Study Shows Salary Increases for Certified Property Managers®

Maintaining a history of steady salary growth, despite continuing economic turbulence, real estate management professionals holding the Certified Property Manager® (CPM®) designation earned a median base salary of $94,000 in 2009, up from $90,000 in 2006; $81,256 in 2003; $72,300 in 1999; and $42,000 in 1984. Further, the typical CPM designee holds a property manager/supervisor or executive level position, supervises 44 employees, and averages 22.2 years of experience.

These are among the just released findings of the 2010 edition of the Certified Property Manager® Profile and Compensation Study published by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®). The Institute awards the CPM designation to real estate and asset managers who have met strict criteria in the areas of education, examination, experience, and a commitment to uphold the rigorously enforced IREM Code of Professional Ethics.

IREM periodically surveys its CPM members and candidates—of whom there currently are approximately 8,600 and 2,967, respectively, in the United States and abroad—to compile, analyze, and compare the most critical components of real estate managers’ compensation and benefit packages. The published survey findings provide detailed comparisons based on respondents’ portfolio size, area of management specialization, and level and types of experience; they also explain how each of these variables affects salary levels and the total compensation package.

Among other key findings of the 2010 edition of the study:

  • The median base salary last year for CPM candidates was $69,000, versus $69,500 in 2006; $65,500 in 2003; $59,490 in 1999, and $31,000 in 1984.
  • Regionally, CPM designees located on the Pacific Coast and in the Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic states earned the largest total compensation, whereas those in the Southeast earned the least. As for CPM candidates, those in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions enjoyed the biggest compensation packages, and those in the Midwest and North Central regions had the smallest.
  • The average CPM designee is 50 years old, has earned a college degree, and works for a full service real estate or property management company.
  • The average CPM candidate is 41 years old, has earned a college degree, works for a full service real estate or property management company, and averages 12.9 years of experience.
  • Slightly more than half, 50.6%, of CPM designees are female, whereas 62.2% of CPM candidates are female.
  • Approximately half of CPM designees and candidates are employed by, or associated with, a property management division or firm of 50 or less employees.
  • While many CPM candidates occupy more senior positions, some 50.8% define themselves simply as property managers.
  • CPM designees who characterized themselves as owners/partners and presidents/CEOs of their firms reported receiving considerably more in total compensation than other CPM-credentialed respondents. Among CPM candidates, those who identified themselves as officers and directors of their respective firms reported total compensation considerably higher than other candidate respondents.
  • CPM designees who work for investment companies typically received considerably higher compensation than those who work for other entities, with those employed by corporate real estate firms and not-for-profit management companies at the lower end of the compensation spectrum.
  • CPM candidates who work for REITS and property management companies received the highest compensation when compared with their peers.
  • Office buildings account for the largest share of portfolios managed both by CPM designees and Candidates, followed by conventionally financed apartments.
  • Salary and total compensation for CPM designees and candidates usually increase with the number of residential units or commercial square feet managed.
  • CPM members and candidates who manage conventionally financed apartments tend to receive higher salaries than those who manage other property types.
  • Compensation for both CPM designees and Candidates typically increases as their age increases.

The study findings summarize the results of the “CPM/member and CPM/candidate confidential inventory and salary questionnaire” fielded online by the IREM research department in February 2010. Findings are based on responses received from 1,181 CPM designees and 497 CPM candidates.

The 2010 edition of the Certified Property Manager® Profile and Compensation Study is priced at $47.95 for IREM members and $59.95 for non-members, plus shipping, handling, and applicable state sales tax. To order, contact the IREM customer relations department at (800) 837-0706, ext. 4650. Internet users can order the study in soft cover or in a downloadable format by visiting and then clicking on the Bookstore link.