Salaries of Commercial Real Estate Brokers

by Rick Suttle
Commercial real estate brokers earn some of the highest salaries in Massachusetts and Minnesota.

Commercial real estate brokers earn some of the highest salaries in Massachusetts and Minnesota.

Corporations and small businesses depend on commercial real estate brokers to sell or lease factories, warehouses or office complexes. Brokers then earn commissions based on the volume of business they generate. Since many are self-employed, they may pay their salaries from the profits they earn. If you want to be a commercial real estate broker, you'll need to complete the required real estate courses in your state. You can expect to earn salaries averaging above $100,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

Commercial real estate brokers are usually paid commissions on the buildings and offices they lease or sell. Since many are self-employed, they pay their salaries from their profits. They earned average annual salaries of $105,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. To become a commercial real estate broker, in addition to at least a high school diploma, you need one to three years of experience to get a broker's license. During this time, you must complete the necessary real estate courses required by your state. More employers are expecting their brokers to complete an associate or bachelor's degree program because of the competitive nature of commercial real estate. Other essential requirements are the ability to work independently, and communication, math, problem-solving, persuasion and closing skills.

Salary by Region

In 2013, average salaries for commercial real estate brokers varied significantly in all four U.S. regions, according to Simply Hired. In the West, these brokers earned the highest salaries of $119,000 in California and the lowest, of $84,000, in Montana. Those in the Northeast earned $95,000 and $128,000 per year in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. If you worked as a broker in South Dakota or Minnesota, you'd make $82,000 or 112,000, respectively, which were the lowest and highest salaries in the Midwest. In the South, your salary would be the highest in Washington, D.C., or lowest in Mississippi -- $82,000 or $166,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

A commercial real estate broker may earn more in certain industries. In 2012, real estate brokers, including those in commercial real estate, earned $117,400 working for brokerage companies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is $37,180 more than the industry average of $80,220. You'd earn more as a commercial real estate broker in Massachusetts or Minnesota.

Job Outlook

The BLS projects an 11-percent increase in jobs for real estate brokers and sales agents -- including those working in commercial real estate -- between 2010 and 2020, which is statistically about average compared to the 14-percent growth rate for all occupations. The real estate market is highly contingent on the economy. If the economy continues improving, companies will hire more employees. Once firms outgrow their office complexes and buildings, they may need new ones. This can increase job opportunities for you as a commercial real estate broker.

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