Real Estate Agent Certification

Many local and national real estate organizations offer certification programs. Get information about the topics covered, as well as average salary and employment outlook. Schools offering Real Estate degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Real Estate Certification Programs Are Available?

Professional organizations, such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR), feature a variety of certification programs in the real estate industry ( Some of the NAR certifications, or designations, include a General Accredited Appraiser, a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource and a REALTOR Association Certified Executive. Affiliate NAR organizations, such as the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, the REALTORS Land Institute and the Council of Residential Specialists offer certifications.

Certain real estate certifications, such as the Accredited Land Consultant and Accredited Buyer's Representative, require documented work experience and closed transactions. Additionally, you must be in good standing and have current membership with the certifying real estate association.

Certifications Offered by the National Association of Realtors and affiliate organizations
Learning Environment Traditional classroom, self-study and online certification classes are available
Average Salary (2015) $80,210 (for real estate brokers); $58,410 (for real estate sales agents)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Receive Training?

Each certification option contains different required courses. These courses may be taken online, in a classroom or through self-study. Some real estate associations offer certification training in local real estate offices for large groups. The length of training depends on the type of certification. Some courses last one day while others may take several days.

A certification program may contain required courses and also allow you to choose elective classes. Upon completion of training, you would take a written comprehensive examination of the content. A score of 70-80% is usually required to further the certification process. After passing the exam, you would pay the appropriate fee and send the requested documents to the given real estate organization.

What Can I Do After I Receive My Certification?

Once you acquire the certification you desire, you may continue to work in real estate as an agent, broker or managing broker. Earning a designation demonstrates expertise in a specialty area and can set you apart from other real estate professionals. You can also list the designation abbreviation after your name.

Real estate agents don't bring in regular checks, but instead they earn money based on commission of a sale price. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, real estate sales agents made an average yearly salary of $58,410, while real estate brokers earned $80,210, on average, in the same year ( The BLS reported that employment of real estate brokers and sales agents was predicted to increase by three percent from 2014-2024. This rise may differ in certain regions of the country.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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