What are the Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements in all Fifty States?

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Every state in the U.S. has different requirements for getting a real estate license. This article gives a brief description of what is required in each state. Every state requires some form of education and a test that must be passed before you can get your real estate license. You must also work under a broker when you get your license. State requirements for education vary from 20 credit hours of classes to over 200 hours of classes. Almost all of the education can be taken online now, but that is not always the best way to get your real estate license.

Are there different types of agents and brokers in each state?

Each state has a different system for licensing real estate agents and real estate brokers. In most states, there are real estate salespeople and real estate brokers. A real estate sales person must work under a real estate broker in order to be an active licensee. To become a broker, most states require a certain amount of time as a salesperson as well as more education and testing. Some states have different names for brokers and salespeople such as Colorado, which calls beginning agents broker associates and has employing brokers or independent brokers.

Here is a great article on how to choose the best broker to work for.

How hard is it to get a real estate license?

I am located in Colorado, which has one of the more stringent real estate licensing requirements. Agents in Colorado must take over 160 hours of education, be fingerprinted, and pass two tests and a background check. Most states require less than 100 hours of education and some require less than 40. Many states let you substitute real estate courses at a college for real estate pre-licensing education. Many states also let you skip the pre-licensing education if you have completed law school or passed the bar exam. I call them the “ how to sell your home fast” schools. States require some type of continuing education after you have your real estate license.

For more information on what it takes to be an agent, how to make money as an agent and how to be one of the most successful agents, check out my book How to Make it Big in Real Estate, from a Millionaire Agent.

What are the real estate license requirements in each state?

Below you will find every state listed with the requirements for getting an entry-level real estate license. Many states require background checks, fingerprints, and a high school diploma. Whether or not you will pass a background check is very subjective in each state. Many states say that you cannot have a felony, but each case will be looked at for extenuating circumstances. If you are already licensed in one state, most states also greatly reduce the education requirements to get a license in their state. If it seems like a hassle to get a real estate license, remember real estate agents can make a lot of money!

This information was up to date as of 2015, but some states may have changed their requirements. There is also a very small chance I could have made an error gathering this data. Make sure you check with your state for the actual requirements.

Real Estate Express is a great affordable online school to get your real estate license.

STATE BY STATE REAL ESTATE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS:

Alabama:

You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, be at least 19 years old, show proof of high school graduation or GED, have no felonies, have not had a real estate application or license rejected or revoked in any state within the past two years, successfully completed approved 60 credits of pre-license Alabama real estate courses, and pass real estate license exams.

Licensees must also complete a 30-hour real estate agent training in Alabama within the first twelve months of getting their license.

Alaska:

Alaska has three different types of real estate licenses: a salesperson, broker, and broker associate. The salesperson must work under a broker and is required to have 40 pre-license credit hours of classes and pass the real estate exam. You must be 19 years of age to obtain a real estate license in Alaska and people with felonies must have served their full sentence.

Arizona:

You must be 18 years of age and complete 90 hours of pre-license education to work for or own a Tucson real estate agency. You must pass the state and real estate school exams and be of high moral character.

Arkansas:

You must be 18 years old and take 60 hours of pre-license education. You also have to submit to a background check, which is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

California:

In California, real estate license applicants are only required to take three real estate classes, which can be taken at a college or private real estate school. Applicants must also show proof of honesty and truthfulness. Conviction of any crime can result in disqualification.

Colorado:

You must take 162 credit hours of classes before you can take the state exams. You must also pass a background test and be fingerprinted.

Connecticut:

You must take 60 hours of real estate classes before you can take the exam for a salesperson. Brokers must take 120 hours of education and have 2 years of experience as a salesperson.

Delaware:

Licensees in Delaware must complete 99 hours of real estate classes before they can take the state exam.

District of Columbia:

You must take 60 hours of pre-license education before getting your real estate license.

Florida:

You must take 63 credit hours of pre-license courses and be at least 18 years of age as well as have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Georgia:

To get a salesperson license in Georgia, you must take 75 hours of approved pre-license real estate courses or complete ten quarter-hours or six semester hours of approved education courses at an accredited college or university. You must also be 18 years of age and pass a background check.

Hawaii:

You must be 21 years old and pass a real estate pre-licensing course. Hawaii does not list how many credit hours their course is, but after some research, it appears to be about 60 hours of classes.

Idaho:

You must be 18 years of age and take 90 hours of pre-license education before you can take the state exam.

Illinois:

You must be 21 years old and have either a high school diploma or GED. The pre-license real estate education requirement is 45 hours and in some cases, applicants as young as 18 may be accepted.

Indiana:

Indiana requires anyone wanting a real estate license to be 18 years old and not to have been convicted of a crime that indicates that he or she may endanger the public. You must take 54 credit hours of pre-license classes and pass the state exam.

Iowa:

You must be 18 years old and pass a background check. You only have to take 36 credit hours of pre-license classes before taking the state exam.

Kansas:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. You only need 30 hours of pre-license classes before taking the exam.

Kentucky:

You must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass a background check. The education requirement is 96 credit hours before you can take the state exam.

Louisiana:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You must take 90 hours of pre-license education before you can take the state exams.

Maine:

You must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have notarized recommendations from at least three persons stating that the applicant has a good reputation. You must take 55 hours of pre-licensing requirements before taking the real estate license exams.

Maryland:

You must be 18 years old and of good character and reputation. You must take 60 hours of pre-licensing education before you can take the real estate license exam.

Massachusetts:

You must be 18 years old and take 24 credit hours of classes before you can take the state exam.

Michigan:

You must be 18 years old and take 40 hours of pre-license education before you can take the state exams.

Minnesota:

You must take three real estate classes to get your license. Only the first class must be passed before you can take the state test and the other two classes must be passed within one year.

Mississippi

You must be 18 years old and a bona fide resident of Mississippi. You must take 60 hours of pre-license education before taking the state exam.

Missouri:

You can get your license in a variety of ways. You must be 18 and complete 48 hours of classes or be a licensed attorney or be granted a one-time sitting for the exam by the commission.

Montana:

You must be 18 years old and have passed the 10th grade. You also have to take 60 hours of pre-license education before taking the real estate test.

Nebraska:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. You must take 60 hours of continuing education before taking the state real estate exam.

Nevada:

You must take 90 hours of pre-license education before taking the state real estate exam.

New Hampshire:

You must be 18 and complete 40 hours of pre-license education before taking the real estate exam.

New Jersey:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. You must pass 75 hours of pre-license classes before taking the real estate exam.

New Mexico:

You must be 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States. You must pass 90 hours of pre-license classes before taking the state real estate exam.

New York:

You must be 18 years old and take 75 hours of pre-license education before passing the state real estate exam.

North Carolina:

You must take 75 hours of pre-license classes before you can take the state real estate exam.

North Dakota:

You must be 18 years old and take 45 credit hours of pre-license education. The test can be taken before you finish the 45-hour pre-license education, but you must finish the education within one year.

Ohio:

You must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and be an honest and upright citizen. If you have a felony conviction, you may be denied a real estate license. The applicant must pass a state real estate test and complete 120 hours of education.

Oklahoma:

You must be 18 years old and of good moral character. You must take 90 hours of pre-license education before taking you real estate exams.

Oregon:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. You must take 150 hours of pre-license education before taking the Oregon real estate exams.

Pennsylvania:

You must take 60 credit hours of pre-license education or have a major in real estate from a four-year college.

Rhode Island:

You must be 18 years old and complete 45 hours of pre-license credits before you can take the state real estate test.

South Carolina:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You must complete 60 hours of pre-license education before taking the state real estate exam. After passing the exam, you must take an additional 30 hours of post license education within the first year of being an agent.

South Dakota:

You must be 18 years old and complete 116 hours of pre-license education before you can take the state real estate exams.

Tennessee:

You must be 18 years old and complete 60 hours of pre-license education before taking the real estate exam.

Texas:

You must complete 210 hours of pre-license education before you can take the real estate exam.

Utah:

You must be 18 years old and complete a background check. You must complete 120 hours of pre-license education before taking the Utah real estate exam.

Vermont:

You must be 18 and complete 40 hours of pre-license education before passing the state real estate tests.

Virginia:

You must be 18 years old and complete 60 hours of pre-license education prior to taking the state license exams.

Washington:

You must be 18 years old and complete 60 hours of education before taking the Washington real estate tests.

West Virginia:

You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants must take 90 hours of pre-license education before taking the state exams.

Wisconsin:

You must be 18 years old and have completed 72 hours of pre-license education before taking the state test. You can also be a real estate apprentice, which requires you to take a general knowledge test and be working directly for a real estate broker for at least 20 hours per week.

Wyoming:

You must take 54 credit hours of pre-license education before passing the state exams.

Conclusion

Colorado and Texas lead the way with the most difficult licensing requirements in the United States. I think becoming a real estate agent was the best move I ever made in my career. I think if you can take real estate classes in person it is a huge advantage, but there are many options to take classes online. Real Estate Express has one of the best online programs, but if you can take classes in person that is the best route.

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