real estate license timeline in a planner

By Karen D. Friedman | 09.21.20

So how long does it take to get a real estate license? How do I get started? 

At CA Realty Training, we get asked that question often by people interested in starting a career in real estate. The actual time it takes can vary depending on a few factors.

We’ll discuss them here to give you a better overall understanding of the entire process and your timeframe in California.

What is Real Estate School?

Well, before you can apply for your license, it starts with taking the 3 pre licensing courses that are required by the Department of Real Estate.

These courses should be taken from an accredited real estate school. Accredited means the school has been approved by the state.

You can tell if school is accredited because they will have a sponsorship ID number.

These courses are also offered through a university or college, although real estate schools focus strictly on the required courses necessary. 

Most real estate schools are considered correspondence schools since the courses can be completed online.

How Long is Real Estate School?

That will depend on what program you choose, because real estate schools offer more than one way to get through the courses.  

Although, what we can discuss is the fastest you can get through the training program which is 54 days or approximately 2 months. 

The 3 required courses in California are Real Estate Practice, Real Estate Principles and an elective of your choice. You must spend a minimum of 18 days per course and take them one at a time. 

This timeframe is mandated by the Department of Real Estate so be wary of any school that tells you you can complete the courses in less than 54 days.

Once you complete your courses you will receive your certificates of completion. These certificates are proof that you have completed the necessary education requirements.  

Now you are ready to apply for the State Exam and License.

real estate license classroom that is empty

How Long is the Application Process?

Along with the Application and the certificates of completion, you will need to get your live scan done. A live scan is fingerprinting for the background check and can be completed in a day.

Once you send all the necessary paperwork, it normally takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks for the Department of Real Estate to receive and process your application. 

Once processed and approved, you will be eligible to schedule your exam date.

The Department of Real Estate, or DRE, will contact you by email to let you know. You can then create an account on the DRE website through eLicensing to choose your exam date.  

You will have the option to schedule your exam immediately or in the near future.  That’s entirely up to you.

So, the application process time is  6-8 weeks or approximately 2 months. 

Real Estate License Timeline Review

Now that we’ve covered what required, let’s review the timeline to get your license:

  • Real Estate Education  |  54 days (2 Months)
  • Application Approval  |  6-8 weeks (2 Months)
  • Scheduling Exam  |  1-2 days

Overall, the quickest you can get your license is 4 months but the average time tends to be 6 months. 

Again, the timeline can fluctuate depending on the length of your education program and when you schedule your exam.

Final Thoughts on How Long It Takes to Get a Real Estate License

It’s exciting that it only takes an average of 6 months to start a new career as a licensed real estate agent. 

If you are passionate about real estate, this is a great opportunity to get into the field in a minimal amount of time.

You can start your real estate career…today.


Every week, we release in-depth videos to help viewers become successful real estate agents on our CA Realty Training YouTube Channel. Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, we would love if you could share it with a friend who you think would get something out of it.
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