Real estate developers purchase, manage and develop land, buildings and/or homes with the goal of increasing the real estate value of that property. State licensure is required in order for real estate developers to earn a living in this type of position. The average salary of a real estate developer depends on the size and value of the property he manages.
The average salary of a real estate developer was $58,660 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Developers in the 10th percentile earned less than $23,890, the median salary was $48,460 and those in the 90th percentile earned more than $104,400 a year.
The two largest industries for real estate developers as of 2009 were activities related to real estate and lessor of real estate; the bureau reports that developers earned an average salary of $56,050 in the former and $51,740 in the latter. Developers employed in the offices of real estate agents and brokers earned an average income of $59,940, while those working for the local government earned an average of $61,960. Business, professional, labor and political organizations employed real estate developers for the average salary of $53,930 a year.
Idaho was the state with the highest concentration of real estate developers as of 2009, offering an average salary of $34,030, according to the bureau. New York was the top paying state with an average salary of $91,630, followed by Virginia at $84,680. Delaware, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were also named in the top five highest paying states for real estate developers with salary averages ranging from $74,990 to $84,530 annually.
Real estate developers advance by moving into managing larger properties; the bureau states that entry-level positions include managing apartment buildings or office complexes. Developers can seek higher wages in more competitive industries; those working for wired telecommunications carriers in 2009 earned an average of $116,890, and those working for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers earned an average of $117,510.