How many years of college to be a real estate agent?

How many years of college to be a real estate agent?


Becoming a real estate agent can be an exciting career choice for those interested in the housing market and helping clients buy or sell properties. One common question that arises is, “How many years of college does it take to become a real estate agent?” In this article, we will explore the educational requirements and the path to becoming a licensed real estate agent.

Educational Requirements for Real Estate Agents

State Requirements: The educational requirements to become a real estate agent vary from state to state in the United States. Each state has its own real estate commission or board that sets the guidelines for licensing. It is essential to research the specific requirements of the state in which you plan to practice.

Pre-Licensing Education: Most states require aspiring real estate agents to complete a certain number of pre-licensing education hours. These courses cover topics such as real estate principles, contracts, property management, and real estate law. The number of hours required can range from 60 to 180 hours, depending on the state.

College Degree: While a college degree is not always a requirement to become a real estate agent, some states may accept a degree in real estate or a related field as an alternative to completing the pre-licensing education hours. However, it is important to note that having a college degree does not guarantee success as a real estate agent, as practical experience and knowledge of the local market are equally important.

Licensing Process

Passing the Exam: After completing the required pre-licensing education, aspiring real estate agents must pass a licensing exam administered by the state’s real estate commission. The exam typically consists of both a national and state-specific portion, testing knowledge of real estate laws, practices, and ethics.

Background Check: In addition to passing the licensing exam, most states require applicants to undergo a background check. This check ensures that individuals seeking licensure have not committed any disqualifying offenses, such as fraud or theft.

Continuing Education

Post-Licensing Education: Once licensed, real estate agents are often required to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education courses to maintain their license. These courses help agents stay updated on changes in real estate laws, market trends, and best practices. The number of hours required for continuing education varies by state.


The number of years it takes to become a real estate agent depends on various factors, including the state requirements and the time it takes to complete pre-licensing education and pass the licensing exam. While a college degree is not always necessary, it can be beneficial in providing a deeper understanding of real estate principles and practices. Additionally, continuing education is essential to stay current in the field and maintain a valid license.


– National Association of Realtors:
– Real Estate Express:
– Kaplan Real Estate Education: