What if a career afforded you flexible hours, ensured your income would reflect your effort and exercised your entrepreneurial spirit? If this sounds enticing, perhaps you should explore a career in real estate.

Real estate can be an exciting profession in which no two days are alike. One day you could be driving around town to familiarize yourself with the current homes on the market. The next, you might be showing a buyer several properties for sale or sitting at the kitchen table with a homeowner to illustrate how you can help get their home sold.

"A career in real estate can be an enjoyable and gratifying experience," said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. "Helping others achieve the dream of homeownership is not only emotionally fulfilling, it also offers many personal and financial incentives."

While beginning a new career in other industries often requires several years and tens of thousands of dollars in education costs, it only takes a few weeks and several hundred dollars to get started in real estate. The low cost of entry makes real estate a particularly attractive option for the unemployed or individuals who can't afford an expensive two or four year education. The quick start-up time also is a perk for those who don't have the leisure of waiting several years to get their new career off the ground.

Most often though what attracts people to real estate is the potential for uncapped earnings it provides. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit like the fact that the only limits to success are the amount of effort they put into their job and their ability to get results.

Perhaps the greatest benefit a career in real estate provides is flexibility. Many agents find it easier to strike a healthy work-life balance because they can make their own hours - something that can be a real benefit to a stay-at-home parent. The flexibility also makes real estate a great choice for those who have another career or are pursuing other interests but would like to supplement their income. Even those who may not see themselves as a real estate agent can earn some extra cash by becoming a referral associate, a type of licensed practitioner that receives compensation simply for referring someone who eventually buys or sells a home.

"With many experts forecasting a real estate market poised for recovery in 2010, now is an ideal time to get into the business when you will be best positioned for opportunity and success," said Weichert.

There are a number of resources available online for those who think a career in real estate might be right for them. For a state by state directory of pre-licensing courses to become an agent, visit www.Schoolsofrealesetate.com. Individuals interested in learning more about real estate careers can also visit Weichert.com or call 800-301-3000 to speak in person to a Weichert career counselor.

Weichert University, the training arm of Weichert, Realtors, is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to training individuals that are new to the business. The company's innovative "Fast Track" course is designed to help new sales associates start selling quickly. Weichert also provides a host of courses to help sales associates develop an expertise in a number of specialized areas to meet the specific needs of consumers.