Real Estate Agents and Salespersons

Occupation:Real Estate Agents and Salespersons
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

Real estate agents and salespersons act as agents for the sale or purchase of houses, apartments, commercial buildings, land and other real estate and are employed in the real estate industry. They may specialize in residential, commercial, industrial/institutional or rural real estate sales.

Job duties:
Real estate agents and salespersons perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Solicit property sales listings from prospective vendors.
  • Assist vendors in selling property by establishing asking price, advertising the property, listing the property with listing services and conducting open houses for prospective buyers.
  • Assist prospective buyers in selecting, visiting, inspecting and making offers of purchase on real estate properties.
  • Advise clients on market conditions, prices, mortgages, legal requirements and related matters.
  • Draw up sales agreements for approval of purchaser and seller.
  • May rent or lease properties on behalf of clients.

Real estate agents and salespersons may specialize in residential, commercial, industrial/institutional or rural real estate sales.

Sample job titles:
  • real estate agent
  • real estate broker
  • real estate dealer
  • real estate sales consultant
  • real estate sales representative
  • real estate sales supervisor
  • real estate salesperson

To work in this field you need excellent communication and negotiation skills. The ability to analyze complex information accurately and quickly is necessary for decision-making. Computer skills would be a definite asset.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of a real estate training course is required.
  • Provincial or territorial licensure in the province or territory of employment is required.
Other considerations:

Real estate agents and salespersons normally work on a commission basis. Real estate agents may operate independently by obtaining a broker's licence in accordance with the regulations of the province of employment. A broker's licence is required to become a manager in real estate.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Real Estate Agents and Salespersons most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 63% of Real Estate Agents and Salespersons who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $31,488. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Real Estate Agents and Salespersons1,360decline slightly100Low
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $18.00
Maximum: $32.01
Minimum: $-75
Median: $24,094
Maximum: $81,779
Occupations in Sales and Service102,605Decline slightly5,260Moderate
Minimum: $10.70
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $21.17
Minimum: $2,949
Median: $16,629
Maximum: $45,086
Real Estate Agents and SalespersonsCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
Percent employed full-time81%59%
Percent self-employed4%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentReal Estate Agents and SalespersonsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley11%$35,01413%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeReal Estate Agents and SalespersonsCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5337
GenderReal Estate Agents and SalespersonsCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
EducationReal Estate Agents and SalespersonsCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school1.2%$20,37718.8%$9,486
High school29.7%$41,08640.4%$12,982
Trades certificate8.5%$39,2848.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma26.4%$40,21819.9%$19,514
University certificate or diploma3.7%$52,6481.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree25.6%$41,80810.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diploma0.8%x0.5%$15,716
Master's degreexx0.8%$20,769
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%$17,368
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Real Estate Agent
Right to Practice:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission
7 Scarfe Court, Suite 200
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1W4
(800) 390-1015
(902) 468-1016
Useful contacts:
Real Estate Nova Scotia

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:Real estate
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to develop, buy, sell, appraise, and manage real property. These programs include courses in land use development policy, real estate law, real estate marketing procedures, agency management, brokerage, property inspection and appraisal, real estate investing, leased and rental properties, commercial real estate, and property management.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Additional resources: