Is Real Estate Investment Trusts A Good Career Path?

REITs provide high-paying jobs in the ever-evolving industry. A career in REITs in the US can bring you from $53,000 to $118,000 per year, depending on your position and experience. For example, you can work as an analytic, property manager, director of investments, operation head, etc.

Personal finance gurus are quick to suggest passive income. Real estate investing is one of the top recommendations.

One of the first financially-conscious Millenials that I followed back in the days had two properties. I thought how amazing it must be to have a home and a rental at the young age of 30! Think about that sweet passive income she makes each month.

Then, I read about all the hassle that comes with owning a rental property. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people who are willing to reveal the real picture. Okay, real estate investment is a smart decision; how can I make it work for me?

Meet REIT -real estate investment trusts. They are intended to serve investors who want to make money out of real estate without ever owning a property. And you can make a career out of this; read on to learn how.

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts

Simply put, Real Estate Investment Trusts are businesses that own profitable real estate. They generate earnings by operating, renting, and selling their properties. Many of them own large properties like malls, hospitals, and schools.

Most REITs are a type of mutual fund that you can buy stocks from. As a shareholder, you get a portion of the profits each year. REITs are obligated to share at least 90% of their taxable income with the investors.

In a nutshell, you become a real estate investor without the hassle of spending huge sums at once and handling a single property. You supply nearly zero effort and enjoy the passive income.

Equity REITs

Equity REITs are the traditional approach.

They own a particular stake in a real estate property and manage it directly. It’s a type of landlord duty. One example is renting out stores in a mall, dealing with upkeep, and collecting the rent.

Mortgage REITs

Mortgage REITs own the mortgages of properties and collect the interest gain on them.

It’s a type of pooled funds – the investors ‘chip in’ by buying REIT stock. Then, those assets are used to provide mortgage loans.

Types Of Careers In REITs

Investing is not the only way to dip your toes into the real estate world. You can land a job in REITs that pays well.

As of November 2021, the average salary for an employee in REIT was $89,246.

Certainly, there are various job positions in REITs that pay differently. So pick the one you have the right skillset for and apply!

Independent Investor

A young woman is on her laptop investing in REITs online.

An investor is not a job, but it’s a way to profit from REITs.

As an independent investor, you have unlimited earning potential with a REIT. In addition, REITs pay a yearly or quarterly dividend that can serve as a significant portion of your passive income.

To become an investor, you need a brokerage account. However, real estate should only be a section of your portfolio.


The acquisitions team is responsible for the future of the REIT. They source deals, properties and close huge deals.

To become an acquisitions professional, you need a deep understanding of how the market works, years of experience, and a sense of business. The job of the acquisitions professional is based on predictions and analysis.

It’s one of the careers in REITs that can shoot you off to the highest positions. To become an acquisitions professional, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or marketing.

Keep in mind that experience is crucial.

REIT Analyst

This is the highest-paying position in REIT. The real estate market is an evolving field, so the analyst has a challenging job.

They must constantly look for new opportunities, analyze the market and the REIT’s growth, and develop strategies to persuade investors.

The position requires experience in financial analysis and capital market knowledge.

Property Management

Property managers are responsible for a single or several properties. They handle and manage the real estate, its profits to the REIT, and how it performs.

You need a bachelor’s degree in real estate management, business, finance, or another related major.

Real Estate Developer

A developer has an essential task to construct the real estate which the REIT will lend. They manage contractors and subcontractors responsible for building the property.

Developers are crucial since, without them, there will be no property. Payment depends on the amount of work at a given moment. For this position, you need a background in management or engineering.

Asset Manager

Asset managers are the core of the REIT.

They’re responsible for handling and evaluating the real estate portfolio. Asset managers need to follow investments and look for opportunities to boost the portfolio’s performance.

The position requires a solid background in finance, business, or management.

Investor Relations

The person holding the investor relations role in REIT answers directly to investors.

They’re responsible for scheduling quarterly, monthly, and even weekly meetings to answer all questions. They clear up investors’ concerns and guide them through the process.

It’s a responsible role intended for those who aim to work with people.

How To Get A Job In REITs

If you have an eye on some of the positions we mentioned, here’s how to land them.

Remember that education and experience are non-negotiable. If you already have these two, all you need is a little bit of networking and luck.

Consider Your Approach

Determine which job you’d want to go after.

For example, if you want to explore the world of real estate from up close, you’re looking into careers in REIT. On the other hand, if you’re interested in making a passive income, then investing is your best option.

A job in REITs requires much attention, skills, and dedication, just like any other job. Almost all positions come with a huge responsibility.

Craft The Right Skills

A job in REITs is not for amateurs. A particular set of skills paired with a solid education background is your winning combination.

For example, a degree in finance paired with years of experience in marketing. Or a marketing degree with experience in real estate. You need to be analytical, finance-savvy, and have some intuition.

Search At The Right Place

Look for jobs in REITs at all the usual places: job boards, LinkedIn, etc. If you have your eye on certain REITs, send them your CV even if they don’t have an opening at the moment.

Networking is your best bet in this stage of your career in REITs.

Create connections with people already in the industry. They can lead you to the right places and give you tips on landing your first job in REITs.

Don’t Forget To Invest

A job in REITs can pay your bills, but investments can bring you something more. Even after landing a job in one company, you can still invest in another REIT and make some passive income.


Do REITs Pay Well?

The salary in REITs varies by position. For example, analysts make $82,448; property managers earn $77,415, while acquisitions professionals make an average of $71,705 per year.

How many real estate REITs are there?

In 2021 there are 1,100 REITs, of which 225 are public, registered with SEC, and trading on a major stock exchange.

How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts?

In 2020 REITs supported 2.9 million jobs, of which 308,000 were directly employed. For reference, in 2019, 274,000 people were working in REITs. It’s a growing industry with over 3,000 job posts available today.

Can Real Estate Investing Be A Full-time Job?

Real estate investing can replace your full-time job with solid and constant investing. Making time to analyze the market and make the investments on your own is time-consuming and impossible with another full-time job.

Real estate can bring you a great return, but focusing your portfolio only on real estate investments is a considerable risk.

Bottom Line

We all have some guilty pleasures, and mine is watching real estate reality TV shows.

One of them, available on Netflix, showed how much real estate agents make from a single deal. But, at the same time, it provided a glimpse into how much work goes into a single contract.

A career in real estate is a challenge, and working with people one on one is not everyone’s cup of tea.

A career in REITs is different; it focuses on larger investments, requires a more serious approach and less personal persuasion. It’s based on facts, analysis, and market predictions. It requires a good set of skills and great educational background.

There’s a lot of space for growth, and job opportunities increase by over 10% each year!

Have you ever thought about a career in REITs? Is real estate investing something you’re passionate about?

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