The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that real estate agents made an average salary of $53,140 and an hourly wage of $25.55 in 2013. Earners in the 90th percentile made roughly $98,090 a year with an average hourly wage of $47.16, while the lowest 10% of earners made $21,240 a year with a $10.21 hourly wage.

Real estate agents help clients buy or sell residential and commercial properties and typically work under the supervision of licensed brokers. Agents stay up-to-date on market fluctuations and mortgage regulations to aid clients in making profitable property transactions. Salaries for real estate agents vary by state, local area and industry. For example, agents in the Miami, Fla., area earned approximately $14,210 more annually than agents in the Orlando, Fla., area, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual mean wage for New York real estate agents was $90,710 in 2013, while the mean wages in Missouri, Idaho and Tennessee ranged from $34,570 to $40,800. The figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also show that wages and rates of employment for real estate agents tend to be higher in metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Boston.

Real estate can be a lucrative career, but an agent's salary is highly influenced by performance and market conditions. Agents generally work on commission without benefits or guaranteed income and often have to wait until a sale officially closes to receive their pay, says Paul Wyman of the Wyman Group and regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors.