How to Become a Real Estate Agent

So, you want a career with flexible hours, easy entry and unlimited earning potential? Depending on market conditions, being a real estate agent can be rewarding and lucrative. Real estate agents deal with buying, selling or leasing homes, buildings and land. Real estate agents earn a commission, so their earning potential is unlimited!

Here's how to become a real estate agent:


  1. Graduate high school. In the United States, real estate agents must be at least 18 years old and high school graduates.
  2. Earn a degree or certificate. In today's competitive job market, brokers prefer hiring agents with extra classroom training. Many schools offer certificate programs that will meet the minimum requirements for state licensure. Some colleges offer associate's or bachelor's degree programs in real estate. Courses like finance, business administration and economics will give you an edge over the competition. [BLS]
  3. Get a job working for a real estate broker. Before you can work as an agent, you need some on-the-job training from an experienced, licensed broker. This is when you'll really learn how the business works.
  4. Obtain a license. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so find out your state's requirements. Most states require between 30 and 90 hours of classroom training and some sales experience.
  5. Continue your education. The more you know, the more qualified you will be for higher positions and generating increased sales. Some colleges and universities offer master's degrees in real estate. With advanced education, you can become a real estate broker and open your own office, or move on to become an appraiser or property manager.
  6. Join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Although it's not required, joining the NAR will allow you to call yourself a realtor and will provide access to information resources. NAR members can also access education and technology opportunities. [Realtor]