real-estate-license-california

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

Earning a real estate license in California makes you eligible to become a real estate salesperson agent. No other career provides limitless upward mobility in your success than one as a real estate agent. This is because you determine your success. Real estate agents are in full control of how often they work, how invested they are in their job, and their own success.

Deciding to become a real estate agent will set you on the path to a long, lucrative career. Before you walk into a brokerage for your first interview, you have to earn your real estate license.

Just like any state, California has its own requirements to becoming a real estate agent, but the overall process remains the same. To become a real estate agent in California, you must:

  • Meet the real estate license requirements
  • Enroll in an accredited real estate school
  • Pass the state exam
  • Sign with a brokerage

After completing these steps, you’ll be eligible to earn your real estate salesperson license in the state of California.

1. Meet the Real Estate License Requirements

First, make sure you meet the bare minimum requirements. These are the standard requirements that every prospective agent clears to become eligible. To be eligible for a real estate license in California, you must first be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A legal U.S. resident
  • Eligible to work within in the U.S.

These rules are created by the Department of Real Estate (DRE) to ensure the integrity of California’s real estate industry. Without meeting these requirements, you’re not be able to receive a real estate license in California.

real-estate-license-california

2. Enroll in an Accredited Real Estate School

Just like any career, you need the right academic experience. To earn a real estate license in California, you need study the real estate market and the concepts applied in the industry. You can earn your education at any school or university so long as they are accredited by the state of California. With this kind of flexibility in choice, you should choose a program based off your own needs.

Attending an accredited real estate program can be done online or in-person. Each one is led by the program’s own unique instructor. However, every school will cover the same courses:

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

You are required to enroll in 3 courses to complete the education requirements needed to become a real estate agent. The elective course is up to the discretion of the student and should be based on the need or curiosity the student has for the course.

The elective courses offered in California are:

  • Real estate finance
  • Property management
  • Legal aspects of real estate
  • Real estate economics
  • Real estate office administration
  • Real estate appraisal

Enrolling online is always convenient for the student. You can take courses whenever you want and wherever you want. It’s hard to beat convenience! However, you miss out on the in-person experience. Inside the classroom you’re placed with a licensed agent with years of experience. Not only are you able to ask questions, but you learn from the trainer’s experience and professional history. In regards to academic development, this is priceless knowledge. It’s also advice that helps you retain information on the state exam and after you earn your real estate license in California. 

3. Pass the State Exam

The next step is to pass your state exam. After completing the curriculum at an accredited real estate school in California, you’re eligible to schedule your state exam testing date. You can schedule your state exam testing date through the DRE website and all you need is:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Complete a live scan form
  • To be eligible to work in the U.S.

The state exam is rigorous, though. You need to study the course material and your notes to ensure you pass with a 70% or higher.

Some schools have supplemental resources to help you pass the state exam. Others offer a weekend, in-depth training called a “crash course.” These classes place you in a classroom with other students and prepares you to pass the state exam with a lecture by an experienced agent.

4. Sign with a Brokerage

Once you pass the state exam, you’re eligible to receive your license. The last step required to become a legitimate real estate agent is to “hang your license” with a brokerage. This is a colloquial term used to describe the process of signing with a brokerage of your choice. To sign with a brokerage, you must choose the best one for you and pass the interview.

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

Final Thoughts on a Real Estate License in California

A career in real estate is a worthwhile investment for those who appreciate flexibility, time management, and working with people. Making the decision to become a real estate agent might be a simple one, but you have to follow this up with dedication to the craft and a commitment to yourself to make a successful career your reality. By following the steps above, and learning as much as you can in the process, you 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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