10 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) | No. 8 Will Surprise You


Real estate investment is a lucrative opportunity that many investors are looking to capitalize on and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have become a popular investment choice for many individuals looking to diversify their portfolios. With a rapidly growing population and an increasing demand for housing and commercial properties, the real estate market continues to grow, and so do the opportunities within REITs.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are a popular investment option for individuals looking to broaden the types of things they invest in and generate passive income. If you are looking to break into the world of REITs or advance your career in the field, keep reading.

In this article, we will explore the 10 best paying jobs in real estate investment trusts, providing valuable insights into lucrative career opportunities within the REIT sector. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to advance your career or a newcomer hoping to break into the industry, we will help you identify the best paying roles in REITs and their earning potential.

Key Takeaways

  • REITs are investment funds that own and manage properties that generate income from residential, commercial, and industrial real estate.
  • There are 3 types of REIT: Equity REIT, Mortgage REIT, and Hybrid REIT, and these all have different functions.
  • The world of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) is rich with a multitude of career opportunities, ranging from roles in asset management to real estate finance, all of which come with competitive compensation packages designed to attract and retain top talent in the industry.

Understanding Real Estate Investment

Real estate investment has become an increasingly popular avenue around the world for investors looking to expand the variety of their investments and generate income without actively engaging in it.

With a rapidly growing population and an increasing demand for housing and commercial properties, the real estate market is ripe for investment. Before diving into the market, there are several important factors that potential investors need to consider to make informed decisions.

These factors are the booming urbanization trends, the regulatory environment, understanding of the unique details, legal regulations, market trends, and insider tips of real estate investment. They are crucial for successful thriving in the real estate industry.

Understanding Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, operates, or provides financing for real estate that generates income. Similar to mutual funds, REITs gather money from investors who receive profits from real estate investments. Investors don’t have to personally buy, manage, or finance any properties.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have become increasingly popular investment vehicles, offering investors the opportunity to earn substantial returns in the real estate market without the need to directly own properties. REITs frequently possess apartments, warehouses, self-storage facilities, shopping centers, and hotels. The top REITs provide substantial and increasing dividends, although, like all investments, they can involve risk.

As the demand for skilled professionals in the industry continues to rise, so do the compensation packages for top talent.

Within the realm of REITs, there are a variety of job opportunities that offer lucrative compensation packages. From asset managers to investment analysts, the real estate industry has a wide range of high-paying positions available.

Types of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

There are three main types of REITs based on what they invest in. They are equity, mortgage, and hybrid REITs. Each type can be split into three categories based on how the investment is bought: publicly-traded REITs, public non-traded REITs, and private REITs. Each type of REIT has its features and risks, so it’s crucial to understand them before making a purchase.

1. Equity REITs

Equity REITs work similarly to a landlord, taking care of all the property management responsibilities. They own the actual real estate, collect rent, maintain the property, and reinvest in it.

2. Mortgage REITs

Mortgage REITs, also called REITs, work differently from equity REITs. They don’t own the actual property, but instead, they own debt securities backed by the property. For instance, when a family takes out a mortgage on a house, this type of REIT might buy that mortgage from the original lender and collect the monthly payments over time, making money through interest income.

In this scenario, someone else, like the family, owns and manages the property. Mortgage REITs are generally riskier than equity REITs, and they often pay higher dividends.

3. Hybrid REITs

Hybrid REITs are a mix of equity and mortgage REITs. These companies both own and manage real estate properties and hold commercial property mortgages in their investment portfolio. It’s important to read and do your research on REIT to understand its main focus.

4. Publicly traded REITs

Publicly-traded REITs, as the name suggests, are traded on an exchange just like stocks and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs; funds that trade on exchanges, generally tracking a specific index), and can be bought using a regular brokerage account.

According to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit), there are over 200 publicly traded REITs on the market. Publicly traded REITs usually have better governance standards and are more transparent.

They also offer highly liquid stock, which means investors can easily buy and sell the REIT’s stock, much faster than if they were to buy and sell a retail property themselves. Because of these advantages, many investors choose to buy and sell only publicly traded REITs.

5. Public Non-Traded REITs

Non-traded Public REITs are registered with the SEC but are not listed on an exchange. Instead, they can be bought from a broker involved in public non-traded offerings, like an online real estate broker called “Fundrise”.

Nareit has an online database where investors can look for REITs by listing status. Since they are not publicly traded, these REITs are very hard to sell quickly, often for periods of eight years or more, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Non-traded REITs can also make it difficult to assess their value. The SEC warns that these REITs often don’t estimate their value for investors until 18 months after their offering closes, which can be years after you’ve invested.

Several online trading platforms, such as DiversyFund and Realty Mogul, allow investors to buy shares in non-traded public REITs.

6. Private REITs

Private REITs are not listed, which makes them difficult to assess and trade. Additionally, they are usually not required to register with the SEC, meaning they have fewer disclosure requirements, making it potentially harder to evaluate their performance. These limitations make private REITs less appealing to many investors and they come with added risks.

Why Consider a Career in REITs?

The appeal of REITs, especially in terms of career opportunities, arises primarily from their unique structure and the reliability they provide in the investment realm. The requirement to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends makes REITs an attractive choice for investment.

Here are some reasons why you should consider real estate investment trusts as a career path. They are also the advantages of working in REIT.

1. Consistent and competitive pay packages

The strong resilience of the REIT sector, supported by a consistent flow of rental earnings, often leads to financial security for the firms and their staff. Consequently, roles within REITs are commonly linked to competitive salaries that remain strong despite market changes.

In addition, employees typically receive extensive benefits such as health coverage, retirement schemes, and bonuses based on performance, showcasing the industry’s profitability and dedication to attracting and retaining skilled professionals.

2. Chances for Advancement

The real estate industry’s dynamic nature provides an excellent environment for career growth. As urban areas change and investment approaches become more varied, professionals in REITs have the chance to enhance their skills, take on new roles, and advance in their careers.

This aspect of a career in REITs is particularly important considering the ongoing transformations in real estate consumption and development, such as the impact of e-commerce on retail and warehouse spaces, and the changes in office spaces due to remote work trends.

Ambitious individuals can use this dynamic setting to specialize in specific areas or progress to senior management positions, influencing the industry’s future.

3. Variety of Experiences

REITs often oversee a range of property types and real estate projects, offering employees a diverse array of experiences.

This diversity extends beyond just the types of properties, as a career in a REIT can involve exposure to various functional areas such as acquisitions, development, asset management, and leasing. Professionals may find themselves negotiating lease agreements one day and working on large-scale development projects the next.

Furthermore, REITs often operate in different geographical markets, providing valuable experience in understanding and navigating the complexities of regional and global real estate markets. This multifaceted exposure enhances job satisfaction and cultivates a resilient and versatile skill set that is highly applicable across the industry.

These advantages make a career in a REIT an appealing option for those seeking to establish themselves in the real estate field. The industry’s stability, potential for growth, and diversity create a fertile ground for long-term career development and success.

Disadvantages of Working in REIT

Despite all the benefits that you can get from working in REIT companies, it’s important to keep in mind that there are certain reality checks to take note of. If these can be managed, then you’re good to go in real estate investment trusts. They are:

1. Travel Expectations

Certain positions within the commercial real estate sector entail extensive travel. While this aspect can be appealing to some individuals, it may also present challenges and demands that could be stressful and time-intensive for others, especially for those with families whom they would love to stay close to.

The nature of these travel requirements can vary based on the specific role and the scope of responsibilities involved.

2. Extended Transaction Timelines

Commercial real estate deals are intricate and often require several months or longer to finalize. Depending on your position, you may find yourself working with the same portfolio of properties for an extended duration of time.

This protracted process allows for in-depth analysis and strategic planning, but it also necessitates patience and persistence in navigating the complexities of these transactions.

3. Market Volatility

The overall real estate market is significantly impacted by prevailing market dynamics. Downturns in the economy can result in underperforming businesses with reduced employee payment.

These fluctuations can create challenges for companies, affecting their financial stability and, consequently, impacting the compensation packages offered to their employees. Professionals in the industry need to stay attuned to market shifts and adapt their strategies to navigate through periods of instability.

Also read: 18 High Entry Level Digital Marketing Jobs in 2024 |

10 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts


Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer a diverse range of career opportunities with competitive compensation packages. Here are the top 10 highest-paying jobs within the REIT industry, each offering lucrative prospects for professionals seeking rewarding careers in real estate investment. They are:

  1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  3. Property Manager
  4. Director of Asset Management
  5. Real Estate Attorney
  6. Real Estate Investment Analyst
  7. Acquisitions Specialist
  8. Director of Real Estate Development
  9. Real Estate Broker
  10. Real Estate Agent

We would delve into what each represents, what they function as individually, and how much they earn.

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Usually, the CEO is the highest-earning individual in the company. But what justifies such a substantial salary for a CEO? It’s straightforward – their decisions hold the authority to steer the entire course of the company.

As the top-earning person in the organization, the CEO is accountable for making strategic decisions that will not only influence the company’s performance but also the performance of all the direct reports.

It’s a challenging role, and it’s not entrusted to just anyone. CEOs in the real estate investment trusts industry are typically experienced professionals with a minimum of 20 years of experience. They have demonstrated their capabilities as successful leaders, advancing through various roles within departments.

In essence, the CEO position is one of the most demanding and gratifying roles in the real estate investment trusts industry. It demands strong leadership abilities, extensive industry expertise, and the capacity to make difficult decisions. However, for those who are up for the challenge, the salary is up to $500,000, and the rewards are undoubtedly worthwhile.

2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of a real estate investment trust is responsible for overseeing the financial well-being of the organization and securing its long-term stability and expansion.

Their tasks encompass supervising the budgeting and financial planning procedures, examining financial information to pinpoint patterns and areas that need enhancement, and formulating tactics to enhance the company’s financial results.

Additional duties involve leading the accounting and finance team and establishing connections with crucial stakeholders like investors, lenders, and regulatory entities. Their influence on the organization’s triumph can be substantial, and they are duly rewarded with a salary of up to $350,000 for their proficiency.

3. Property Manager

Employing your skills as a REIT Property Manager can bring about substantial financial and career benefits. While formal qualifications are not mandatory, possessing a bachelor’s degree is strongly advised, and prior experience in the industry can provide a competitive edge.

With salaries spanning from $70,000 to $120,000, contingent on managerial expertise and workload, this career avenue offers significant potential for financial gains and professional progress.

4. Director of Asset Management

An asset manager engages in the investment, administration, and trading of real estate assets and other commodities such as bonds, capital, and stocks. They carry out these responsibilities on behalf of their clients, offering advice on asset acquisition and disposal.

Additionally, they may leverage their negotiation skills and strategies to boost revenue and enhance the value of the assets. It is typical for an asset manager to supervise a complete portfolio of assets, employing various methods to increase value and mitigate risk. This skill set earns them an earning of up to $86,860.

5. Real Estate Attorney

This role requires versatility in managing contracts and tax matters, as well as addressing disputes related to property ownership and facilitating property transfers.

A real estate attorney is among the highest-paying positions in real estate investment trusts, with the potential to earn a salary of $140,845 with the appropriate qualifications.

6. Real Estate Investment Analyst

The real estate investment trust analyst monitors various market trends and assists the finance and real estate departments in making optimal asset-related decisions.

Developing expertise in research and managing substantial workloads can lead to success in this role, which can command a salary approaching $91,276 annually.

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is essential for this position, along with 4 to 7 years of experience.

7. Acquisitions Specialist

If you seek a lucrative profession within the REIT industry, you might want to explore the role of a Site Acquisition Specialist.

These professionals manage the details of property acquisition, encompassing legal and contractual responsibilities. The position demands a comprehensive understanding of entitlements, building codes, and leasing while earning a pay between $130,000 and $160,000.

8. Director of Real Estate Development

REITs require individuals to oversee the development of projects from inception to completion. In this position, you will play a crucial role in coordinating designers, contractors, and subcontractors.

This role can open up opportunities as you will have proximity to the market and can directly observe real-time developments. Salaries in this role can easily surpass $113,706 annually.

9. Real Estate Broker

If you are seeking a well-paying position within the REIT industry, your search ends here. The ideal candidate should possess strong sales and negotiation skills, which can be applied on behalf of an individual or a company.

In contrast to agents, brokers are required to hold a license and must pass a qualifying examination. This profession can be financially rewarding due to the self-employment aspect, providing greater flexibility.

Brokers participate in real estate auctions and oversee agents. They also play a pivotal role in guiding sellers toward suitable buyers.

This role is central to numerous transactions within the sector, as brokers interact with contractors, attorneys, and stakeholders.

Real Estate Brokers have the potential to earn an average annual salary of $98,791.

10. Real Estate Agent

This individual serves as the vital link between property buyers and sellers, playing a crucial role in facilitating the transaction process. Given the ongoing demand for this service, opportunities in this field are consistently available to meet the needs of both sellers and buyers.

The real estate industry encompasses a wide range of sectors, prompting some agents to specialize in specific areas such as residential properties, commercial real estate, and other segments.

Real estate agents are required to hold a professional license and have the potential to earn an annual income of $96,340. Their earnings are often influenced by factors such as market conditions, experience, and successful transactions.

See also: 10 Best High Paying Jobs In Florida That You Don’t Want To Miss


The real estate investment trust (REIT) industry provides a diverse array of lucrative employment opportunities for professionals aiming to optimize their income potential and progress in the fields of finance and real estate.

These roles encompass a wide range of positions, including but not limited to investment analysts, asset managers, property managers, financial controllers, and real estate portfolio managers. These positions offer competitive salaries and significant potential for financial growth, making them attractive options for people seeking rewarding careers in the industry.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the well-compensated roles available within REITs and acquiring the requisite skills and expertise to excel in these positions, individuals can make informed decisions about their career paths.

This understanding enables them to strategically plan the course of their professional lives, increasing their likelihood of achieving financial success and career advancement within the real estate investment trust sector. Essential skills for success in these roles may include financial analysis, market research, property valuation, risk management, and strong communication and negotiation abilities.

It is important to take advantage of this knowledge and actively seek out opportunities within the REIT industry. By taking proactive steps that align with their career objectives and leveraging their expertise, you can maximize the earning potential in this sector.

This may involve pursuing advanced education or certifications, networking within the industry, staying informed on market trends, and actively seeking out opportunities for career growth and advancement. By doing so, individuals can position themselves for success and capitalize on the lucrative prospects offered within the real estate investment trust sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the reasons to consider working for a REIT?

Employment in the REIT industry offers various benefits, such as diversified investments in different real estate sectors, access to extensive knowledge about various property matters, and chances to capitalize on equity market growth in parts of the portfolio.

What makes Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) appealing to investors?

REITs offer appealing income in the form of dividends, along with liquidity, transparency, and diversification, which improves risk-adjusted returns.


  • www.kennarealestate.com – Is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) a Good Career Path?
  • www.nerdwallet.com – Best-Performing REITs for April 2024: How to Invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • www.spoliamag.com – Are Real Estate Investment Trusts a Good Career Path? Best Paying Jobs in REITs


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