Real Estate Broker: Education Requirements & Career Info

Real estate brokers require a fair amount of formal education. Learn more about the education, licensing requirements and job duties to find out if this is the right career for you.

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Real estate brokers are involved in the buying and selling of properties, with duties including managing agents, marketing, and being involved in all aspects of the sale. All states require licensure for real estate brokers, and education requirements vary but usually include at least some postsecondary coursework.

Essential Information

Real estate brokers work with real estate agents and financial institutions to buy and sell properties. Brokers oversee real estate companies and usually supervise real estate agents who make sales on behalf of the company. Many brokers manage a large number of agents and earn a brokerage fee for every sale an agent makes. To be licensed as a broker, workers need to complete real estate training programs or earn bachelor's degrees in real estate. They also need anywhere from 1-3 years of sales agent experience.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent, completion of a real estate training program or college courses in real estate; postsecondary certificate and bachelor's degree programs in real estate are options
Other Requirements 1-3 years of real estate sales agent experience, state license
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2%
Average Salary (2015)* $80,210

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Real Estate Broker Educational Requirements

Although real estate brokers can choose to earn undergraduate degrees related to real estate and finance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a high school diploma was the minimum educational requirement for this career field ( Nevertheless, licensing guidelines in most states require applicants to complete postsecondary coursework related to real estate and finance. Real estate undergraduate courses include real estate law, property management, real estate investments, real estate appraisal, and property development. Several institutions also provide real estate certificate programs, some of which are related specifically to the real estate broker career field.

Real Estate Broker Training

Before becoming a broker, the BLS states that most workers obtain experience by working under experienced brokers as real estate agents. As agents, aspiring brokers gain a feel for the real estate market and learn how to find properties best suited for clients. Most brokerage firms train agents to complete real estate paperwork, including loan applications and property title documents. After gaining enough experience as an agent and building up a reputation, agents can open up their own businesses and become real estate brokers.

Real Estate Broker Job Duties

In many ways, real estate brokers act like managers over real estate agents. As managers, brokers take on all the responsibilities of running the business, including marketing, finding new agents, and maintaining strong relationships with banking and lending firms. Some brokers share the same duties as agents, such as listing properties to buy and sell, negotiating prices between buyers and sellers, hosting open houses, and filing real estate paperwork. Brokers may also run routine training seminars to make sure agents are up-to-date on all new real estate laws.

Real Estate Broker Licensing Requirements

As of 2012, the BLS reported that all states required real estate brokers to be licensed. Eligibility requirements usually include completing state-approved educational programs, such as earning a bachelor's degree or certificate related to real estate. Many states also require that brokers have at least 1-3 years of recent experience selling real estate. After successfully passing the required licensing exams, most states mandate individuals to renew their licenses by participating in continuing education programs.

Real Estate Broker Career Outlook and Salary Info

The BLS anticipated employment for real estate brokers to increase 2% from 2014-2024, which is slower than average. As the economy rebounds from the recent recession, the demand for real estate services will cause an increase in jobs for these workers. As of May 2015, the BLS listed the average annual salary of real estate brokers as $80,210.

Real estate brokers manage real estate agents and take on many of the same job duties. Typical requirements for a career as a real estate broker include completing approved courses or a formal college program in real estate, obtaining 1-3 years of sales agent experience in the field, and passing a state licensing exam.

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