Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer lucrative career opportunities across a variety of roles from financial analysis to property management.

With over 1,100 publicly-traded REITs in the United States controlling assets amounting to nearly $3 trillion, this vibrant industry promises to be a reliable source of high-paying jobs now and into the future. Industry experts project continued growth as REITs expand their portfolios through new acquisitions and developments.

This article explores some of the best-paying jobs in the REIT industry today.

Best paying jobs in real estate investment trust

What Are The Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)?

1. Portfolio Manager

As a portfolio manager in the REIT industry, you get to oversee an exciting mix of real estate investments with the goal of optimizing returns. This means analyzing office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, apartments, and more to find opportunities.

Managing the portfolio is a team effort – you’ll lead analysts and other professionals to monitor how assets are performing, spot areas for improvement, and make big decisions around buying, selling, or holding properties.

It’s a complex role that requires sharp analytical skills to pore over market data, weigh risks, negotiate deals, and build relationships with partners. Most importantly, you’ll need solid judgment to determine smart moves that pay off for investors.

Most portfolio managers have an educational background in finance, real estate, or related disciplines, along with coveted designations like the CFA charter. But equally important is having great communication skills, project management abilities, and a genuine enthusiasm for real estate markets.

Average Salary in the US: $86,898

Helpful Insights

“I have been around and advised Fund Management Companies for many years and in my experience being a portfolio manager is not a risky job for most participants.

In this post I am NOT talking about Private Equity, Venture Capital or Hedge Funds but traditional, mainstream protfolio or fund management

It is also much more highly paid than the value they provide to their investors most of the time.

Another feature of fund portfolio manager is that they tend in most Western Countries to come from very priviledged and monied background. This is not universal, but they are disproportionally white, upper middle or upper class and well connected.

This is obvious as being from this community makes them better at attracting and marketing their services and advice to monied people or people in the financial services industry. They also as a rule are not very high energy as traditional fund managment is, by design and by neccessity a low activity and low risk taking activity.

Although you ahve to do thorough research and evaluate all investment you shuold avoid high portfolio churn as most studies have indicated a high negative corelation between churn (buying and selling of investments) and performance.

If you want to become a portfolio manager your best route will be a Finance or Accounting qualification from a prestigeous University (Ivy league in US or Russel Group in the UK).

If you are from a monied background you are nore likely to find success in arbitage or algorhythmic funds or hedge funds. The key quality there is either being a quant or a natural trader. The atmosphere and energy is very different in these environments, although Hedge Funds are a little bit a hybrid.”- Jacques deCock

2. Real Estate Investment Manager

A real estate investment manager is responsible for overseeing investment activities and managing the trust’s real estate portfolio.

They develop and implement investment strategies, evaluate potential opportunities, conduct due diligence, and negotiate property acquisitions and dispositions.

Their role involves analyzing market trends, assessing risk, and making informed investment decisions to maximize returns. Collaboration with stakeholders like property managers, brokers, and legal teams is essential.

Strong analytical and financial skills are vital, along with a deep understanding of real estate, valuation, and investment analysis.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, economics, or a related field is typically required. Advanced degrees like an MBA or specialized certifications in real estate investment are advantageous.

Average Salary in the US: $116,805

3. Development Manager

A development manager plays a crucial role in the REIT industry by overseeing property development and maximizing asset value. They collaborate with architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals to ensure projects are completed within budget and schedule.

Proficiency in real estate development principles, construction practices, and zoning regulations is required. Strong communication and negotiation skills facilitate stakeholder relationships and contract agreements.

Education prerequisites generally include a bachelor’s degree in real estate, construction management, finance, or related fields. Some employers prefer candidates with an MBA or specialized real estate programs. Earning certifications like the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) or Project Management Professional (PMP) can enhance job prospects.

Average Salary in the US: $107,726

4. Investor Relations Manager

The Investor Relations Manager ensures effective communication between the company and its investors.

They foster relationships with shareholders, analysts, and financial institutions, providing accurate and timely information on financial performance, strategies, and investment opportunities.

Responsibilities include delivering presentations, organizing investor events, and addressing stakeholder inquiries.

Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential, as they must effectively convey complex financial information to a diverse audience. Proficiency in finance, accounting, and capital markets is necessary.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or a related field is typically required, with additional certifications like the Investor Relations Charter (IRC) boosting credibility and marketability.

Average Salary in the US: $110,678

5. Fund Manager

A fund manager in the real estate investment trusts (REITs) industry is a crucial role responsible for managing investment funds focused on real estate assets. They make investment decisions, formulate strategies, and optimize portfolio performance.

fund manager

Fund managers work closely with research analysts, acquisitions managers, and asset managers to identify opportunities and maximize returns.

Key skills for fund managers include strong analytical and financial abilities, market knowledge, and effective communication.

Typically, they hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, real estate, or a related field. Professional certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation are beneficial. Previous experience in real estate investment management, asset management, or portfolio management is highly regarded.

Average Salary in the US: $101,079

6. Asset Manager

The Asset Manager is responsible for optimizing the value of the trust’s real estate assets.

Their primary duties include strategizing and executing plans to maximize property performance and profitability.

This entails conducting market analysis, developing property-level business plans, overseeing property operations, managing risks, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

To succeed as an Asset Manager, individuals must possess strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, deep knowledge of real estate markets, and proficient contract evaluation and negotiation skills.

Effective communication and interpersonal aptitude are also crucial for fostering relationships with stakeholders like investors, property owners, and external partners.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, business administration, or a closely related subject is usually required for this position.

An MBA or master’s degree in real estate is frequently recommended, and professional designations like the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can improve career opportunities and show in-depth knowledge of the industry.

Average Salary in the US: $89,947

7. Tax Manager (REITs specialization)

A Tax Manager specializing in REITs is a pivotal role that ensures adherence to tax laws and maximizes tax strategies within a real estate investment trust. They oversee tax planning, reporting, and compliance activities specific to REITs.

Tax Manager

Successful Tax Managers possess in-depth knowledge of REIT-specific tax laws, strong analytical skills for assessing tax implications, and meticulous organization to maintain accurate records and meet deadlines.

The usual requirement is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a closely related subject, with a master’s degree in taxation preferred.

Several years of tax planning and compliance experience, particularly in the real estate or REITs industry, are often needed for this post, and professional credentials like CPA or CMA are highly sought.

Average Salary in the US: $105,150

8. Acquisitions Manager

An Acquisitions Manager in the real estate investment trusts (REITs) industry is responsible for evaluating and identifying potential properties for acquisition. They analyze market trends, conduct due diligence, negotiate purchase agreements, and oversee the acquisition process.

The role requires strong financial analysis skills, market research abilities, and a comprehensive understanding of real estate valuation methods. Acquisitions Managers collaborate with brokers, legal teams, and other professionals involved in transactions.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, or a related field is typically required, while advanced degrees like an MBA can enhance prospects.

Professional certifications such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation are beneficial. Effective communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills are essential for success in this role.

Average Salary in the US: $90,262

9. Senior Analyst

A Senior Analyst fulfills a crucial function by analyzing and assessing investment opportunities. Their responsibilities encompass conducting comprehensive financial analysis, evaluating market trends, and performing due diligence on potential acquisitions.

They scrutinize property performance, lease agreements, and financial statements to gauge investment viability. Proficiency in financial modeling, keen attention to detail, and strong analytical skills are vital for this role.

Senior Analysts collaborate with cross-functional teams like asset management and acquisitions to provide informed recommendations and insights for decision-making.

Typically, they possess a solid educational background in finance, real estate, or a related discipline, with a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree. Possessing advanced degrees such as an MBA or specialized certifications in finance and real estate can confer additional advantages.

Average Salary in the US: $79,502

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10. Investment Analyst

The Investment Analyst holds a vital role within the real estate investment trusts (REITs) sector. Their core responsibilities involve conducting thorough analyses of potential investment opportunities and presenting recommendations to senior decision-makers.

They assess market trends, financial statements, and property performance to identify favorable investments. Proficient in analytics, they evaluate risk and return profiles, perform valuation analyses, and create cash flow models. Investment Analysts also oversee due diligence, review legal documents, and facilitate transactions.

To thrive in this position, strong foundations in finance, economics, or related fields are necessary. They should possess exceptional quantitative and analytical skills, proficiency in financial modeling, and familiarity with industry-specific tools. Effective communication and presentation abilities are crucial for teamwork and conveying investment insights.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a closely related field is normally necessary, and professional certifications or advanced degrees might improve job prospects.

Average Salary in the US: $68,856

11. Research Analyst

A research analyst within the REITs industry fulfills a pivotal role by delivering valuable insights and comprehensive analysis regarding market trends, investment prospects, and performance evaluations.

Their core responsibilities encompass conducting extensive research and analysis of diverse real estate markets, properties, and economic indicators to facilitate informed investment decision-making. The research analyst diligently gathers and interprets data, prepares reports and presentations, and offers recommendations based on their findings.

Research analysts in the valuation field require strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and expertise in handling extensive datasets. They must possess a deep understanding of real estate markets, financial modeling, and valuation methods.

Typically, employers seek research analysts with a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, real estate, or a related field. Advanced degrees like an MBA or MRE are preferred, while professional certifications like the CFA designation can further enhance career prospects in this field.

Average Salary in the US: $59,688

12. Property Manager

Property managers oversees daily operations and property maintenance. Their responsibilities include maximizing property value, ensuring tenant satisfaction, and compliance with regulations. Lease administration, rent collection, budgeting, and tenant relations are among their tasks.

Strong organizational and communication skills, aptitude for problem-solving, and familiarity with regional real estate markets and laws are necessary for property managers to succeed.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or real estate gives a strong foundation, though educational requirements differ.

Certifications like the Certified Property Manager (CPM) from IREM can enhance credibility. Staying updated on industry trends and emerging technologies is crucial for optimizing property performance and tenant experiences.

Average Salary in the US: $56,657

13. Leasing Manager

A Leasing Manager in the REITs oversees property leasing, ensuring optimal occupancy rates and consistent rental income. They collaborate with property owners, brokers, and tenants to negotiate leases and devise leasing strategies.

Key responsibilities include marketing available spaces, conducting property tours, assessing potential tenants, negotiating lease terms, and preparing lease documents. Effective communication and negotiation skills are crucial for cultivating tenant relationships and securing favorable agreements.

While a bachelor’s degree in business, real estate, or related fields is typically required, relevant experience is also valuable. The Leasing Manager plays a pivotal role in optimizing occupancy and contributing to the REIT’s success.

Average Salary in the US: $47,220

14. Investment Banking Associate (REITs focus)

Investment banking associates specializing in REITs are vital to the real estate investment trusts industry.

They assist with financial transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, and capital-raising activities. These professionals offer strategic advice and support to clients, such as REITs and real estate companies, to help them achieve their financial objectives.

To excel in this role, strong analytical skills for evaluating investment opportunities and conducting financial modeling are crucial. Collaboration with senior bankers and clients is essential for developing financial strategies, preparing presentations, and performing due diligence.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field is typically required. Some investment banking associates pursue advanced degrees like an MBA for added expertise. Prior experience in investment banking or real estate finance can be advantageous.

Average Salary in the US: $93,373

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15. Senior Financial Analyst

A senior financial analyst conducts financial analysis, evaluates investments, and provides strategic insights. They analyze data, forecast financial performance, and recommend investment strategies while considering risk factors.

Proficiency in financial software and knowledge of real estate finance is essential. A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is typically required, and an advanced degree or CFA designation is advantageous.

Strong communication and presentation skills are crucial for conveying complex financial information.

Average Salary in the US: $79,502

16. Transaction Manager

A Transaction Manager in the REITs sector is a pivotal role involved in coordinating real estate transactions. They oversee the entire transaction process, from negotiations to deal closure, ensuring smooth operations and mitigating risks for the REIT.

Conducting due diligence, creating transaction documentation, communicating with parties, and ensuring legal compliance are all important roles. Strong analytical and negotiation abilities, as well as a thorough understanding of real estate markets and financial analyses, are required.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, or a similar profession, as well as necessary certifications and past experience in real estate transactions or finance, is typically required. Transaction Managers are invaluable assets in the REITs industry, facilitating successful real estate deals.

Average Salary in the US: $49,860

17. Underwriter (REITs focus)

Underwriters are responsible for assessing potential investments and determining their financial viability and risk.

They meticulously analyze property information, financial statements, market trends, and other relevant data to evaluate the feasibility of real estate transactions.

Collaborating with teams like acquisitions and asset management, underwriters ensure a comprehensive evaluation process aligning with the REIT’s investment objectives. This role demands strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to interpret complex financial data.

Excellent communication and negotiation skills are crucial for presenting findings and recommendations to senior management and potential investors.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, or a related field is typically required, and certifications like CFA or CCIM can enhance job prospects. Proficiency in financial modeling and data analysis tools, including Excel and real estate valuation software, is also vital for success.

Average Salary in the US: $91,562

18. Commercial Real Estate Broker

A commercial real estate broker plays a pivotal role in facilitating property transactions within the REITs industry. They serve as intermediaries between property owners and potential buyers or tenants, leveraging their expertise to secure favorable deals.

Their responsibilities encompass prospecting for clients, conducting property tours, formulating and delivering proposals, negotiating lease terms, and overseeing transactional processes. Building strong networks and cultivating relationships with clients and industry professionals are vital skills for success.

Educational prerequisites typically involve a bachelor’s degree in real estate, business, or a related field. Additionally, brokers must obtain a real estate license by completing state-mandated coursework and passing an exam.

Average Salary in the US: $98,089

19. Due Diligence Analyst

A due diligence analyst is responsible for thoroughly assessing potential investment opportunities. They conduct detailed analyses of properties and real estate assets, ensuring investment accuracy and viability.

Key responsibilities include examining financial statements, property documents, and lease agreements to identify risks, assess market conditions, and evaluate potential returns on investment. Due diligence analysts require keen attention to detail, strong analytical skills, and comprehensive real estate market knowledge.

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is required, with certifications like CFA or CCIM offering added qualifications. Overall, due diligence analysts scrutinize investments, scrutinize financial data, and evaluate risks to inform strategic decisions in the REITs industry.

Average Salary in the US: $54,974

20. Risk Manager

A risk manager in the REITs is responsible for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with real estate investments. They develop and implement strategies to protect the REIT’s portfolio and maximize returns.

Key skills for this role include strong analytical abilities, attention to detail, critical thinking, and effective communication.

A solid educational background in finance or economics is typically required, with a bachelor’s degree as the minimum qualification. Advanced degrees like an MBA or professional certifications such as the CFA can be advantageous.

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Average Salary in the US: $95,551

21. Valuation Analyst

A Valuation Analyst has a crucial role in determining the value of real estate assets. They assess the worth of properties, portfolios, or real estate investment trusts by conducting thorough research and analysis. Their accurate and objective valuations aid in making informed investment decisions.

Valuation Analysts possess strong analytical skills and expertise in financial modeling and valuation methodologies. They stay updated on market trends and regulations impacting property values. Attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities are crucial.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field is typically required. Additional certifications like the CFA or ASA may be preferred. Strong quantitative and Excel skills are necessary for financial analysis and creating valuation models.

Average Salary in the US: $50,418

22. Compliance Manager (REITs specialization)

A Compliance Manager specializing in REITs is crucial for ensuring legal and regulatory compliance within a real estate investment trust.

Their key responsibilities include developing and implementing compliance policies, procedures, and controls to align with applicable laws and internal guidelines. They also monitor and mitigate compliance risks associated with the organization’s activities.

To succeed in this role, a Compliance Manager must possess strong analytical, problem-solving, and attention-to-detail skills. A comprehensive understanding of REIT-specific regulations, including tax laws and securities regulations, is essential.

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or a related field is the desired educational background. Some organizations may prefer additional certifications or specialized training in compliance or real estate law.

Average Salary in the US: $69,543


In conclusion, the world of real estate investment trusts (REITs) offers a plethora of lucrative career opportunities.

From portfolio managers and asset managers to research analysts and property managers, the best-paying jobs in the real estate investment trusts industry are both diverse and rewarding.

These professionals play vital roles in driving the success of REITs, maximizing returns, and managing risks.

FAQS On Best Paying Jobs in REITs

A REIT, short for Real Estate Investment Trust, is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate assets. It enables investors to invest in real estate without direct ownership or management.

To qualify as a REIT, a company must meet specific requirements, such as distributing a significant portion of income as dividends and investing a certain percentage of assets in real estate. REITs are traded on stock exchanges, offering diversified real estate portfolios and potential income through dividends to investors.

  1. Working for a REIT offers several advantages, including:
  • Competitive compensation and attractive benefits packages.
  • Job security and stability due to established portfolios of income-generating properties.
  • Opportunities for professional growth and skill development.
  • Exposure to the real estate market, providing valuable experience and knowledge.

Working for a REIT can be a rewarding career choice, especially for those interested in the real estate industry. It provides various roles across departments, fostering professional growth.

REITs offer competitive compensation, stability, and long-term potential. Additionally, working for a REIT grants valuable experience in real estate investments and property management.

High-paying roles in the REITs industry often require candidates to possess relevant educational backgrounds and qualifications.

A bachelor’s degree in fields like real estate, finance, or business administration is typically a minimum requirement. Advanced degrees such as an MBA or a master’s degree in real estate can also enhance career prospects.

Yes, certain certifications and designations can support professionals in advancing their careers in the REITs sector.

Examples include the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and Real Property Administrator (RPA) designations. Some roles may also necessitate specific licenses like a real estate broker’s license or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

Salaries for high-paying roles in the REITs industry can vary based on factors such as the specific role, geographical location, and company size. Generally, however, salaries in the REITs sector are competitive with other industries within the real estate sector. This is especially true for positions that require specialized skills and experience.

Key responsibilities in high-paying REIT jobs encompass portfolio management, property development, investment analysis, and investor relations. Challenges may include navigating regulatory complexities, managing investment risks, and staying updated on industry trends.

To remain competitive in the REITs job market, professionals should be aware of sustainability and technology integration trends. Skills such as financial analysis, compliance expertise, and knowledge of emerging technologies like AI and blockchain can also be advantageous.

The highest-paying job in the real estate industry varies depending on several factors such as location, experience, and specialization.

However, some of the highest-paying positions are real estate investment manager, portfolio manager, senior analyst, acquisitions manager, and fund manager. These positions often involve significant responsibilities and expertise in managing real estate assets, investments, and portfolios.

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