It’s a question plenty of real estate agents consider before they jump into the field with both feet: How much, on average, do agents make on an annual basis? 

As you already know, the amount agents earn depends on a number of factors, including— 

While reality TV shows have the general public thinking that all agents are raking in millions every year, the truth is, at $65,850, the average annual income for real estate agents doesn’t even hit six figures.

With home prices steadily rising, despite high mortgage rates, buyer demand has taken a hit across the U.S. But people are still buying and selling homes, many because of a life event or a shift that requires a relocation. 

Yet, while this is true in every region of the country, what agents earn on average does vary to a noticeable extent from one area to another—and from one state to another. 

Using occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a recent Forbes article presented a list of average annual incomes for real estate agents in each U.S. state for 2023. 

It also shone a spotlight on the ten states where real estate agents earn the most and ten where they earn the least, as well as seven that saw income increases of over 20% from 2022 to 2023.

10 states with the highest average annual income for real estate agents

According to the BLS, the national average annual income for real estate agents is $65,850, putting it slightly higher than the national average for All Occupations ($61,900). 

If you were to guess which 10 states had the highest annual incomes for agents, probably many, if not all, those states would come from the West and Northeast, where home values tend to run significantly higher, on average, than the Midwest and South. 

Turns out, while four each of the top ten are in the Northeast and West, two southern states also made the list. 

  1. New Hampshire (Average annual income for a real estate agent: $94,810)
  2. New York ($93,950)
  3. New Jersey ($82,090)
  4. Colorado ($79,610)
  5. Massachusetts ($79,060)
  6. California ($77,430)
  7. Texas ($77,320)
  8. Wyoming ($74,820)
  9. Nevada ($73,990)
  10. Mississippi ($72,900)

Texas probably didn’t surprise you that much. But Mississippi’s position at #10 is surprising, mainly because this state has the lowest median household income of all 50 states. Yet real estate agents in Mississippi earn more, on average, than in 80% of the rest of the country. 

10 States with the lowest average annual income for real estate agents

If you were to guess, now, at the ten states with the lowest average annual income for real estate agents, it’s fair to say that the Midwest and South would probably dominate the list. But two western states and one from the Northeast also landed at the low end of the spectrum. 

  1. Illinois (Average annual income for a real estate agent: $44,510)
  2. Ohio ($45,570)
  3. Louisiana ($46,690)
  4. Missouri ($47,670)
  5. Idaho ($49,830)
  6. New Mexico ($50,920)
  7. Kansas ($52,970)
  8. Nebraska ($53,090)
  9. Delaware ($53,690)
  10. Kentucky ($55,050)

At the number one spot, Illinois has an average agent income that’s more than $20,000 less than the national average ($44,510 vs $65,850). Compare that to New Hampshire’s average of $94,810—almost $29,000 above the national average. 

States that saw growth of over 20% in the average annual income for real estate agents

You’d think, with the decline in home sales that we would see a nationwide drop in real estate agent income. But in seven states in particular, from 2022 to 2023, the average annual income for agents went up by more than 20%. 

  1. New Hampshire (Annual real estate agent salary growth: +95.5%)
  2. Rhode Island (+41.0%)
  3. Arkansas (+30.8%)
  4. Texas (+30.5%)
  5. Indiana (+24.7%)
  6. Arizona (+21.8%)
  7. South Carolina (+20.8%)

New Hampshire had the most dramatic increase in its average agent income, with Rhode Island coming in at a distant second. Texas still had a healthy boost of 30.5%, which could account for its placement among the ten states with the highest average incomes for agents. 

How much do real estate agents earn (on average) in each state?

So, standout averages aside, the following table shows how much real estate agents earn on average in each of the 50 U.S. states. While they’re listed in alphabetical order, each has an income ranking from 1 to 50. 

Takeaways for real estate agents

Average numbers offer a birds-eye view of incomes across the country, but they can’t explain why some agents earn well above that average while others earn significantly less. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re motivated to be one of the statistical few that pull up the average in each state. And we’re motivated to help you do just that.

After all, the more transactions you have each year, the more people you’re helping to become homeowners or to find homes better suited to them and the people they live with. 

You’re in the business of improving lives. And it all starts with the relationships you build and nurture on a daily basis.