Real Estate Agents
Education & Training
To work as a real estate agent, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- complete training in real estate essentials and practices; and
- have a license to sell real estate.
Education after high school
Most states require real estate agents to complete a formal training program. These programs cover real estate transactions and laws. Programs are between 30 and 90 hours. Many vocational schools, colleges, and universities offer this program.
Most real estate firms offer formal training programs. Some local real estate associations offer courses about the basic and legal aspects of real estate.
Although it is not required, most real estate agents have some college education. Many agents have a bachelor's degree. Several majors are good preparation for this occupation. Some of the best are real estate, business management, finance, and marketing.
Many agents transfer from other jobs to real estate sales. Work experience in sales or dealing with people is good preparation for this occupation.
New agents often work with experienced agents or brokers to learn how to show properties and answer clients' questions. As a new agent you also learn how to close sales and write sales contracts. You might receive training for up to one month.
After training, agents often take seminars on improving their sales.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Interior Design
- Principles of Advertising
- Principles of Sales
Many real estate agents are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:
- Introduction to Business
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.