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Career and Education Opportunities for Real Estate Agents in Columbia, Maryland

Real estate agents can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 12,570 jobs for real estate agents in Maryland and this is projected to grow 8% to 13,600 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for real estate agents, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.2% over the next eight years. Real estate agents generally rent, buy, or sell property for clients.

Real estate agents earn about $23 per hour or $49,700 annually on average in Maryland and about $19 hourly or $40,150 per year on average nationally. Real estate agents earn less than people working in the category of Real Estate generally in Maryland and less than people in the Real Estate category nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a real estate agent. Real estate agents usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a real estate agent if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, real estate agents rent, buy, or sell property for clients. They also perform duties, such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts.

Real estate agents present purchase offers to sellers for consideration. They also design networks of attorneys and contractors to whom clients may be referred. Equally important, real estate agents have to advise sellers on how to make homes more appealing to potential buyers. They are often called upon to answer clients' questions regarding construction work and appraisals. They are expected to direct appointments to show homes to prospective buyers. Finally, real estate agents arrange meetings between buyers and sellers when specifics of transactions need to be negotiated.

Every day, real estate agents are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for real estate agents to direct property closings, overseeing signing of documents and disbursement of funds. They are often called upon to evaluate mortgage options to help clients obtain financing at the best prevailing rates and terms. They also locate and appraise undeveloped areas for building sites, on the basis of evaluations of area market conditions. They are sometimes expected to manage title searches to establish whether clients have clear property titles. Somewhat less frequently, real estate agents are also expected to direct appointments to show homes to prospective buyers.

Real estate agents sometimes are asked to visit properties to gauge them before showing them to clients. and secure construction or purchase financing with own firm or mortgage company. And finally, they sometimes have to evaluate mortgage options to help clients obtain financing at the best prevailing rates and terms.

Like many other jobs, real estate agents must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Advertising Agent. Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. May obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.
  • Insurance Agent. Sell life, property, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
  • Real Estate Broker. Operate real estate offices, or work for commercial real estate firms, overseeing real estate transactions. Other duties usually include selling real estate or renting properties and arranging loans.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Real Estate Agent Training

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year program in Real Estate.

University of Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Baltimore, Charles at Mount Royal, Baltimore, MD 21201-208. University of Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,844 students and an admission rate of 50%. University of Baltimore has a bachelor's degree program in Real Estate which graduated four students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year program in Real Estate which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Real Estate.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Real Estate which graduated one and fifty-four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Global Mobility Specialist: The purpose of Worldwide ERC's Certified Relocation Professional certification is to encourage members working in specific aspects of employee relocation to gain extensive and useful knowledge of all aspects of employee relocation.

For more information, see the Employee Relocation Council website.

Certified Relocation Professional: The purpose of Worldwide ERC Certified Relocation Professional program is to encourage members working in specific aspects of employee relocation to gain extensive and useful knowledge of all aspects of employee relocation.

For more information, see the Employee Relocation Council website.

Residential Certified Loan Officer: The Certified Loan Officer(CMT) designation creates a recognizable and meaningful seal of quality for residential loan officers.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

LICENSES

REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Licensing agency: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Address: Board of Real Estate Commision, 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: (410) 230-6227
Website: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Board of Real Estate Commision

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.