America Rents: You Earn $40K to $74K

America rents. That means increased demand for leasing agents, property managers, and apartment finders.

Wages range from about $40K to $74K, and 46 percent of those doing this work are self-employed, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since you'll be all around the property including outdoors, the routine isn't boring.

The field is wide open in terms of your career and compensation. Since most of these are hands-on jobs, the more experience you get, the more employment options you have and the more you can earn. As you earn you learn. Eventually you can start your own property management enterprise, particularly one specializing in a niche such as rentals for over-55, short-term executive suites, or conference centers. When the housing market recovers, you can consider switching over to the sales part of real estate.

How to get in? If you're already living in a rental complex, go to the management company and tell it why you're perfect for one of the jobs you observe others doing. Volunteer to shadow workers without the meter running so that you get a feel for the routine tasks. Insiders usually have an advantage when jobs open. After all, the management knows you. It also knows if you are financially responsible, which is factored in when you apply. That's because in the job, you are accountable for property and might be handling money.

Another way to get a foot in the door is to analyze job descriptions for these kinds of positions on sites like AOL Jobs. Then translate your knowledge, skills and experience into the knowledge, skills, and experience that the jobs or temporary work require. For example, teachers have to speed-read people, organize, do record keeping, conduct demonstrations, maintain space, and enforce rules. The burden is on you to convince employers to give you a shot. With practice, you will be improving how you present yourself in resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

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