A land agent serves as a liaison between landowners and outside agencies that express interest in purchasing the owner's land rights. She typically serves as an objective adviser on the value of the land based on presumed, untapped mineral or natural energy sources, proposed easements and other surface and underground factors. In some cases, she may act on behalf of herself or others in negotiating the purchase of land perceived as having mineral or land use value. She may work in either the private or public sector.
In addition to being well versed in the areas of land and mineral rights, a land agent is expected to be a competent negotiator with excellent communication skills. He should have outstanding presentation skills to clearly explain maps and diagrams that depict mineral deposits and other geographic areas of interest. His ability to convey complex concepts to a wide range of people and personality is essential to his success.
Researching plots of land and assessing its total value based on mineral, gas and oil deposits as well as the worth of its aesthetic assets is the main job of a land agent. She is often the conduit connecting the landowner, government agencies and corporations wishing to purchase the land or rights to its mineral, gas or oil. Her job is to help the involved parties reach agreements that provide each one with the desired monetary compensation, and land or mineral rights concurrent with maintaining the visual integrity of the plot through reclamation procedures. She is expected to be able to answer all questions regarding geological and environmental issues.
Persons with this job normally divide their work day between office work and physically inspecting land. A land agent may be required to travel to remote areas by car, plane or helicopter to assess drilling operations or the value of terrain. Depending on the day's work, a land agent may be required to dress in a businesslike, professional manner or wear clothes more appropriate to hiking through undeveloped parcels of land.
A bachelor's degree in a field related to environmental science, geology, mineralogy or land development is generally required for land agent job applicants. Knowledge of agricultural production, mineral rights or commercial or industrial easements is preferred. Expertise in using computerised land assessment and mineral deposit programs is desirable.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
Chances for promotion in this position are frequently based on years of experience and relevant education. Land agents with good reputations for analysis and negotiations often become independent consultants with good chances for increased incomes. According to Salary.com, in 2009 the median salary for a land agent in the United States was £44,806.