How Much More Valuable Does Your Degree Make You?

Continuing education helps realtors “better meet the needs of their clients and stay ahead of competitors,” according to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

The bottom line here is the bottom line:  In a press release on the 2013 Realtors Conference and Expo in San Francisco, a weekend panel concluded that there is a significant relationship between realtors' educational attainment and their income level.

The gist of the panel was that the more education, the better familiarity with current issues and technologies.  Career success follows.

“Data shows it pays off,” said Yun, according to the release. 

The interesting part is that, according to the release, the panel backed it up: economists from NAR and the California Association of Realtors presented research and data that illustrate how better education often equals higher incomes.

The release says that NAR economist Jessica Lautz reported that said while realtor incomes are up for the second year in a row following nine years of declines, the group’s data “show earnings were even higher for members with advanced educations. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed with a bachelor’s degree grossed between $35,000 and $100,000, compared to 31% with a high school degree or less."

But high earners were surprisingly close: Eighteen percent of realtors with a bachelor’s degree grossed over $100,000, compared to 14 percent with a high school degree or less.

A CAR economist told the panel that on average, realtors with bachelor’s degrees “netted a 12% increase in income over those without a degree; and [realtors]  with graduate degrees netted a 23% increase in income.”

NAR data show that realtors' median income for those with at least one professional certification or designation—the organization offers them to individuals and companies, with the release touting a discount for current programs--was $61,100.  The median for those without a designation, NAR reports, was $33,500, a difference of $27,600.

The press release says that Hugh Kelly, a professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, told the conference that educated professionals migrate to top industry positions. “Degrees can be very helpful to [realtors] as they progress through their careers,” he is quoted as saying. “Degrees provide individuals with skills to gain entry into executive positions in top firms, manage diverse businesses and advance entrepreneurially.” he said.

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