Realty specialist

DNR employees

On behalf of all Minnesotans, the DNR manages 5.6 million acres of land, in addition to 12 million acres of state-owned mineral rights. State lands are used to conserve and preserve natural resources, enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, and promote sustainable economic uses.

Realty specialists are important staff members who help the DNR fulfill its mission to manage state lands that provide access to a wide variety of outdoor recreation experiences and contribute to the state's economy through things like forest products and mineral royalties. The right land management decisions can also help protect rare wildlife and habitats.

Realty specialist might be the right career path for you if:

  • You are passionate about the outdoors.
  • You are detail oriented.
  • You are able to juggle many projects.

Why do we need realty specialists?

The DNR continually evaluates its portfolio of managed lands to determine whether we are fulfilling our mission.

Realty specialists assist this process by providing real estate expertise to help the agency decide the best time to buy, sell and exchange lands. Real estate specialists also help by issuing licenses, easements and leases to provide boundaries and guidelines for working on state lands.

What do realty specialists do?

Realty specialists use one of the most extensive land record systems in the country to ensure data and documents for state-owned land is accurate and complete. Realty specialists perform diverse work functions, but some of their primary job duties are:

  • Coordinating the processing and completion of real estate transactions.
  • Researching and problem solving transaction applications.
  • Providing guidance and information to agency staff and the public.
  • Preparing, distributing and reviewing transaction files and documents.

What are the working conditions?

Realty specialists typically work indoors in an office setting with occasional travel to field visits.

How should I prepare while I am in high school?

Natural resource careers, including realty specialists, need to have interdisciplinary skills and a background in the following:

  • Business: Realty specialists understand regulations and apply policy decisions. Business, economics, or finance classes or clubs are a good resource to learn these skills.
  • Language Arts: Communication and language are key to success in any career, including natural resources. In high school, take courses in English, intensive writing, and public speaking.
  • Technology: Being savvy with Microsoft programs and large databases is important to realty specialist roles. Take courses in information technology, computer science, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
  • Math: Realty specialists require data analysis skills. Ensure you gain important math skills in high school such as algebra, geometry, pre-calculus and statistics.

What kind of educational background or work experience do I need?

Realty specialists come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Post-secondary education is not required to qualify for the realty specialist series. Experience can substitute for education, and vice versa.

The DNR expects that realty specialists will have:

  • Problem solving and communication skills.
  • Understanding of real estate regulations, statutes and policies.
  • Knowledge of factors that affect the real estate industry including legal descriptions and documents, surveys, and title resolution.

Realty specialists have come to the DNR from other government agencies, from the banking field, from clerical and administrative positions, and more. Experience in the fields of real estate, appraisal, title research, GIS mapping, land surveys, and legal descriptions will help individuals qualify for positions. A real estate license or an appraiser license might be helpful, but are not required.

While in college, candidates can gain valuable experience by applying for an internship at the DNR or another natural resource organization.

Career advancement

At the DNR, real estate technicians are entry-level jobs that can lead to real estate specialists. There are other senior coordinator and supervisory positions.

DNR lands and minerals classifications

When you are applying for a position you will see both a classification or pay grade and a more descriptive working title. Here are some examples of what you will want to look for.

  • Real estate technician
  • Realty specialist
  • Realty specialist senior
  • Realty program coordinator

Example working titles

  • Real estate technician
  • Realty specialist
  • Exchange coordinator
  • Acquisition coordinator
  • Land sales coordinator
  • Regional operations coordinator

Positions in other industries

A similar education and background could lead you to jobs in other industries, including:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Counties
  • Natural resource organizations
  • Private sector opportunities, such as real estate agent or appraiser

To Learn More

Email our Human Resources Department or reach out to one of the DNR's area offices.


The salary for a realty specialist will vary depending on qualifications and experience, but the range for a starting position is:

  • $23.04 to $31.35 hourly

  • $48,108 to $65,459 annually

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