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In a career like real estate, your earning potential is unlimited. There are factors, however, that influence your pay, including the brokerage you choose and your experience in the field.

According to the latest National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) statistics, the median net pay for REALTORS® has risen to $41,800—but agents with experience garner more, and those without, less. In fact, agents bring home a median $9,300 two years in, and a median $71,000 at the 16-year mark—a difference of more than $60,000. An agent’s career tenure, typically, is eight years.

When it comes to commission, agents are commonly compensated in fixed splits (36 percent of REALTORS®) and graduated splits (23 percent of REALTORS®), which are determined by level of productivity. Business expenses, meanwhile, are typically $4,600 a year.

Looking at number of transactions, agents did a median 11 transactions in 2018.

“As the real estate industry continues to feel the impact of limited inventory, the typical number of transactions REALTORS® make in a year remained at 11 in 2018, the same as in the previous report,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “In addition, because of rising home prices across the country, the median brokerage sales volume increased to $1.9 million in 2018 from $1.8 million in 2017.”

NAR has 1.32 million members, which is about half of all licenses in the U.S. Approximately 90 percent are classified as independent contractors by their firm. Seventy-two percent are full-time, and 14 percent have at least one assistant. Just 4 percent began their careers in real estate, and of those who didn’t, 16 percent were previously in business, finance or management, and 15 percent were previously in retail/sales.

At 67 percent, the majority of REALTORS® are women—a figure that has grown 20 percent since 2001.

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Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email her your real estate news ideas at