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Guide to Becoming a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Thinking of starting a career in real estate? Probably the promise of flexible schedule and the potential to determine your own income are the factors which draws you into this industry. Well, you came to the right place.

Maselle Career College is here to guide you every step of the way.

First things first: How much does a Real Estate Agent make?

Real Estate Agents work on commission, so there is no upper or lower limit to what they can make. Because it's a commission-based profession, the sky can appear to be the limit especially in a high-priced market where a small percentage can mean a lot of cash.

Let's look at some hard facts:

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average annual pay for real estate agents in 2018 was $50,300. In its 2019 member profile, NAR says the median age of Realtors is 54, one-third of its members are above 60 and only 4% are less than 30 years old. The survey also found that its members with more than 16 years of experience had a median income of $71,000 in 2019.

Is Real Estate the right career for you?

That's not to say that real estate career is going to be a walk in the park. Before jumping into a career, know that success in real estate may be hard to achieve. It is an industry that is dependent on the ebb and flow of the economy and is especially tough on newbies. Many industry veteran says that 87% of all newbies fall in the first 5 years.

It is not a hobby. Don't think that venturing into real estate is something to occupy your downtime and a quick way to earn a side hustle. Real estate is a business that you need the right training and education for, mentorship with a seasoned broker and to work hard for to build.

Licensing Requirements

You're not going to do any business without a real estate license. Don't assume that what holds true in a state is true to another. Requirements vary in each state. Contact your state's real estate commission to be sure. Keep in mind that if you join a brokerage, they also have their own requirements. You are most likely will be background checked for any criminal record.

No real estate license in the US requires a bachelor's degree, but in many cases, you will need a High School diploma or a GED. All 50 states require you to be 18 or 19 years old, depending on the state, to become a licensed Real Estate Agent.

If you are sure that real estate is the career for you, here are some simple steps:

STEP 1: Take a Pre-Licensing Course

Aspiring agents have to take a pre-licensing course in a state-approved real estate education provider like Maselle Career College. The required number of training hours will vary in each state. For Example in Mississippi, the required training hours is 60, whereas in California, they need to take 15 hours. Delivery of instruction can either be live virtual class or self-paced.

The course will teach you real estate principles, real estate practices and the legal aspects of business. Go to your real estate commission's website to find information on licensing requirements and a list of accredited pre-licensing requirements.

STEP 2: Pass the Real Estate Licensing Exam

Your pre-license course should lead up to your real estate license exam, which is issued by the state and covers working with clients, negotiating, closing a deal and following real estate laws. Exams are typically divided into two portions: one on federal real estate laws and general real estate principles, the second part focuses on state-specific laws. Both typically consists of 60-100 + multiple choice questions that require the use of a calculator.

If you don't pass the first time, most state allows you to retake the exam, although there maybe a maximum number of takes and time period between retakes. Learn how to pass the real estate exam on your first try.

STEP 3: Select a Broker and Join a Real Estate Brokerage Firm

Pass the exam? Congratulations! The next step for you to become an active real estate agent is to work under a supervising broker. Brokers are licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions and to ensure that real estate salespeople (You!) are following the required legal and ethical standards.

Eventually, when you have a few years of experience, you may want to apply for a license to become a real estate broker yourself. This is a pathway for you to scale up your business.


Hopefully, the tips you found on this site have given you the boost to get off to a good start. Remember, like any career, REAL ESTATE is best learned by doing by interacting with as many leads, as many clients, agents and brokers as possible.


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