Becoming a real estate agent is an excellent career choice. Their work is highly rewarding and the pay is great. But how much can you expect to make, and what locations offer the highest average salary?
If you’re curious, check out the information below to learn more about how much real estate sales agents make in different parts of the United States. I’ve compiled the average real estate salary in every state from highest to lowest. All data was taken from ZipRecruiter— check it out below!
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States With the Highest Average Real Estate Agent Salaries
There are only 8 states where the average salary for real estate agents is above the national average of $82,898 a year: Washington, Maryland, Nebraska, Virginia, New York, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma. Of these 8, Washington has the most hiring opportunities overall.
But before you move to one of these states to start working as a real estate agent, keep this in mind:
The average base salary for these locations are high, but so is the cost of living. The major metropolitan areas in Washington, Maryland, and New York — where real estate sales agents in those states make the most money — have a very high cost of living. This can be mitigated if you’re smart with your spending and willing to commute from longer distances, but you may end up with less money overall. If you want to avoid spending most of your paycheck on rent and groceries, it might be smarter to find an area that pays a little less but has a proportionately lower cost of living.
Nebraska, Virginia, and Oklahoma are all great choices when you compare salaries to cost of living— but there’s another hurdle you should anticipate before moving to one of these states.
Another influencing factor in state-specific real estate agent salaries are employment opportunities. Washington, New York, Texas, and California have a lot of job offers, but not all of the top states do. It can be difficult to find work in these areas if you’re not already experienced as a real estate sales agent. Consider building up your resume with experience somewhere else before attempting to work in these higher paying areas.
“If you want to avoid spending most of your paycheck on rent and groceries, it might be smarter to find an area that pays a little less but has a proportionately lower cost of living.”
States With the Lowest Real Estate Agent Salaries
It’s important to note that even the lowest paying areas for real estate professionals still pay extremely well compared to other career paths. Currently, the lowest average state wage for a real estate agent is $60,957 in North Carolina. That’s more than enough money to live in that area comfortably, and you’ll only have to pay a flat 5.25% income tax. It may not pay as well as real estate agent’s work on the East and West coasts, but it’s still a good living— and Uncle Sam won’t take as big of a cut!
As I mentioned earlier, looking for opportunities in different parts of the country can lead to more opportunities in high-paying areas. For example, a comparatively low-paying state like Florida makes for a great starting point to build your resume and save money for the future. This makes moving on to higher paying positions much easier down the line.
Unfortunately, some of these areas will also have limited opportunities to work as a real estate professional due to a lack of interest. Consequently, it might be tough to get your foot in the door if you don’t have any connections in the area. But at the same time, lower paying states means less competition, so you can generate leads in your area more easily.
“Looking for opportunities in different parts of the country can lead to more opportunities in high-paying areas.”
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make In Washington D.C.?
Despite not being a proper state, it’s important to look at Washington, DC when comparing average salaries; it’s practically tied with the state of Washington in terms of salary. The average yearly pay for real estate agents in DC is $92,286. That doesn’t mean that ALL real estate agents earn that much, however— there’s a very wide range of salaries on offer, with some paying as low as $56k and others as high as $107k.
On top of that, the job market in Washington, DC is extremely active. That makes finding a job there much easier than in other areas. Of course, you need to keep in mind that the cost of living in DC is one of the highest in the nation.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make In Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico is another area that’s often overlooked. Their average salary for real estate agents is fairly low at $66,202. However, ZipRecruiter shows that some positions can pay as high as $109,620. It can be difficult to get started there, but highly rewarding if you can become successful. Plus, it has some of the lowest cost of living in the country and low taxes.
As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunities for real estate agents in the United States. They generally have high salaries even in lower paying states. Overall, this is a very stable career to get into, but it’s important that you don’t blindly make a decision without first considering the cost of living versus your annual pay.
If you’re ready to get started, check out our list of the best online real estate schools and start preparing for your future career today!
“This is a very stable career to get into, but it’s important that you don’t blindly make a decision without first considering the cost of living versus your annual pay.”