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How Much Does Realtor School Cost?

Real Estate School Prices

In order to become a real estate agent, students need to pass a state licensing exam. An educational requirement, which varies by state, must be met before the exam can be taken. Candidates who have taken college courses in real estate or hold a college degree may have better job prospects.

Considerations for Becoming a Realtor

Realtors are the middle men between home buyers and sellers. They must be knowledgeable about home values, neighborhood profiles, market conditions, bank lending, fair housing laws, and documents such as purchase agreements and deeds. Realtors often work more than a 40-hour week, including nights and weekends (the times when clients are typically available). Most get jobs working for a real estate broker.

Salary and Job Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) real estate sales agents earn a median annual income of $39,140 ($18.82 per hour). Those in the 90th income percentile, however, earn more than $95,540.

The majority of a realtor's income is derived from sales commissions. Each time an agent facilitates the sale of a home or property, he or she receives a percentage of the total sale price. Actual income, then, is dependent on the number of sales and the value of those sales.

The job outlook for real estate agents is slightly below average based on BLS statistics. But because the occupation is tied to economic growth and the housing market, current economic conditions are a good barometer of realtor job prospects.

Education

A minimum of a high school diploma (or GED) is required for real estate sales agents. Beyond that, agents need to take state-accredited pre-licensing courses before passing a licensing exam (find out your state's specific education requirements here).

College coursework in real estate may be substituted for pre-licensing courses in some states (again, check with your state's licensing board). Real estate courses are offered at community colleges as well as four-year colleges and universities. It's also possible to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in real estate, although not all schools offer this distinction. Another option—a certificate program—costs less and takes less time to complete than a degree program.

Realtor School Average Costs

  • Pre-licensing courses typically cost $350 to $700. Many can be completed online.
  • Licensing fees vary by state but average $300 to $400 (for the exam, license, and office fees such as fingerprinting and background check).
  • Completing a certificate program in real estate might cost $2,000 to $10,000 or more.
  • Earning an associate's degree in real estate might cost $7,000 to $10,000 or more.
  • Earning a bachelor's degree in real estate might cost as little as $30,000 to $40,000 and as much as $100,000+.
  • Contact individual schools for the most accurate tuition cost information.
  • Visit the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website to learn more about the tuition costs of colleges and universities.
  • Loans are available to pay for an education. Grants and scholarships can help alleviate student loan debt burden. Learn more about paying for college at the U.S. News website.

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