Being a real estate broker can be an excellent career choice, but it does require a lot of work and dedication. It is essentially an investment in yourself. A real estate broker’s annual median salary is $45,610, but this can vary significantly based on location, number of agents, and overall success rate. As of 2014, there were approximately 421,000 jobs.


Depending on the state a person is living in, they must first work as a real estate sales agent for one to three years before they can apply to be a real estate broker. The other requirements include: being 18 or 19 (depending on state requirements); having legal US residency, and completing education requirements.

A real estate broker can work for a designated broker as an associate broker, or they can open and operate their own brokerage. A prospective broker must complete an educational course or class that has been approved by their state. It can take several weeks or months to complete. They’ll learn about various topics, including finance, agency law, real estate law, property management, contracts and more. After the class or course is complete, a prospective broker will take their state’s broker licensing examination. In some states, to be eligible for licensing, a prospective broker may need to pass a criminal background check.

How to Pass the Real Estate Broker Licensing Exam

It should be a prospective broker’s goal to pass the exam on their first attempt. The broker’s exam will be longer than the agent exam, so it’s important to be prepared. In some states, the broker exam can take five hours to complete.

The best way to prepare for the exam is to make flashcards and use an exam preparation aid. People who don’t pass the exam can usually get their money back for the exam preparation aid they purchased.

The Cost to Become a Broker

One of the requirements to become a broker is to pay educational costs, exam fees and application fees. Depending on the state a prospective broker resides, they’ll have to pay between $300 to $2,000 for educational costs and approximately $150 to $200 for the application and exam fees. Opening and operating a brokerage can cost between $500 and $50,000 for office space, agents, marketing, equipment and more.

In Conclusion

Passing the state’s exam and becoming licensed is the first step to becoming a real estate broker. Being successful in their career requires other skills. A broker should partner with agents, use a publicist, host open houses, have an online presence, look for leads and maintain connections with former clients.

The decision to become a broker isn’t something to do on a whim, but it can be worthwhile if you’re dedicated to making it work.