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Property managers are the reason real estate runs smoothly. Without them, tenants wouldn’t renew leases, and owners couldn’t maximize their net operating income. Overall, these professionals are the definition of property management. And while not everyone is suited for this position, learning how to become a property manager can be really rewarding.

So, this blog post covers how to become a property manager. In addition, you’ll learn the qualities required to be a property manager, how much property managers make, and how to get started toward your career.

This post covers:


How much does a property manager make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a property manager in the United States is $50,000.

Of course, certain factors can affect a property manager’s salary, such as location and years of experience. With those factors included, property managers can make anywhere from $21,000 to more than $80,000.

With that said, research to learn the expected salary based on your area and level of expertise. That way, you know what to expect when negotiating.


Learn how to become a real estate investor:


What qualities do you need to be a property manager?

It takes more than official property manager schooling to be successful in the role. Property managers require the right skills and qualities to handle the many day-to-day tasks they’re responsible for.

The qualities you’ll need to become a property manager include:

  • Patience: Property managers must stay calm when dealing with tenant disputes, late rent, maintenance requests, and so much more. Many of these tasks will require ample time to resolve. It’s also critical to handle these responsibilities with a respectful demeanor.
  • Organization: There are a lot of duties to juggle in a single day as a property manager. It’ll be your job to organize daily tasks and ensure everything is in order — paperwork, contracts, maintenance requests, rent, finances, etc. Otherwise, the overall quality of the property will dwindle.
  • Communicative: Property managers should always remain in contact with tenants, employees, and the owner. It’s up to the manager to relay all information regarding the property to the owner while satisfying tenants. Clear and transparent communication with tenants builds trust, creates connections, and makes them feel like part of a community.
  • Aggressive: It takes an aggressive property manager to know when they should put their foot down. Issues and necessary decisions will arise, so the property manager should handle them decisively.
  • Knowledgable: Finally, a good property manager is knowledgeable about all things real estate. Property managers update themselves on the latest laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues. Moreover, it’s vital for property managers to stay on top of finances, so they can then relay that information to owners.


How to become a property manager

Knowing how to become a property manager is difficult because it isn’t federally regulated. Instead, each state enforces its own property management laws and regulations. Many states require a certain license, while others have no requirements whatsoever.

At the bare minimum, most property management positions require the following:

  • At least 18 or 21 years old (depending on the state)
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident




Do you need a degree to be a property manager?

You do not need a degree to be a property manager. However, some professionals seek higher education because it builds a great foundation for a future role, opens up greater employment opportunities, and provides specialized knowledge.

Unfortunately, property management degrees are not common, as very few institutions across the country offer such a program. Nonetheless, there are related programs that would benefit future property managers.

Some beneficial property manager degrees are:

  • Business administration
  • Real estate
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Public administration


Does a property manager need a real estate license?

Property managers need a real estate license in certain states, while others have no such requirement. Review your state’s property manager requirements to determine if a license or certification is necessary for the position.


Property manager license requirements by state

Each state establishes requirements to obtain a property management license (if required). Be sure to research your state’s license requirements before pursuing a career in property management.


Below, you’ll find the property management requirements by state:

State License Requirements
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon*, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming Real estate broker license
D.C., Montana, Oregon*, South Carolina, South Dakota Property management license
Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont None

* Oregon requires either a real estate broker license or a property management license.


How long does it take to become a property manager?

The time it takes to become a property manager will depend on the state requirements. Many licenses require numerous hours of coursework to obtain. Additionally, some states require job experience within a certain timeframe of the application.

So, check your state’s requirements on how to be a property manager. Only then can you estimate how long the process will take.


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Checklist to get started

Starting the process of becoming a property manager can be overwhelming, but many resources are available to help you along the way.

Use this checklist to start your property management career:

  1. Determine your role: Research and learn about the various types so that you have a better understanding of what the industry offers. The most common types are commercial and residential property management, but industrial and special-purpose buildings are also available.
  2. Research state requirements: Research your state’s license requirements so you know what to expect moving forward. Find how many hours of coursework are required, what tests are needed, how many hours of job experience are necessary, and more.
  3. Complete coursework: At the minimum, a property manager position will require a high school diploma or GED. If you wish to pursue higher positions or higher pay, a bachelor’s degree is required. Lastly, you’ll need to take any specified courses the state outlines in its requirements.
  4. Pass the exams: Depending on the state, you’ll be required to pass one or multiple exams for the license after all coursework is completed.
  5. Purchase insurance: In many states, property managers are required to hold an insurance policy. Refer to the state’s requirements before paying fees and submitting the application.
  6. Pay fees: The exam and application are often accompanied by various fees.
  7. Apply: Finally, submit your application to obtain your property management license.



  • The average salary of property managers in the U.S. is $50,000, with low and high-end salaries ranging from $21,000 to more than $80,000.
  • Property managers must be patient, organized, communicative, aggressive, and knowledgeable to be successful in their roles.
  • You can become a property manager by meeting the minimum qualifications and following your state’s licensing requirements.
  • The best way to jump-start your property management career is to research the industry before reviewing the license guidelines in your respective state.


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Bryson Hile

I love learning about new technologies, especially within the real estate market. I currently reside in Fishers, Indiana.

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