Those interested in residential or commercial property with strong customer service, math, and analytical skills should consider an online bachelor's in real estate. This degree paves the way to several career opportunities, including roles as a real estate agent, broker, analyst, or assessor.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), real estate brokers earn a median annual wage of $59,720, while appraisers and assessors of real estate bring in $57,010. Our Bachelor's in Real Estate Program Guide offers a comprehensive look into career opportunities and the steps required to obtain a bachelor's in real estate.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 3:
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|1||University of West Georgia||Carrollton, GA|
|2||Clarion University of Pennsylvania||Clarion, PA|
|3||University of Memphis||Memphis, TN|
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs
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University of West Georgia
|Carrollton, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
UWG offers nearly 90 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, including several online options. UWG's Richards College of Business also offers an online bachelor's degree in real estate.
This program prepares graduates for careers in real estate, brokerage, appraising, and investment analysis. The curriculum comprises 120 credits. Relevant courses include strategic management, real estate principles, real estate investment, income property appraisal, and residential appraisal. While students complete most requirements online, distance learners must complete 20% of required coursework on campus. Admissions requires SAT or ACT scores.
UWG is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
|Clarion, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Clarion University of Pennsylvania houses over 175 programs, a diverse learning community, and 160 student organizations. The university offers an online bachelor's degree in real estate that blends theory and practice. Graduates can pursue sales and broker licenses in Pennsylvania. The curriculum requires students to complete at least 102 credits, and students complete all coursework asynchronously.
Admission requires ACT and SAT scores. Students should also submit official transcripts. The program offers an honors track for students with a minimum 3.6 GPA.
University of Memphis
|Memphis, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Founded in 1912, the University of Memphis offers nearly 100 programs. Distance learners attending the UofM Global campus can earn an online bachelor's degree in real estate without ever visiting campus, although online students may also opt for blended learning. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in real estate finance, real estate principles, commercial banking, and investments. UofM delivers all program coursework asynchronously.
UofM has offered the lowest fee increases and tuition in Tennessee for over five years. Furthermore, over 90% of students receive financial assistance. Students with a minimum 3.25 GPA qualify for in-house scholarships.
The UofM's Fogelman College of Business and Economics is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Program?
Most real estate professions require interacting with clients, analyzing real estate data, and assessing market trends. Good communication skills, sound mathematical and digital technology skills, and the ability to organize and prioritize lead to success in this field. Online bachelor's in real estate programs typically require 120 credits of coursework and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete.
Online bachelor's in real estate programs typically require 120 credits of coursework and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete.
A bachelor's degree is not required to work as a real estate agent or broker. However, some companies look for candidates with this qualification due to the increasing complexity involved in real estate transactions. Those seeking advancement or positions as a real estate analyst, appraiser, or assessor also need a degree.
Several educational routes lead to a career in real estate, each focusing on different academic concentrations. Some schools offer an online bachelor's in real estate, while others feature a degree in business administration or finance with a concentration in real estate. Additional options include a bachelor's in real estate with a concentration in property management.
Students should consider which avenue best fits their career goals. If uncertain, a broader education may be the best choice. In addition to online courses, some institutions offer events that enable participants to network and build relationships with industry professionals.
Still looking for the right fit? Discover similar degree programs
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Program?
In addition to general education courses, real estate curriculum covers financing, law, market valuations, and property management. Depending on the concentration, some schools emphasize accounting or business. Others focus on essential real estate skills. Though courses vary, the following classes can be found in most online bachelor's in real estate programs.
- Real Estate Economics
This course covers the economic principles of real estate, such as markets, land use, and property taxation. Students develop an understanding of the economic factors that shape property valuation and land markets. These factors include location theory and the components that determine declining or growing regions.
- Property Management
Students learn the fundamental skills required for managing properties, including those related to leases, procurement, maintenance, and insurance. Instruction includes property marketing techniques with an emphasis on branding, recommended channels, and the tenant cycle. Some classes incorporate strategies for developing a comprehensive procedure manual that standardizes operations and informs compliance.
- Real Estate Appraisal
This course leads students through the basics of understanding and valuing residential and commercial properties. Participants learn various methods for evaluating properties, including potential income and maintenance costs for commercial properties. Students also gain exposure to the different licenses required to become an appraiser and the steps to obtain them.
- Real Estate Law
After course completion, students understand the many laws involved in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Covered topics include zoning, contracts, land use, and environmental issues. Additional topics may include inheritance laws and regulations specific to different property types.
- Real Estate Finance
This course introduces students to the financial aspects involved in real estate, such as loans and mortgages. Students learn real estate investment theories, such as those related to raising equity, structuring debt, and determining return on investments. The course also provides a basic understanding of commercial real estate opportunities and financial feasibility.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Real Estate?
A career in real estate offers a variety of job opportunities. Graduates with a bachelor's degree can become real estate agents, brokers, property managers, appraisers, and real estate analysts. According to the BLS, brokers earn an average salary of $81,160 — one of the best salaries of all real estate professions.
The BLS projects a 3% increase in jobs for real estate appraisers and assessors from 2019 to 2029, which is comparable to the average projected growth rate for all occupations in the U.S. According to the BLS, areas with active real estate markets boast the greatest job opportunities. Those who can appraise various property types may also enjoy ample employment options.
Learn more about real estate careers and see where a bachelor's in real estate can take you.
- Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents act as the intermediary between sellers and buyers. They carry the listing's title and serve as the buyer's agent in real estate transactions. These professionals work under a broker. While every state's regulations differ, all require an agent to obtain a real estate license. According to 2019 BLS data, real estate agents earned a median annual wage of $48,930.
- Real Estate Broker
A real estate broker can work independently or have other agents working underneath them. They bear legal responsibility for all transactions completed by the agents that work in their brokerage firm. To obtain a broker's license, professionals must first obtain a real estate license and work for a specified number of years (depending on state regulations).
- Real Estate Appraiser or Assessor
Appraisers and assessors inspect new and existing properties and provide an estimated value. Appraisers usually specialize in residential or commercial properties. They provide valuations for prospective sellers or buyers. Assessors, alternatively, focus on property valuations for tax assessments and usually work for the government.
- Property Manager
Property managers oversee all aspects of residential or commercial properties. Their responsibilities include supervising sales, leasing, marketing, maintenance, contractors, and vendors. The BLS reports a median annual wage of $58,760 for property managers. While this role does not always require a bachelor's in real estate, some companies prefer to hire college graduates.
- Real Estate Analyst
Real estate analysts manage real estate portfolios by identifying and negotiating market opportunities specific to buying and selling properties. Most work with large companies with extensive real estate holdings. Students interested in this career may want to consider a degree in business administration or finance with a concentration in real estate.
Real Estate not for you? Check out these related careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs
- Do you need a bachelor's degree to work in real estate?
Some career opportunities in real estate do not require a bachelor's degree, such as real estate agents, brokers, and property managers. The competitive nature of these positions, however, warrants degree consideration. The BLS reports that college graduates enjoy the best job prospects for property managers. Most appraiser, assessor, and real estate analyst jobs require a bachelor's degree.
- Is a real estate degree worth it?
A bachelor's in real estate gives students a comprehensive understanding of the industry and can help them progress to positions requiring a degree. Gaining knowledge in areas such as economics, finance, and marketing ensures a broad understanding of this multifaceted arena. Many companies turn to candidates with a college education due to the increasing competition and complex real estate transactions.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in real estate?
A bachelor's in real estate can lead to diverse positions, improve job opportunities, and help professionals advance in their career. For those interested in becoming a real estate agent or broker, a degree can build confidence and increase earning potential. Many career paths exist for graduates, including real estate analyst, property manager, assessor, and appraiser. This degree also acts as a stepping stone for those looking to attend graduate school and become a real estate lawyer.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in real estate?
Annual wages vary depending on a professional's position, employer, and experience. PayScale reports that those with a BS in real estate earn an average annual salary of $66,750. Additionally, BLS data shows that real estate brokers earn a median annual wage of $59,720, while professionals who provide valuations on land and buildings as assessors or appraisers earn a median salary of $57,010.
- What are the highest-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's in real estate?
Professionals with a degree in real estate experience a wide range of annual salaries, depending on their experience and drive. For example, experienced real estate appraisers with 10-19 years of experience earn an average salary of about $86,560, according to PayScale. Additionally, the BLS reports that real estate agents and brokers in the top 10% of their fields earn over $111,800 and $178,720, respectively.