Best Paying Jobs In Real Estate Investment Trusts

Top 10 Best-Paying Jobs In Real Estate Investment Trusts

real estate business real estate jobs Dec 19, 2023

Real estate is far and away the world's largest asset class, presenting plenty of opportunities for individuals to forge prosperous careers. As real estate investors seek to capitalize on the vast real estate industry, however, it's essential to recognize that the ability to generate wealth extends beyond property ownership. An often-overlooked pathway to financial success is working at a real estate investment trust (REIT). In particular, the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts are incredibly lucrative and sought after.

While REITs are commonly recognized as investment vehicles themselves, it's essential to shed light on the fact that behind every successful REIT, a team of skilled professionals is steering the ship. This guide aims to unveil the best-paying jobs within REITs, identifying lucrative career paths that navigate the intricate landscape of real estate investments.

As we explore the top 10 best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts, we’ll highlight the diverse roles and responsibilities that contribute to the success of these financial entities. Whether you are an aspiring professional or a seasoned investor seeking a career shift, this guide will illuminate the potential of working for REITs and the wealth of opportunities they offer, starting with the following:


REITs offer a vast array of opportunities that extend beyond the conventional notions of property ownership. The industry's diversity spans various sectors, including commercial properties, healthcare facilities, office buildings, shopping malls, apartment buildings, and shopping centers. In today’s stock exchanges, REITs are versatile players, providing real estate investors with opportunities for portfolio diversification.

A closer look at REITs reveals distinct types, each tailored to different real estate assets and investment strategies. The industry provides a spectrum of career options, from equity REITs, which primarily own and manage income-generating properties, to mortgage REITs, specializing in financing real estate transactions. These options not only cater to different property types but also open avenues for high-paying jobs across the diverse realms of real estate.

Professionals can specialize in various sectors, contributing to the growth and management of properties that define cityscapes and contribute significantly to the economy. As the demand for diverse real estate assets continues to evolve, REITs offer seasoned professionals and aspiring talents the chance to dive into a multifaceted and rewarding career path.

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10 Best-Paying Jobs In Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real estate investment trusts rely on skilled professionals to navigate their specific industries. From financial analysts shaping investment strategies to property developers crafting new assets, these roles drive the success of REITs and offer substantial financial rewards for those at the helm. It is not a coincidence that the best REITs have the best employees, which begs the question: What are the ten best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts? Here’s a quick look at ten of the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts we will break down in this guide:

  1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  2. Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  3. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  4. Subcontractor
  5. Leasing Agent
  6. Investment Analyst
  7. Real Estate Attorney
  8. Real Estate Developer
  9. Realtor & Real Estate Agent
  10. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project Manager

10 best paying reit jobs

Chief Executive Officer

As the highest-ranking executive, the CEO's role extends far beyond conventional leadership, encompassing a blend of financial acumen, strategic foresight, and industry expertise. Most notably, however, the CEO of a real estate investment trust is responsible for orchestrating the strategic vision and ensuring the seamless execution of investment initiatives.

Chief executive officers make pivotal decisions that shape the entire investment portfolio. From crafting comprehensive investment strategies to overseeing property acquisitions and divestitures, the CEO drives the REIT's financial success. They work with other executives and board members to define the organization's mission, set long-term goals, and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the real estate industry.

CEO salaries within the REIT landscape vary significantly based on factors such as the size of the REIT, its financial performance, and the executive's experience. According to data from Indeed, the average annual salary for a CEO in the United States is $139,813. However, it's crucial to note that salaries can range dramatically, with top executives at more prominent, more successful REITs commanding substantially higher compensation packages.

Chief Operating Officer

Within the intricate framework of REITs, the role of the chief operating officer is paramount. The COO plays a pivotal part in the day-to-day operations of a REIT, ensuring that strategies conceived by the leadership are executed seamlessly for optimal efficiency and performance.

The Chief Operating Officer spearheads the operational aspects of a REIT, working closely with the executive team to translate strategic objectives into actionable plans. Their responsibilities cast a wide net, encompassing everything from property management and asset optimization to overseeing leasing, acquisitions, and divestitures. The COO's role also involves streamlining processes, mitigating risks, and fostering collaboration among different departments.

Not unlike every other role we’ll explore, the salaries of COOs are directly correlated to several factors, not the least of which include their experience, the size of the REIT, and the success they demonstrate. On average, however, a COO in the United States earns $141,207 annually, according to data from Indeed. Of course, it’s not uncommon for industry-leading COOs to make as much as $325,000 a year and even more in incentives.

Chief Financial Officer

The chief financial officer is the custodian of financial strategy within a REIT, working in tandem with the executive team to ensure the organization's fiscal health. Their responsibilities encompass financial planning, budgeting, and reporting, providing invaluable insights guiding investment decisions. The CFO is also instrumental in overseeing capital market activities, managing risk, and maintaining compliance with financial regulations.

The CFO's significance to their REIT lies in their ability to maintain financial stability while maximizing investment returns. By aligning financial strategies with overarching business goals, the CFO contributes to the REIT's capacity to navigate market fluctuations and capitalize on opportunities.

Chief financial officer salaries within the REIT sector can vary significantly. On average, a CFO in the United States earns $153,061 annually, as per data from Indeed. However, it's essential to acknowledge that compensation packages can vary significantly, with some CFOs at large REITs earning as much as $325,000 a year.


The responsibilities of subcontractors within REITs vary depending on the nature of the projects and the properties' specific needs. They may be involved in routine maintenance tasks such as plumbing, electrical work, and landscaping, or they could be enlisted for more extensive roles like remodeling or renovating properties within the REIT's portfolio. Subcontractors are valued for their specialized expertise, allowing REITs to tap into a pool of skilled professionals without maintaining a full-time, in-house workforce for every technical task.

Subcontractors contribute significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of REIT operations. By outsourcing specialized tasks to subcontractors, REITs can ensure that each project is handled by experts in the field, optimizing property values and meeting the diverse needs of tenants. This flexible approach allows REITs to adapt to the dynamic requirements of their properties without the burden of maintaining an extensive in-house team for every possible skill set.

The average income for subcontractors is approximately $123,752 per year. It's important to note that subcontractors' income can vary based on factors such as the scope and complexity of projects, geographic location, and the subcontractor's level of expertise. The flexibility and specialized skills subcontractors bring make them valuable assets for REITs seeking to maintain and enhance their diverse property portfolio.

Leasing Agent

Leasing agents are responsible for marketing available properties, conducting property tours, and facilitating leasing. They act as intermediaries between property owners (or the REIT itself) and prospective tenants, ensuring that both parties' needs and expectations are met.

Leasing agents often possess in-depth knowledge of the REIT's property portfolio, market trends, and the unique features that make each property attractive to potential tenants. Beyond securing new leases, they also play a role in lease renewals and addressing tenant inquiries or concerns.

Leasing agents typically earn an average income of $118,663 annually. However, it's important to note that this figure can vary based on factors such as experience, geographic location, and the size and success of the REIT. Larger and more established REITs often offer more significant earning potential, with top-performing leasing agents having the opportunity to surpass the average income through performance-based incentives, commissions, and bonuses.

Investment Analyst

An investment analyst within a real estate investment trust is a financial expert specializing in dissecting and evaluating potential real estate investments. Their role revolves around conducting in-depth economic analyses, market research, and risk assessments to guide the REIT in making informed and strategic investment decisions.

REIT analysts are instrumental in shaping the investment portfolio of a REIT. They assess prospective real estate opportunities' financial viability and potential returns, considering market trends, property values, and economic indicators. Using financial models and analytical tools, investment analysts contribute to formulating investment strategies, offering insights that help the REIT identify and capitalize on lucrative opportunities.

According to Indeed, the average investment analyst salary is $83,652. However, due to the important nature of investment analysts, it’s not uncommon for salaries to reach or exceed $130,000.

Real Estate Attorney

Real estate attorneys in REITs are responsible for legal matters related to real estate transactions, property management, and regulatory compliance. They provide legal counsel on property acquisitions and divestitures, lease agreements, zoning regulations, and environmental considerations. Real estate attorneys also play a crucial role in drafting and reviewing legal documents, negotiating contracts, and ensuring that the REIT's operations align with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, they may handle disputes, litigation, and other legal challenges during real estate transactions.

The importance of a real estate attorney within a REIT cannot be overstated. Their expertise helps navigate the complex legal landscape inherent in real estate transactions, minimizing legal risks and ensuring that the REIT operates within the bounds of the law. Real estate attorneys contribute to the REIT's ability to make sound legal decisions, execute transactions smoothly, and protect the organization from potential legal challenges in the dynamic world of real estate investments.

On average, attorneys in the United States make an average salary of $102,488. More experienced attorneys can easily demand higher salaries at established REITs. For example, high wages for real estate attorneys can easily reach $150,000 or more with incentives.

Real Estate Developer

Real estate developers in REITs take the lead in identifying and executing development opportunities within the organization's portfolio. They are involved in every stage of the development process, from initial concept and feasibility studies to securing necessary approvals, overseeing construction, and ultimately delivering a finished product. Real estate developers collaborate with various stakeholders, including architects, contractors, and local authorities, to ensure that development projects align with the REIT's investment objectives and meet market demands.

Real estate developers are particularly good at enhancing the value and appeal of the organization's income-producing assets. By strategically planning and executing development projects, they increase property values, optimize land use, and attract tenants. Real estate developers play a vital role in aligning the REIT's portfolio with market conditions, ensuring that properties remain competitive and yield strong returns on investment.

Real estate developers earn an average salary of $92,097 annually, with plenty of room for upside. Larger and more established REITs may offer greater earning potential, providing opportunities for real estate developers to earn higher salaries based on their contributions to the organization's growth.

Realtor & Real Estate Agent

Realtors and real estate agents employed by REITs handle the intricacies of property transactions. Their responsibilities encompass marketing available properties, conducting property tours, negotiating deals, and facilitating the completion of real estate transactions. Whether acquiring new assets or divesting existing ones, realtors and agents serve as intermediaries, ensuring that transactions align with the REIT's strategic objectives.

REITs, by nature, are involved in a diverse array of real estate transactions. Employing Realtors and real estate agents allows REITs to tap into specialized expertise, ensuring that each transaction is managed professionally and efficiently. The ability of Realtors and agents to navigate the legal and market complexities of real estate transactions contributes to the REIT's ability to expand its portfolio, optimize property values, and respond effectively to market dynamics.

Realtors and real estate agents working within REITs typically earn an average salary of around $100,000 annually. However, it's essential to recognize that individual salaries may vary based on the volume and complexity of transactions managed by their respective REITs.

Read Also: Realtor Vs. Real Estate Agent: Salaries, Differences & Similarities

ERP Project Manager

An enterprise resource planning project manager in the context of REITs is a professional responsible for overseeing the planning, implementation, and management of ERP systems within the organization. Their role involves coordinating various aspects of the ERP project, including software selection, customization, training, and ensuring seamless integration with existing systems.

For REITs, ERP Project Managers play a crucial role in optimizing operational efficiency, enhancing data management, and streamlining business processes by leveraging integrated software solutions tailored to the unique needs of the real estate industry.

The average salary for an ERP Project Manager is reported to be around $103,787, as indicated by Indeed. However, it's important to note that this figure is a general benchmark, and individual salaries can vary significantly based on several factors. The specific company's size, industry, and financial health, coupled with the ERP Project Manager's level of experience, expertise, and track record, all contribute to the potential for variations in compensation.


Real Estate Investment Trust Jobs: FAQ

reit careers faq

The best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts are unquestionably in high demand and very lucrative. However, salaries aren’t the only factors affecting essential career decisions. As a result, aspiring applicants may have many questions when deciding between the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts. As a result, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to make your decision easier.

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts?

REITs are financial entities that own, operate or finance income-generating real estate properties. These investment vehicles enable individuals to invest in a diversified portfolio of real estate assets without owning or managing the properties directly.

REITs typically distribute most of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders and play a crucial role in providing investors access to the real estate market's potential returns. Of course, in doing so, REITs employ a wide variety of professionals, not the least of which we mentioned above.

What Are The Benefits Of Working For REITs?

Working for a REIT offers numerous benefits, including exposure to diverse career paths within the real estate industry, potential for competitive compensation, and the opportunity to be part of a lucrative sector.

Employees in REITs often enjoy the chance to contribute to the growth and management of substantial real estate portfolios, gaining valuable experience in property development, asset management, and financial analysis. Additionally, REITs commonly foster a collaborative work environment, providing employees with professional growth and advancement opportunities.

How Much Can You Earn Working For REITs?

Earnings vary based on factors such as job role, experience, and the size and success of the REIT. Salaries can range from competitive starting points, and incentives such as performance-based bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing opportunities may significantly augment overall compensation.

Individuals in key roles, particularly at more prominent and more successful REITs, may have the potential to earn substantial incomes, making a career with REITs financially rewarding.

What Is The Job Outlook For REIT Professionals?

In recent years, REITs have faced challenges with high-interest rates impacting their profitability. However, the job outlook for REIT professionals is poised for improvement as the Federal Reserve has signaled a shift. With the Federal Reserve potentially ceasing rate hikes and considering rate cuts, the outlook for rate-sensitive industries like REITs is optimistic, as the decreasing cost of money enhances the profitability of commercial real estate investments. This change in monetary policy suggests a brighter future for REIT professionals, with increased job opportunities for growth and success in real estate investments.


Final Thoughts On The Best Paying Jobs In The REIT Industry

The allure of the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts is grounded in the sector's vast opportunities. From CEOs steering strategic visions to investment analysts shaping portfolios, these roles offer unique growth and investment opportunities. However, if the prospect of working for a REIT doesn't align with your aspirations, consider the alternative path of investing in real estate directly. Whether navigating the corporate landscape of a REIT or wholesaling single-family and commercial properties, the vast opportunities within the real estate industry speak to those seeking both financial prosperity and a fulfilling career.

Ready to take your real estate career to the next level? Contact Real Estate Skills today and unlock the full potential of your real estate ventures. Our experts are here to provide guidance, resources, and strategies to help you thrive in the real estate investing industry. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your skills and boost your success. Get in touch with us now and elevate your career in real estate.

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