Apartment Sector Will Continue to be Job Generator

Most sectors of the U.S. economy continue to show sluggish rates of employment growth, but the prospect of employment growth in the apartment industry is strong.

Washington, D.C.—Most sectors of the U.S. economy continue to show sluggish rates of employment growth, but according to the nonprofit National Apartment Association Education Institute, the prospect of employment growth in the apartment industry is strong. Moreover, the demand for employees in the sector is expected to increase as more Americans opt to rent apartments.

Currently the multifamily housing industry employs more than 1 million people, besides the thousands working in industries that provide products and services to apartment properties, according to the association. Large national apartment management companies may hire as many as 2,000 new employees in any given year. These employees often come from a variety of college backgrounds, including business, marketing, communications or facilities maintenance.

Managing apartment communities requires a group of employees performing a variety of functions such as management, customer service, accounting, business analysis and preventive maintenance. A recent search of job postings on ApartmentCareers.com by the association highlighted open positions for an accountant, webmaster, maintenance technician, housekeeper and regional marketing director.

Citing John Cullens, president and founder of ApartmentCareers.com, the association asserted that the apartment industry is particularly attractive to new college graduates who may lack the experience needed for well-paying jobs in other industries. Once exposed to the opportunity to manage a $3 million budget, a team of six employees and a real estate asset valued at over $20 million, most recent graduates realize that they have found their niche.

Future prospects look good. The association’s president, Maitri Johnson, points out that “at no point in time have we seen a significant reduction in the number of apartment units in the United States.” And while the addition of apartment stock has been relatively slow since 2008, there have been units built. “Every year we keep adding to the apartment stock, and we keep adding jobs,” Johnson says. “That has not been the case with many other industries during the past few years.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 35 percent of U.S. households rent, up from about 31 percent in 2004. Considering the state of the housing market, that percentage is likely to grow over the coming decade, the association says. The Washington-based National Apartment Association Education Institute, whose purpose is to provide education, training and recruitment programs for the apartment industry, is the education arm of the National Apartment Association.