california real estate license

By Elias Magers | Jan. 12, 2019 10:00 AM

A California real estate license makes you eligible to become a real estate salesperson agent. No other career provides limitless upward success than one as a salesperson agent. In real estate, you determine your success. You control how often you work, how invested you are, and your own success.

Deciding to become a real estate agent will set you on the path to a lucrative career. But, before you start selling, you first need a California real estate license.

How to Get Your Real Estate License and Become a Real Estate Agent

Just like any state, California has its own requirements to becoming a real estate agent. Here is how you become a real estate agent in California:

  1. Meet the real estate license requirements
  2. Enroll in an accredited real estate school
  3. Pass the California state exam
  4. Sign with a brokerage

After completing the first three steps, you will be eligible to earn your California real estate license. Below is thorough breakdown of these 4 steps. Overall, you will need at least 135 hours to get your real estate license. In other words, a little under 8 weeks. This does not include studying. So, you can start selling real estate in less than 6-months from now.

1. Meet the California Real Estate License Requirements

To get a California real estate license, make sure you meet the minimum requirements:

  • 18+ years old
  • Eligible to work within in the U.S.

These requirements are created by the Department of Real Estate (DRE) to maintain California’s real estate industry integrity. You are not be able to receive your California real estate license if you do not meet these requirements.

how to get a california real estate license

2. Enroll in an Accredited Real Estate School

Like any career, you need the right academic experience. Real estate agents must study the industry’s concepts to get a real estate license in California. You can complete your real estate pre-licensing requirement at a California accredited school. With so many school choices, you should choose a program based on your needs.

Attending an accredited real estate program can be done online or in-person. Regardless, every California school will cover the same 3 pre-licensing courses:

  • Real estate practice
  • Real estate principles
  • One elective course

These are the three (3) pre-licensing courses needed to get a California real estate license. The elective course option is up to you. Choose whichever course you think is beneficial to your career.

The real estate elective courses offered in California are:

  • Finance
  • Property Management
  • Legal Aspects
  • Economics
  • Office Administration
  • Appraisal

Enrolling online is always convenient. This is because you can take courses whenever you want and wherever you want. It is hard to beat convenience! However, you miss out on the in-person experience.

In the classroom, you are taught by a real estate agent trainer with years of experience. Additionally, you learn from the trainer’s experience and professional history. Therefore, this is priceless knowledge to advance your professional development. In-person training also helps you retain information. This is a big benefit for the state exam and for your future real estate career. 

3. Pass the State Exam to Get a California Real Estate License

The next step is to pass your state exam. You can schedule your state exam testing date after completing the pre-licensing curriculum. State exam testing dates are scheduled through the DRE website. To become eligible to take the real estate state exam, you will need:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Completed live scan form
  • Additional state exam fees
  • To be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • 3-licensing course certificates (proof of course completion)

The state exam is rigorous. So, you need to study the course material to pass with, at least, a 70% or higher.

Some schools have supplemental resources to help you pass the state exam. Others offer a weekend training called a “crash course.” These training courses give you thorough course reviews and test taking strategies.

4. Sign with a Brokerage

You are eligible to receive your California real estate license once you pass the state exam. To become a real estate agent, you need to “hang your license” with a brokerage. This is a colloquial term used to describe the process of committing yourself to a brokerage. To sign with a brokerage, you must find a good fit and pass the brokerage interview.

Signing with a brokerage is an exciting process. It puts you in a space with professionals, brokers, and colleagues. This is where your real estate career flourishes. The brokerage is a space for collaboration, helpful resources, and mentorship. Therefore, at the end of the day, you should always choose a brokerage that fits your personality.

Final Thoughts on a California Real Estate License

A career in real estate is best for those who enjoy flexibility, time management, and working with people. Deciding to become a real estate agent is easy. But, you need gusto to create a successful career. A real estate career requires hard work and self investment. However, the results are life changing. By following the steps above, and learning as much as you can, you will set yourself up for that success.


Every week, we release in-depth videos to help viewers become successful real estate agents on our CA Realty Training YouTube Channel. If you thought this article was helpful, we’d appreciate you sharing it with a friend or colleague. Doing so helps us make more helpful articles – like this one.
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