The median annual wage for real estate brokers was $56,860 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,940.
The median annual wage for real estate sales agents was $43,370 in May 2015.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $110,560.
Brokers and sales agents earn most of their income from commissions on sales. The commission varies by the type of property and its value. Commissions often are divided among the buying agent, selling agent, brokers, and firms.
An agent's income, therefore, often depends on economic conditions, the agent's individual motivation, and the types of property available. Income usually increases as agents become better and more experienced at sales. Earnings can be irregular, especially for beginners, and agents sometimes go weeks or months without a sale. Some agents become active in community organizations and local real estate organizations to broaden their contacts and increase their sales.
Many real estate brokers and sales agents work more than 40 hours per week. They often work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients' schedules. Many brokers and sales agents spend a significant amount of time networking and attending community events to meet potential clients. Although they frequently work irregular hours, many can set their own schedules.
Some brokers and sales agents work part time and may combine their real estate activities with other careers.
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Median annual wages, May 2015
Real estate brokers
Real estate brokers and sales agents
Real estate sales agents
Total, all occupations
Sales and related occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics