Property managers are responsible for overseeing and administering commercial or residential properties such as offices, industrial buildings or apartment complexes. The job duties range from managing the finances to overseeing landscaping and negotiating legal documents such as leases. Managers at large properties may also supervise additional staff members. With such a broad range of duties, property managers need training in the basics of real estate, business and management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree or master's degree is becoming the norm for those looking to land positions in property management.
According to the Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM), property managers may be employed by property management firms, real estate companies or developers, commercial banks, and corporations. About 46 percent of all property managers are self-employed, the BLS reports. Property managers who work for banks or real estate companies tend to focus on the financial aspects of managing real estate investments, while those who work for property management firms or are self-employed may be more involved in day-to-day tasks such as lawn maintenance, rent collection and customer service.
Education is a property manager's best asset
A property management program may be a specialized certificate in the field or a bachelor's or master's degree in business or real estate. According to IREM, a property management degree can include topics such as marketing, finance, fair housing laws, property maintenance and risk management.
Job opportunities in the field are expected to grow 8 percent between 2008 and 2018, the BLS reports. Although growth is modest, certain industries such as retirement housing and residential health care facilities may see stronger growth. Property managers earned a mean annual wage of $62,400 in 2010, according to the BLS.