When real estate agents first enter the market without experience, network or contacts their income can be low. As they are building their client base and gaining more experience the income will gradually increase. The more satisfied clients and referrals an agent has, the faster he will close deals and increase his income.
The average real estate agents earn around 40,000 annually, however this number depends on many factors such as the state, the number of deals they close and the comision. Florida has the higher rate of employment for agents but in NY agents earn a much higher salary than the average.
If the agent is employed with a brokerage, he is usually paid a base salary, otherwise the work as a real estate agent is mostly 100% commission based on a percentage of the sale or rent price. The compensation therefore depends on two factors: a) the ability of the agent to find new clients, and b) his ability to quickly close the deals he is working on. The income also depends on the prices of real estate in the location in which the real estate agent is working in. Though the higher the demand is the more competition there is between agents in this area.
Like with any other profession, there are some starting fees for a real estate agent. You will be better off if you plan ahead and set a budget for the time you will be studying, the fees you will have to pay and a way to support yourself for the first year while your income is low.