How to Start Working As a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents assist homeowners and buyers with real estate transactions. They are paid a percentage of each sale that they close. Before you can work as a real estate agent, you must be trained and a licensed. Many real estate agents also choose to become certified as a Realtor to gain credibility.

The minimum requirement to be a real estate agent is graduating from high school or obtaining a GED. Many real estate brokerages are now requiring real estate agents to have a college degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, " as real estate transactions have become more legally complex, many firms have turned to college graduates to fill positions."

Study for the real estate sales licensing exam in your state. Each state has different pre-exam requirements. Many states require 30 to 90 hours of classroom instruction before you can take the exam. These classes can be taken at a community college, university or in some cases through a home study course. Each state has a department of real estate or similar agency that handles the administration of the licensing exam.

Take the real estate licensing exam in your state. On the exam, you will be tested about specific areas in real estate, such as contract law, transactions, financing and selling ethics. Once you get your license through this examination process, you will also have to renew it every one to two years, depending on state law.

Apply for jobs with real estate brokerages in your area. Your brokerage may offer additional training. Once you complete this process, you can begin taking listings and selling real estate.


  • Consider getting certified as a Realtor. This requires you to take another exam, administered by the National Association of Realtors.