Career Map: Land Acquisition Specialist

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Land Acquisition Specialist

Position TitleLand Acquisition Specialist
Alternate Title(s)Land Agent, Land Acquisition Associate
Education & Training LevelBachelor degree required, prefer graduate degree
Education & Training Level DescriptionLand acquisition specialists are expected to have a bachelor's degree or higher in business, real estate, law, engineering, or a related discipline. Experience and familiarity with the permitting process and an understanding of real estate, tax and accounting rules is desirable. It is preferable that candidates possess or can obtain a real estate or notary license. Companies will typically hire people with experience in land acquisition and management and train them to their specific wind energy needs. Experience in the energy industry is helpful.
Brief job description Land acquisition specialists help developers and project owners obtain land for new wind development, as well as administer the land after it has been purchased or leased. They coordinate with permitting specialists, lawyers, engineers, and scientists to ensure that the wind farm is built on time and within budget.
Preferred Level of EducationBachelor’s degree plus licensing
Preferred Level of ExperienceSee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Estimated/Expected SalarySee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Job Profile

Land acquisition specialists are responsible for designing and implementing land acquisition strategies and plans for new wind development sites. Land acquisition specialists work closely with landowners, local governments, and community organizations to gain support for proposed wind projects. They also work with lawyers, permitting specialists, engineers, and scientists to determine whether sites are suitable for wind farm development and to lead the process of purchasing or leasing the land.

Land acquisition specialists are usually contracted by a developer or a project owner. They help the developer/owner design and build projects by providing contiguous land options and leases. They travel to the project area to research county building and landowner information. They also coordinate meetings with participating landowners. Because of their knowledge of the developer/owner’s plans, land acquisition specialists are able to represent the developer/owner during discussions with landowners. They present background on the company, wind energy basics, information on wind turbines and farms, and work to negotiate and obtain executed leases or contracts.

Once the land has been purchased or leased, the land acquisition specialist will be involved in permitting met towers and may also assist during the permitting process of the full project. The land acquisition specialist works to establish landowner relationships as the lease or land purchase is executed and maintains these relationships through construction.

Job Skills

Land Acquisition Specialists must possess a strong working knowledge of wind energy and wind farm operations. In addition to this knowledge, they should also possess the following skills:

  • Communication skills. Land acquisition specialists are required to communicate the status of land transactions clearly and frequently in order to identify and address any issues that may impede the execution of a land lease or contract.
  • Decision-making skills. Land acquisition specialists work on behalf of the company to arrange for land leases and purchases. They must weigh each land option and combine analysis, creativity, and realism to choose the appropriate action or plan.
  • Interpersonal skills. Land acquisition specialists interact with the landowners, community members, local governments and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open, friendly, and able to build relationships and trust within the community.
  • Negotiating skills. Land acquisition specialists often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a landowner. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiation.
  • Organization skills. Land acquisition specialists must be organized and maintain accurate records of land transactions. Memorandum of agreements, deed requests, and lease documents including tax forms, payment instructions, and trust documents must all be prepared and submitted in a timely manner. Records of land transactions including all project documentation need to be maintained for reference should land disputes or other issues arise.
  • Speaking skills. Land acquisition specialists often give presentations and meet with a wide variety of audiences, including public officials, interest groups, and community members. They must be able to communicate their organization’s position clearly and effectively, as well as be able to explain the basics of wind energy, lease term options and other information in a way that different groups of people will understand.
Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Land Acquisition Specialist

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