How Long Does it Take to Get a Real Estate License?

Jan 31, 2022
5 min

Obtaining your license to work as a real estate agent isn't something that is going to happen overnight. But, getting your real estate license won't take nearly as long as obtaining other types of professional licenses. This article will offer a detailed look at how long it takes to get a real estate license.  

How Long Does it Take to Get a License? (5 to 6 Months)

The time that it will take to enroll into and complete real estate school, apply for, and pass the real estate exam averages 5 or 6 months. Of course, this timeframe can vary by program or state.  

Each State is Different

Every state has its unique licensing requirements, and it is vital to recognize that you will have to meet the specific licensing requirements of the state where you want to work as a real estate agent. 

So the first thing that you should do, if you want to get a real estate license, is investigate your state's requirements.  

That said, the framework for becoming a real estate agent is essentially the same across the country and includes the following:

  • completing all of the state's pre-licensing education requirements (real estate school)
  • applying, taking, and passing the state's real estate exam
  • submitting your state's real estate license application
  • joining a real estate brokerage

Although the framework for obtaining a real estate license is generally the same in each state, it may take longer in some states to get a license than it takes another.

How Long Is Real Estate School?

Since each state has its own pre-licensing requirements for real estate school, the length of the real estate program you take will vary.  

In Kansas, you are required to complete 60 hours of pre-license classes before taking the state's licensing exam. In Nevada, it's 90 hours, while Rhode Island requires only 45 hours. The types of courses that you have to take may vary as well.

For example, in California, the Department of Real Estate requires that anyone looking to obtain a real estate license take the following courses:

  • Real Estate Practice (45 hours)
  • Real Estate Principles (45 hours)
  • An additional approved real estate course (45 hours)

Regardless of the state you live in, the time it takes to complete real estate school will also depend on whether you choose to take the classes in a traditional classroom setting or online. 

Most states allow prospective real estate agents to take their pre-licensing courses online. Typically, taking an online real estate course can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your pre-licensing real estate education.

Online Real Estate School vs. In-Class Real Estate School

Some students prefer online real estate school for the same reason they are drawn to a real estate career: because it offers flexibility and the ability to create their own schedule. 

Most online courses are self-guided, which means you can study on your own time and at your home pace, from wherever. Online real estate schools also tend to be more affordable than in-person schools.

The downside to online courses is that you need a lot of self-discipline to complete the course, and since they lack the personal interaction of an in-person program, you miss the opportunity to network or ask questions.

On the other hand, in-person classes tend to be more structured and hold students more accountable. Online learning isn't for everyone, and face-to-face learning and the social interaction among peers looking to enter the same field may be more beneficial in the long run.

But, in the age of COVID, more and more students are turning to online classes as the safest way to obtain their real estate license.

Applying to the Real Estate Exam

Again, every state is different, but once you apply to take your real estate licensing exam, you may have to wait for up to three months before you can take it. The reasons for the wait vary, but it could be the sheer volume of people taking the test, government red tape, or a backup caused by the pandemic.

Either way, there isn't much you can do about the time it takes between applying to take the licensing exam and actually taking it. If there is a wait, use the time to continue to study what you learned in real estate school or sign up for some extra classes to stay sharp.  

How Long After the Exam Do You Get Your License?

Once you pass your licensing exam, you are officially a real estate agent. You can start working as a real estate agent right away. The documents will be mailed to you, but you can also receive the information via email as well.

Depending on the license application form you filed before the exam, your license can be associated with the brokerage of your choice, so you can start right away.

Final Thought on the Time it Takes to Get a Real Estate License

As we mentioned earlier, you're not going to get your real estate license overnight. Still, if you follow the required steps in your state you can complete all of the steps necessary and be working as a real estate agent within six months, on average. Once that happens, you can be well on your way to a lucrative career in real estate. 

Typically it will take anyone about 6-months to get their real estate license. In this article, you will find out how long each part of the licensing process takes.

Jan 31, 2022
5 min