Real estate may seem like a promising career – however, before you can become a real estate agent, one thing you’ll need to have is the right qualifications and credentials. Wondering what those credentials are? Well, you’re in the right place to find out. This article will cover everything about the education you need to become a real estate agent so that you can get started in your new career!
Understanding Real Estate as a Career
Before tailoring your education to become a real estate agent, you first need to decide whether this is the right career path for you. If you have experience in sales or are interested in being a part of a service-based business, this is a good option. However, if interacting with multiple new people on a daily basis doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you may need to think again.
It’s also wise to remember that jumping into real estate and thinking you’ll make a fortune immediately, is not the reality of the industry. While it’s true that the money you make can often be better than you would make at other jobs, it will take time before you have the experience and reputation needed to make those really big bucks. If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick career, real estate may not be the right choice. That said, real estate is a great way to take charge of your own career. You have ample opportunities to be your own boss if that is an attractive option for you, but there are also firms you can join if you prefer a more traditional employment structure. The independent nature of the profession also means that you’re more flexible than you would be in a traditional office job, making it easier for you to schedule breaks.
You also get to work outside the office, which can be a draw for people who don’t like being stuck inside 24/7. You’ll constantly be traveling, and even if you start off working for someone else, you can use the experience you gain to become an independent contractor as soon as you choose to do so!
Educational Needs for a Real Estate Career
If you’ve already completed your education and are looking to switch careers to real estate, you may find yourself wondering if it is possible to do so without further studies. Some careers, such as law, require specific schooling, which means switching career paths later in life can prove challenging.
Luckily, this isn’t the case with real estate. In the United States, you will need to be a licensed agent in order to work in real estate, and requirements for licensure can vary from state to state.
However, in general, the basic requirements are that:
- You are 18 years of age or older
- You have a high school diploma or GED
You usually do not need to have a bachelor’s degree or any proof of higher education. While you will need to pass a licensing exam, this is relatively easy to do.
Additionally, there is a lot of help available online to help you pass your exam. You can find practice real estate exam questions online to try your hand at, so you’re confident when sitting for the final paper. The exam differs from state to state but generally includes questions on state-specific laws as well as national laws.
However, keep in mind that the exam is not the only qualification you’ll need.
As discussed above, requirements differ from state to state; many states require aspiring real estate agents to fulfill certain training requirements and complete a pre-licensing course before they start practicing their profession.
While these requirements may seem daunting, they usually don’t require you to spend too much time earning your license. You can often have your real estate license in your hands within a month of starting your studies – though this, of course, will vary from person to person.
Regardless, getting a real estate license is definitely faster than earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree, which is why it’s also an attractive option for people who aren’t keen on traditional higher education.
Applying for Jobs
As discussed above, as a real estate agent, you can often choose to act as an independent agent or look for a job with a real estate brokerage firm. Joining an existing firm is often seen as a good option for new entrants into the field as you will not have to spend as much of your time finding and attracting clients – the reputation of the firm will make things much easier for you.
An added bonus is that because becoming a broker requires additional education, clients are often attracted by the belief that brokers are “better” than real estate agents. While this isn’t necessarily the case, it does mean that being able to say you work under a real estate broker in a brokerage firm makes you more attractive to potential homeowners and sellers. However, in order to do so, you’ll first need to get a job with a brokerage firm.
While having a degree is not necessary to become a licensed real estate agent, it can make you a more attractive candidate when applying for jobs with brokerage firms. Some firms may have their own educational requirements that you will have to fulfill before they consider you as a job applicant.
Some brokerage firms will provide training and education for talented candidates who do not meet their educational requirements. However, if the position you’re looking for is competitive, you can expect that you’ll be going up against people that have already completed their degree and any other educational preferences the firm has, reducing your chances of being hired.
So, if you’re looking to work in a brokerage firm, consider doing your research and see what additional education you might have to complete. In some cases, you may be able to do the necessary courses on a part time basis, these requirements through part-time courses, so you won’t have to quit your current job.
Real estate is not a career that has elaborate educational needs. However, depending on how you want to work in the field once you earn your real estate agent license, you may find that further education will open up greater job opportunities.