When you’re considering a career in real estate, getting your real estate license is an important step. You probably want to have an idea of how long it takes to get a real estate license. The answer to this question will vary from one location to another.
Maybe one of the reasons you’re considering going into real estate is the cost. It’s much cheaper to get your real estate license compared to a traditional college degree. It will also happen much faster.
If you want to determine how long it will take to get your real estate license, there are a few factors you need to look at. These factors include:
- The number of hours required for your pre-licensing courses in your state
- Your chosen pace for completing the course work
- How long the application process will take in your state
Let’s look at all three of these factors to help answer the question, how long does it take to get a real estate license?
The State Pre-Licensing Course Requirements
Each state is different with some requiring more hours than others. You will want to look at your state to figure out how many hours of pre-licensing coursework you will have to complete. The range can go from about 30 to 135 hours. Most states will require between 40 and 90 hours of pre-licensing coursework.
Online Real Estate School or In-Person Real Estate School
You can complete the pre-licensing coursework online or in-person, in most states. Choosing a traditional real estate school will put you on a specific schedule. If this is the choice you make, expect the pre-licensing coursework to take four to six months to complete.
With an online real estate school, you can complete the pre-licensing coursework at your own pace. If you want to complete it in just a few weeks, you can. However, for most, it will still take two to four months to complete, depending on the requirements of your state.
If you prefer a faster option, the online real estate schools offer self-paced options. Some students can complete the coursework in just a few weeks with an online option. Just make sure the online course is approved by the state.
The Application and Exam Process for Getting a Real Estate Agent
Each state will have a little bit of a different type of exam and application process. In some states, it will take time to complete a background check as a part of your application.
Depending on your state, you might be issued a temporary license and your test results when you take the exam, on the same day. However, other states will require you to mail the application and you will have to wait for the exam results. The amount of time this will take can vary.
All states will require you to work with or be sponsored by a real estate broker. It can take a little bit of time to find a broker or you may have one ready before you start the pre-licensing coursework.
How long does it take to get a real estate license?
There is no black and white answer to this question. The requirements of your state will likely be the largest factor in how long it takes. If your state only requires 40 hours of pre-licensure coursework, it won’t take you as long as if your state requires 90 hours.
Along with the coursework, the application process can be rather instant in some states and can take a few weeks in others. The average time it will take, regardless of your state, to get your real estate license will be between 3 and 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Real Estate License
How many pre-licensing hours will I need to complete in my state?
Each state has different requirements when it comes to pre-licensing. The breakdown includes the following:
- 30 hours – Wyoming
- 40 hours – Alaska, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont
- 45 hours – Hawaii, Rhode Island
- 55 hours – Maine
- 60 hours – Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia
- 63 hours – Florida
- 72 hours – Missouri
- 75 hours – Georgia, New Jersey, New York
- 90 hours – Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, West Virginia
- 96 hours – Iowa, Kentucky
- 99 hours – Delaware
- 120 hours – Ohio
- 135 hours – California (or three college-level courses in real estate)
A few states have additional requirements for pre-licensing including:
- Arkansas requires 60 hours of pre-licensing coursework, along with a six-hour class on contract writing.
- South Carolina requires 60 hours of pre-licensing coursework or you can hold a Juris Doctor, Bachelor of Laws degree, or baccalaureate degree in real estate.
- Texas requires pre-licensing education of at least 12 semester hours of postsecondary education in real estate equivalent to the same hours.
- Utah requires 120 hours of pre-licensing coursework or you can be a Utah attorney or have an equivalent education.
- Wisconsin requires 72 hours of pre-licensing courses or 10 semester-hour credits at a higher education institute in real estate.
States that do not issue a general real estate salesperson license include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington.
How much will it cost me to get my real estate license?
The cost for your real estate license will depend on your state. Each state is a little bit different. There will be a cost for the exam and a cost for the license application. You will also need to pay to renew your license every few years, depending on the state.
The cost for each state is listed below:
- Alabama – $71 for the exam and $150 for the license
- Alaska – $100 for the exam and $530 for the license
- Arizona – $60 for the exam and $75 for the license
- Arkansas – $125 for the exam and $75 for the license
- California – $60 for the exam and $245 for the license
- Colorado – none
- Connecticut – $52 for the exam and $385 for the license
- Delaware – $69 for the exam and $25 for a Guaranty
- District of Columbia – $61 for the exam and $240 for your license
- Florida – $36.75 for the exam and $89 for the license
- Georgia – $25 for a crime report and $170 for the license
- Hawaii – $68 for the exam and an annual license fee that changes each year
- Idaho – $75 for the exam and $160 for the license
- Illinois – $45 for the exam and $125 for the license
- Indiana – $35 for the exam and $39.25 for the license
- Iowa – $92 for the exam and $125 for the license
- Kansas – $82 for the exam and $100 for the license
- Kentucky – $75 for the exam and $70 for the license
- Louisiana – $85 for the exam and $45 for the license
- Maine – $85 for the exam and $100 for the license
- Maryland – $90 for the exam and $115 for the license
- Massachusetts – $97 for the exam and $103 for the license
- Michigan – $79 for the exam and $88 for the license
- Minnesota – $65 for the exam and $110 for the license
- Mississippi – $75 for the exam and $150 for the license
- Missouri – $52 for the exam and $90 for the license
- Montana – $106 for the exam and $122.50 for the license
- Nebraska – $285 for the exam and $90 for the license
- Nevada – $100 for the exam and $125 for the license
- New Hampshire – $45 for the exam and $160 for the license
- New Jersey – $95 for the exam and $270 for the license
- New Mexico – none
- New York – $15 for the exam and $50 for the license
- North Carolina – none
- North Dakota – none
- Ohio – $60 for the application fee
- Oklahoma – $60 for the exam, $75 for a provisional license, and $165 for the initial license
- Oregon – none
- Pennsylvania – $54 for the exam and $107 for the license
- Rhode Island – $70 for the exam and $100 for the license
- South Carolina – $63 for the exam and $75 for the license
- South Dakota – none
- Tennessee – none
- Texas – $54 for the exam and $350 for the license
- Utah – $66 for the exam and $152 for the license
- Vermont – $115 for the exam and $50 for the license
- Virginia – $60 for the exam and $170 for the license
- Washington – none
- West Virginia – $96 for the exam and $100 for the license
- Wisconsin – $82 for the exam and $75 for the license
- Wyoming – $114 for the exam and $300 for the license
The renewal fee and license fee may change over time in each state.
How old do I need to be to get my real estate license?
The minimum age for getting a real estate license in most states is 18. However, in a few states, there is no age requirement and in Alabama, you must be 19 years of age. The states with no minimum age requirement include:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
All other states have a minimum age requirement of 18.
If you want to get your real estate license, you will need to meet the requirements of your state. The amount of time this will take all depends on you and your state. An online real estate school can help to speed up the process, however.