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15 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts: 2023 Edition

Work in REITs? Absolutely. Work in investments, marketing, finance, or legal and earn $100k+.

Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer
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Finance Writer
Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
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15 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts: 2023 Edition

I remember reading a tweet that said, Raise a toast if you’re a realtor. If not, raise your standards.”  At first, I scoffed. What’s so special about real estate? The rest of us have great jobs, too. A little later, I peaked at Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. To my surprise, it was chock-full of real estate developers, investors, and construction moguls. So, congrats on looking up the best-paying jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts—you’re obviously smarter than I am. Without further ado—let’s turn your curiosity into serious interest by diving into our curated list of the best-paying jobs in REITs.

Check out more of the best-paying jobs: 

15 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate: Top Real Estate Careers to Consider

Nareit’s research says REITs have directly employed over 307,000 Americans—generating $22.7 billion in labor income. Exciting number, right? We’ll get into the details in a bit, but first—for all you busy bees and laid-back sloths—here’s a quick look at the 15 best real estate careers and their average annual pay:

Job Average annual pay
REIT investor  $1,26,895
Head of marketing  $1,20,976
Finance manager  $1,05,094
Real estate attorney $1,04,760
Asset manager $94,277
Real estate broker $83,823
Investment analyst $81,186
Construction supervisor $77,452
Property developer $72,846
Real estate property appraiser $71,361
Investor relations manager $61,693
Property manager  $58,359
Drafter $49,696
Real estate photographer $46,227
Leasing consultant $36,778

Source: glassdoor.com And now for the deets—

1. REIT Investor 

You’ll be the driving force behind new acquisitions and property sales—buying assets, adding more value, and selling them at a higher price. You’ll also help maintain relationships with investors to ensure new projects keep seeing the light of day. Of course—all this is easier said than done. In reality—you’d need tons of experience to predict what property to buy, when to buy, and when to sell.

To ace this job role, you must have—

  • A sizeable appetite for risks. 
  • Willingness to dig deep and study the real estate investment industry.
  • Knowledge of different buying and selling strategies.

Average salary: $1,26,895/year Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or real estate.
  • 2–5 years of experience in the real estate industry.

Check this out for more:

2. Head of Marketing 

Marketing roles are key to attracting new businesses and investors for REITs. As the pack leader, you’ll head a team of marketers—and create business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing campaigns. You’ll devise ways to boost leasing revenue and investor capital—a key part of this job is also documenting and presenting your marketing campaigns’ results.

Average salary: $1,20,976/year


  • Bachelor's degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field.
  • 3–5 years of marketing experience.

Check this out for more:

3. Finance Manager 

We don’t want to be party poopers, but with this role you’ll spend most of your time behind a desk—frowning (or manically smiling) over numbers. You’ll be responsible for forecasting, budgeting, and reporting on real estate projects—which may involve close work with property developers so they don’t go over their set budgets.

Average salary: $1,05,094/year


  • Bachelor's degree in finance.
  • 3–5 years of experience in a finance job.

Check this out for more:

4. Real Estate Attorney

You’ll navigate legal hoops and paperwork on a company’s behalf to ensure property purchases run smoothly. You’ll also be involved in settling property ownership and transfer disputes. Apart from being a mediator between home buyers and sellers, these lawyers also provide expert legal guidance wherever necessary.

Average salary: $1,04,760/year


  • Attorney's license to practice law in the US.
  • 1–3 years of experience in a law firm.

Check this out for more:

5. Asset Manager

A REIT company has multiple asset managers who look after a particular property type or real estate area. In this role, you’ll oversee hundreds of properties at a time—and strategize to achieve better acquisitions, property sales, commercial deals, and more.

Average salary: $94,277/year


  • An MBA in management.
  • 5–10 years of real estate management experience.

Check this out for more:

6. Real Estate Broker

If we were to go by Netflix’s Selling Sunset—we’d say this is the world’s most glamorous job. In reality, being a broker is more grueling than glamorous. You’ll be the catalyst between the buyer and seller during a property sale—meaning you’ll have to research properties, book visits, and (most importantly) negotiate property sale prices.

Isn’t that the same as being a rest estate agent? Yes and no. While brokers and agents do the same things, brokers have to take a licensing exam—enabling them to work alone as independent contractors.

Average salary: $83,823/year


  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Real estate license.

Check this out for more:

7. Investment Analyst

This role is all about staying on top of economic conditions, real estate trends, and company financials. You’ll closely monitor real estate deals and interact with sellers and buyers in the commercial sector. But why all this due diligence? Investment analysts call the shots on how a REIT company uses its cash. Pursuing this role will mean you—

  • Analyze demographic trends.
  • Monitor and assist the acquisition process.
  • Identify credit issues in the underwriting process.
  • Create monthly pipeline reports for senior management.

Average salary: $81,186/year


  • Bachelor's degree in finance or business.
  • 1–3 years of experience in a finance job.

Check this out for more:

8. Construction Supervisor

You’re the top boss on the construction site—meaning you’ll monitor the project’s progress and watch for compliance with safety regulations. You’ll be in charge of some onsite human resource activities, including—

  • Developing contracts with subcontractors.
  • Creating project budgets and estimations.
  • Evaluating employee performance.
  • And submitting periodic progress reports.

You’ll also have to be pally with architects—the final make has to be in line with their project specifications.

Average salary: $77,452/year


  • Bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, civil engineering, or a related field.

Check this out for more:

9. Property Developer

You’ll buy land, build on it—and sell the property for a higher price. You’ll need to get your hands dirty, and dabble with every step in the process—including developing the land, constructing the property, coordinating with contractors, and dealing with buyers.

Like other real estate careers, this one is also driven by economic factors—like the property market, interest rates, and more. An imbalance in any factor can make your job unstable. Be prepared to work some stressful, long hours—outside a typical 9-to-5 schedule. A deal breaker or a small price to pay for a lovely paycheck? You decide.

Average salary: $72,846/year


  • Bachelor's degree in a related field, such as management, business, or even engineering.

Check this out for more:

10. Real Estate Property Appraiser

Picture this—you’re out shopping in a store. You visit different sections and pick up things. But there’s a catch—you decide the price of the stuff you shopped for.

A property appraiser does this in real life—they inspect properties and decide their value. In this role, you’ll look at the property’s make, current market conditions, and future reselling potential—before pricing it. You’re also in for tons of short-term travel with this job—not the ideal pick if you’re a homebody.

Average salary: $71,361/year


  • Property appraiser license.
  • Bachelor's degree in real estate or a related field.

Check this out for more:

11. Investor Relations Manager

Some of us are social butterflies—others are antisocial moths. Find yourself relating to the former more than the latter? Then this is the perfect REIT job for you. As an investor relations manager, you’ll interact with stockholders (top dogs, big fishes, big guns—you get the picture).

Expect to make investment reports, organize meetings and workshops, train company spokespeople, and more. Your communication skills and confidence must bridge the gap between investors and the management team.

Average salary: $61,693/year


  • Bachelor's degree in communication, finance, accounting, or a similar field.

Check this out for more:

12. Property Manager 

All properties under a REIT company have an on-site management staff that looks after them. These staff members report to a property manager. So, in this role—you’ll be in charge of monitoring your team’s efficiency, activities related to the property’s upkeep, and more. 

Most of the properties you’ll care for will be apartment complexes or industrial properties. Expect to oversee multiple such properties and tons of staff—so you’ll have to master multitasking.

Average salary: $58,359/year


  • High school diploma or equivalent.

Check this out for more:

13. Drafter

Has working on CAD software excited you like a Messi fan when Ronaldo was kicked out of Fifa? Then this might be your dream job. A drafter turns property designs into technical plans.  You’ll have help from engineers and architects—but ultimately you’ll have to create plans that get the client’s stamp of approval in one go.

Average salary: $49,696/year


  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture. 
  • Well-versed with computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Check this out for more:

14. Real Estate Photographer

A little-known fact is how critical this job role is to a real estate firm. A well-captured property can sell like hotcakes—so you must consider this job if you have a passion for photography. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Shoot photos and videos of the property’s exteriors and interiors.
  • Take care of pre-production activities like lighting.
  • Work closely with senior team members to conceptualize, storyboard, and capture footage.

Average salary: $46,227/year


  • Proficiency with camera equipment and editing software.

Check this out for more:

15. Leasing Consultant

This is a consultancy role. Unlike brokers who help tenants find properties, here you’ll only advise tenants on the rental options available on the market. This may be less legwork―but you’ll still need the same level of industry knowledge to help your clients. Consider this role if you’re just starting off in REITs—you can aim for higher roles once you have the experience.

Average salary: $36,778/year


  • Bachelor’s degree in real estate.
  • Real estate license.

Check this out for more:

Key Takeaways:

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) finance or own income-generating real estate across different property types. 
  • These bad boys have directly employed over 307,000 Americans—and generated a $22.7 billion income.
  • REIT investor, finance manager, real estate attorney, asset manager, and real estate broker are some of the top-paid real estate jobs.
  • Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans is brimming with real estate developers, investors, and construction moguls.
  • Money can’t buy you happiness—but it can pay for your therapy bills. Chao.

Key FAQs on REITs and Careers in Real Estate

All these fancy jobs must have some wheels turning in your head—but let’s take a step back to quickly go over some REIT basics.

1. What is a REIT?

REITs (real estate investment trusts) are companies that finance or own income-generating real estate across property sectors. Modeled after mutual funds, REITs make it possible for everyday Americans (not just Johnny Wall Street) to benefit from real estate investments. Investors can earn dividends from real estate—without buying, managing, or financing any properties themselves. There are three types of REITs:

  • Equity REITs—they own and manage revenue-generating real estate (and this revenue usually comes from rents, not from reselling properties).

  • Mortgage REITs—they lend money to real estate owners either through loans or mortgages (or indirectly through the acquisition of securities). These folks earn from net interest margins.

  • Hybrid REITs—they combine the investment strategies of equity and mortgage REITs. 
2. How to get started in the real estate industry?

Getting into the real estate industry is hard—the field’s saturated, competitive, and largely unstable. You don’t want to jump into this with high expectations and little planning. An expert-recommended way to start is to become a licensing consultant or a real estate agent—and look for opportunities to work with experienced REITs and mentors. Do the dirty work and make your way up.

Donny Gamble, founder and CEO of RetirementInvestments.com suggests a more unconventional approach, “There's no better way to get started in real estate than becoming an investor first. Start by purchasing fractional shares in a REIT. Learn about the type of properties they invest in, annual returns, and real estate markets. You’ll be ahead of your competition just by doing this.” 

3. Is real estate investment trusts a good career path?

The answer to that can vary depending on your skill set, ambitions, and prospects. REIT management can be a complex field—and is almost always risky. You start at the bottom and work your way to the top—meaning you’ll deal with a sad paycheck for a while.

But real estate still has one of the best earning potentials across industries—you have got to stick around for the long haul.

4. How many jobs are available in real estate investment trusts?

Nareit’s report on REITs says the industry supported over 3.2 million jobs in 2021. And this number is on the rise, with high demand for personal and commercial real estate—and a high potential for investor returns.

5. What are the best paying jobs in real estate?

Average salaries across job portals like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Payscale, tell us the best-paying real estate jobs include REIT investor, finance manager, real estate attorney, asset manager, and real estate broker


See all

Economic Contribution of REITs in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.reit.com/data-research/research/sponsored-research/economic-contribution-reits-united-states

Editorial team

Meet the team
Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 4+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

Kacper Kozicki - Editor


Editor, copywriter, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands. When not editing articles for LifeAndMyFinances.com, he enjoys rummaging through paper dictionaries, walking in nature, and making travel plans.

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert

Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Lauren Bedford - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Lauren is a published content writer who is passionate about helping and informing others through her content. In the last 5 years, Lauren has written about a range of subjects, including business, technology and finance.

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