in real estate may require students to possess work experience in real estate before applying. You may be able to get credit for work experience and earn a degree faster. Some programs ask students to submit college entrance exam scores for evaluation.

Applicants may be asked for an application essay or personal statement. Some colleges also require a letter of recommendation for all applicants. Students who are interested should check with their desired programs for specific application requirements.

What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Real Estate Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates with an associate degree are prepared to enter a business related to real estate.

Potential positions include real estate broker, property manager, appraiser, mortgage broker, or real estate consultant. This degree also prepares graduates to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business or real estate if they choose.

Real estate is a fluctuating business. A year of high activity and record prices doesn’t always translate into job growth. Appraisers, mortgage brokers, and property managers all have projected job growth lower than the national average for 2020-2030. The BLS projects 4% job growth for real estate brokers or agents from 2020-2030.

While these careers have lower expected growth, the higher turnover may create opportunities for new professionals entering the field. Salaries for real estate professionals can range from $48,000-$66,000.

Career Paths

Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent

Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Workplace environments are diverse, as meetings occur at properties or a central office. Many real estate brokers and agents are self-employed and can set flexible hours. A real estate license is required.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $48,770

Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers or loan officers match potential home buyers or investors with banks or other mortgage lenders. Mortgage brokers often receive on-the-job training. A mortgage broker license is required. While many mortgage brokers hold a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree is sufficient.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $63,380

Property Manager

Property managers work with residential, commercial, or industrial properties. Responsibilities include overseeing property maintenance and inspection, showing properties to potential tenants, and meeting with owners. Job locations can include a central office and individual properties. A minimum of a high school degree is required, but an associate degree can potentially increase job opportunities.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $59,230

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Property Appraiser

Property appraisers create a value assessment of real estate. Property appraisers provide assessments before a property is bought, sold, mortgaged, or insured. Property appraisers can also be employed by government offices for tax assessment. Licensure is required, and requirements vary by state.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $61,340

Real Estate Consultant

Real estate consultants advise clients on investments in real estate. These professionals may also help clients buy or sell properties. There is no minimum degree requirement, although some consulting firms may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. A real estate license is usually required.

Median Annual Salary (March 2022): $65,930

Real Estate Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Graduates with an associate degree in real estate usually go on to earn one or more specific real estate licenses. These include a real estate agent or broker’s license, a mortgage broker license, an appraiser license, or a property manager license.

Some associate degree holders go on to earn bachelor’s degrees in real estate or in business. Many programs have credit transfer agreements with four-year colleges so that students can earn a bachelor’s degree with two additional years of study. Online bachelor’s degrees in real estate give students greater flexibility to earn degrees.

Some students even go on to earn master’s degrees in real estate. There are specialized real estate programs, as well as combined business and real estate master’s degree programs.

How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Real Estate Program?

Cost

Cost can be a major factor for students. Students should look at the total cost of attendance. Online programs may cost less than on-campus programs. In-state tuition is usually less than out-of-state tuition at public colleges. In-state tuition for an online associate degree in real estate costs about $150-$170 per credit. Out-of-state tuition is roughly $280-$300 per credit.

Program Format

Program format is a significant factor for many students, as well. Online associate degrees can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Asynchronous formats offer greater flexibility. Synchronous formats have more opportunities for interaction with faculty and classmates. Programs can also be part time or full time. Some colleges offer accelerated program formats to allow students to earn their degrees faster.

Location

Location can still be a deciding factor for students interested in online programs. At public institutions, tuition may still be less for remote, in-state students. In addition, online programs may have on-campus requirements or optional in-person classes. Students should consider travel time and added costs if their college has on-campus requirements.

Accreditation

Choosing an accredited program ensures that your degree is widely recognized and accepted. Accreditation demonstrates that the college or program meets general education and degree-specific learning standards. Online colleges have the same accreditation standards as on-campus programs. Choosing an accredited program will also ensure that credits can be transferred if students choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Student Support

Student support services can enhance the college experience and improve learning outcomes. Choosing a program that offers student services to online students can help ensure student success. Access to mentorship, a strong alumni network, or placement in competitive internships can give students an advantage, especially in the field of real estate.

Best Accredited Online Associate in Real Estate Programs of 2022

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Lorain County Community College

School Information
Location Elyria, Ohio
Graduation Rate 19%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: Hybrid | Course Format: Self-paced and scheduled classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $149 (in county) $174 (out of county)
Out of State | $360

Credits to Graduate: 60-62 credits

Program Information

Lorain County Community College, in Elyria, Illinois, offers an online associate of applied business in real estate degree. This program satisfies the state's educational requirement for real estate professionals and qualifies students to sit for the salesperson’s licensure exam. 

The course also meets the educational requirements for the Ohio real estate broker’s license. Upon course completion, students may sit for the real estate broker’s license examination.  

Courses in the curriculum include accounting and finance, real estate law, and macroeconomics.

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#2

Clark State Community College

School Information
Location Springfield, Ohio
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: 100% online | Course Format: Self-paced 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $165
Out of State | $303

Credits to Graduate: 60 credits

Program Information

Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio, offers an associate of applied business in real estate broker. The online associate in real estate degree prepares students to take the Ohio real estate broker exam.

The state of Ohio requires students to meet additional requirements before they can pursue a real estate broker's license. Requirements include 20 real estate transactions — working with buyers and sellers — as an Ohio licensed realtor. 

Besides making learners eligible to sit for the real estate broker’s license exam, completion of this program qualifies students for one or more embedded certificates. These designations give students an edge in the real estate job market.

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#3

Hinds Community College

School Information
Location Raymond, Mississippi
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: Hybrid | Course Format: Self-paced classes and in-person practicums 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $150
Out of State | $275

Credits to Graduate: 64-66 credits

Program Information

Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, offers an associate of applied science in marketing management technology - real estate technology.

This program combines online courses and practical experience, as students work as licensed real estate brokers or licensed Mississippi real estate salespeople. The curriculum encompasses all phases of real estate. Courses include principles of real estate, real estate sales, and principles of macroeconomics.

The online associate in real estate technology course prepares students to work in real estate sales and management. Completion of the course qualifies students to sit for the Mississippi real estate broker’s license examination. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Real Estate Programs

Is an associate degree in real estate worth it?

Graduates with an associate degree in real estate are prepared to enter the workforce or pursue higher degrees. An associate degree in addition to a real estate license can make you more credible to potential clients. The degree can be a stepping stone to many careers in real estate.

Online degrees are held to the same rigorous standards as on-campus programs but offer greater flexibility for students. This allows students to earn a valuable degree while working or taking care of personal responsibilities.

Graduates with an associate degree in real estate gain insight into the different aspects of the field. This includes real estate principles, law, and finance, as well as an understanding of business concepts.

How fast can I get an associate in real estate degree online?

To earn an associate degree in real estate, students must complete about 60 credits. In a standard full-time program, this takes two years to complete. Accelerated programs or summer semesters can allow students to complete the degree faster.

In addition, some associate degree programs in real estate allow students to transfer up to 45 credits, including credits earned through AP courses. Some programs will also give students credit for previous work experience. Taken together, it is possible to finish an associate degree in real estate in less than two years with the right program.

Is an online associate degree in real estate credible?

Yes, an online associate degree in real estate is credible. The curriculum covers business fundamentals as well as in-depth real estate topics. Subjects covered include accounting, financial statements, budgeting, real estate law, and finance. Graduates enter the workforce with a strong foundation in business and expert knowledge of real estate.

Students should choose an accredited college to ensure they earn a credible, widely-accepted degree. An accredited online associate degree can also be the first step toward a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. After earning an associate degree, graduates can alternatively choose to enter the workforce.

How much money can I make with an associate in real estate?

How much money graduates can make with an associate degree in real estate depends on an individual's career field, experience, and location. As many real estate careers are performance-based, there is no upper salary limit. Strong sales skills, charisma, and analytic abilities can help graduates find success in real estate.

The median salary for real estate careers ranges from $48,770 for real estate brokers to about $65,930 for real estate consultants, report Payscale and the BLS. The top 10% of real estate consultants earned an average salary of $110,000 in March 2022, according to Payscale. The top 10% of real estate agents earned a median salary of $102,170 in May 2021, according to the BLS. The lowest 10% earn a median salary of $28,270.

Is an associate degree in real estate in demand?

Real estate associate degrees offer flexible career options. Demand is increasing as more colleges offer this degree program. Companies often prioritize employees with a minimum of an associate degree in real estate. In addition to real estate fields, graduates can land positions in business or investing.

While many careers in real estate only require a high school diploma and a license, an associate degree demonstrates a higher level of expertise. Earning an associate degree in real estate can increase both career and education opportunities. Graduates who have mastered essential skills of business and real estate, along with people skills, can find the greatest success.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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