If you want to sell real estate for a career or as a part-time occupation, you are legally required to obtain a real estate license in your state. If you have considered earning a real estate license you likely have asked yourself some of the same questions others have about the process of earning a real estate license.
"How difficult it is to obtain a real estate license?" Although the process varies somewhat by state, getting a license is typically much simpler than most people expect, according to the American School of Real Estate Express. You can usually get licensed to work as a real estate agent in your state without any college education other than required real estate course work.
Education and Training
"What are the educational requirements to get a license?" Obtaining a real estate license usually includes some type of educational requirement and a licensing exam. The website RealtyU outlines a wide array of educational opportunities for new and current real estate professionals. Real estate training courses are available at accredited schools in most states and many offer distance learning or correspondence training courses. Courses completed through correspondence usually require some in-class review sessions for completion. Courses typically conclude with a pre-licensing test to make certain candidates are ready to sit for the state licensing exam.
"What are license exam requirements?" Each state has its own requirements for exam eligibility. According to the California Department of Real Estate site, for instance, general requirements to take the exam in California include an age of 18 or older, legal U.S. residence and honesty regarding criminal convictions. Additionally, you must complete three college-level educational courses in real estate. This educational component varies by state. Passing the exam involves accurate responses to a specific percentage of exam questions. Again, percentage requirements for passing the exam vary by state. After passing the exam, you get your state real estate license.
Agent vs. Broker
"What is the difference between a real estate agent (or salesperson) license and real estate broker license?" The simplest explanation is that a real estate broker's license gives you the legal right to operate a real estate brokerage and contract agents to sell for you, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An agent has the right to transact real estate deals independently, or he can work for a broker in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of commission. Typically the broker and agent share in commissions made within the brokerage. An additional exam is required to obtain a real estate broker's license.
2016 Salary Information for Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Real estate brokers and sales agents earned a median annual salary of $46,810 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, real estate brokers and sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,850, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $76,200, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 444,100 people were employed in the U.S. as real estate brokers and sales agents.
- American School of Real Estate Express: Real Estate Questions
- California Department of Real Estate: Real Estate Salesperson License
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
- Career Trend: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.