Do real estate agents need a degree?

In the majority of areas, an academic degree is not required to become a real estate agent, but completing college does help potential workers in the field stay competitive. In lieu of a degree, a real estate license is needed as well as any pre-licensing courses mandated by the real estate board in a given state. These pre-licensing requirements vary from state to state, so consult the board requirements in your area when planning the path to your career in real estate.

Real estate degrees come in four basic types: associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate. An associate degree usually takes around two years to complete and gives students a general overview of the real estate field. A bachelor's degree is a more intensive program that typically takes four years to complete. Master's and doctorate degrees are both awarded at the completion of post-graduate programs. To qualify for the majority of real estate agent jobs that require a degree, only an associate or bachelor's is necessary.

Though a real estate degree is not always needed, having one does provide a number of benefits. Completing a degree gives you a solid foundation in the basics of buying and selling real estate, allowing you to make more informed decisions about properties and stay on top of the latest trends in the industry. Additionally, holding a degree often makes potential agents more attractive to real estate brokerages. Working with a brokerage company (or at least, an individual licensed real estate broker) is a requirement to practicing real estate, and many of the top brokerages have education requirements for their agents. Some provide agents with the necessary training, but others want agents to have completed their training before they are hired.