The path to becoming a real estate agent is not always clear. There are many different routes that you can take, and the steps you need to take will vary depending on your location and the specific requirements of your state or province. However, there are some general steps that you can take to become a real estate agent in North America.

5 Steps to Become A Real Estate Agent

1. Check the requirements

The first step is ensuring you meet the basic requirements to become a real estate agent. In most jurisdictions in North America, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to pass a background check and, sometimes, a drug test.

Each state has particular requirements for:
  • Education: You will need to complete a certain number of hours of real estate education, which can be done online, at a real estate school, or through a combination of both.
  • Exam: Once you have completed your education, you must pass a state-specific exam to get your license.
  • Background check: A background check is required to ensure that you are suitable to work as a real estate agent.
  • Drug test: In some jurisdictions, you may be required to pass a drug test to get your license.

2. Take a pre-licensing course

After you have checked the requirements and made sure you are eligible to become a real estate agent, you will need to take a pre-licensing course. This course will give you the basic knowledge and skills you need to be a successful real estate agent, such as effectively using the national property database, real estate law, contracts, and marketing. The course length will vary depending on your jurisdiction, typically around 40 hours.

3. Pass the state exam

Once you have completed your pre-licensing course, you must pass your state's real estate exam to get your license. This exam tests your knowledge of real estate law and practice. It will cover contracts, property ownership, and fair housing laws. The exam is usually multiple-choice and has a time limit of 3 hours.

4. Activate your license

After passing the state exam, you must activate your license to practice as a real estate agent. This usually involves completing a fingerprinting and criminal background check and paying a fee. In some states, you may also need to complete additional education courses before your license can be activated.

5. Find a broker

Once you have your license, you will need to find a broker to work for. A broker is a licensed real estate agent who has completed additional training and education and passed a separate exam. Brokers typically have their own real estate businesses and can provide you with the support and resources you need to get started in your career.

Why Become a Real Estate Agent?

You might want to become a real estate agent for many reasons. Real estate is a challenging and rewarding career that offers a flexible work schedule, the opportunity to work independently, and the potential to earn a high income. Moreover, as a real estate agent, you will be satisfied with helping people buy and sell homes and achieve their real estate goals.

The median pay for real estate agents in the United States is $45,610 annually, and the top 10% of earners make over $110,000 annually. In addition, many real estate agents can earn a substantial income through commissions and bonuses.

Becoming a real estate agent can give you a successful and rewarding career. If you are interested in helping people buy and sell homes and are willing to work hard, then a career in real estate might be right for you.

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?

Real estate agents typically earn a commission on the sale of a property. The amount of the commission depends on the state in which you are licensed but is typically around 5-6% of the sale price.

For example, on a $200,000 property, the commission would be $10,000.

The average real estate agent in the United States earned $59,730 in 2018. However, commissions and other forms of compensation can vary greatly depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of property sold. For example, agents who sell high-end properties in major metropolitan areas can earn much more than the average agent.


Becoming a real estate agent can be a great way to earn a good income and start your own business. However, it is essential to make sure you are familiar with the requirements in your state or province and take the time to complete the necessary education and training. With hard work and dedication, you can be on your way to a successful career in real estate.