Creative Careers: How to Work in Real Estate Without Being a Realtor

July 23, 2022

Real estate is considered permanent structures attached to land, or even the land itself. This includes homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses, factories, etc.— but excludes mobile homes because they’re not permanently attached to the land.

The most common career in real estate is working as a real estate agent or realtor (being registered with the National Association of Realtors). However, you don’t have to become a real estate agent/realtor to work with (or on) real estate. In fact, if your natural skill set lies more in the creative field, here are three creative career paths that will still allow you to work with real estate.


Architects are the designers of real estate— they create blueprints for new projects and also remodels. They can work on residential real estate projects (single family and multi-family homes), commercial real estate projects (restaurants, hotels, malls, office buildings, etc.), and they can even plan for outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, and entire neighborhoods.

To become an architect (of any kind), you must earn a Bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field, complete an internship, and pass the Architect Registration Exam. There’s a decent amount of job openings for architects each year, even though the job growth outlook is slower than average. The good news is that the average salary is over $80,000 per year.

Architects spend the majority of their work days in their office, but they also visit the constitution sites they’ve planned to meet with contractors and designers. The four main types of tools used by architects are drawing tools, cutting tools, measuring tools, and computer software.


Contractors are the ones who make real estate a reality. There are several different types of contractors, and they’re usually divided into two main groups: general contractors and subcontractors. General contractors oversee an entire construction project from start to finish, they supply all of the tools and materials needed for a project, and they hire subcontractors to perform the specialized tasks.

Both general contractors and subcontractors don’t have to complete a Bachelor’s degree— most just attend a trade school for two or three years. However general contractors who do complete a Bachelor’s degree make more (up to $80,000 per year) than general contractors who do not (up to $67,000 per year). Subcontractors complete specialty programs like electric work, plumbing, carpentry, masonry and stone work, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), and roofing.

As mentioned above, general contractors are responsible for supplying the equipment needed to work on a residential or commercial building. Some of the equipment needed to build these structures include bulldozers, excavators, loaders, and trenchers. Contractors can also benefit from investing in a skid steer, which is a versatile piece of equipment which can attach to vibrating post drivers, pallet forks, bale spears, stump grinders, cement mixers, and many other tools.

Interior Designers

Interior designers are who you call to make your residential or commercial space look beautiful. Not only do they make interior spaces beautiful, but they also make them functional and safe to live/dwell in. Interior design is much more than just choosing fabrics and colors— they also have to determine space requirements for buildings.

Interior designers must have a Bachelor’s degree in interior design, complete at least two years of training, and pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be little to no change in the growth of interior design jobs in the next decade. However, the median annual wage for interior designers is just over $60,000 per year.

Interior designers work closely with architects, contractors, and construction workers to bring their clients’ visions to life. Essential tools and materials used by interior designers include CAD (computer aided design) software, measuring tape, sketchbook and pencils, and project management software.

These aren’t the only other careers in real estate outside of being a realtor. There’s also a real estate investor, a real estate developer, a real estate wholesaler, a real estate attorney, a real estate appraiser, a leasing agent, a property manager, a home inspector, and a mortgage broker. The bottom line is that if you have an interest in real estate, there are several career paths relating to real estate. Real estate can also be a very profitable career path— whether you sell it, invest in it, flip it, design it, or build it.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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