Obtaining a Broker’s License: Here’s What You Need to Know

Written by Tessa Sims

If you’ve been a licensed agent for a while now, you’ve probably become more knowledgeable and more confident with every transaction. With all that experience, you may be ready to share your knowledge with others and take the next step in your career. Expanding your business as a real estate broker can dramatically increase your income but it also comes with the weight of increased responsibilities and heightened risk, which you shouldn’t take lightly. 

Steps to Getting you Brokers License

Step 1: Meet the state’s Broker Pre-Licensing Education Requirements as outlined on the California Department of Real Estate website.

They include: 

  • Be 18 years of age or older 
  • Be honest and transparent about past criminal record(s) as most states require background check or a criminal history report as part of your application. If you decide to lie or refuse to admit to being a past felon, you can be rejected or have your real estate license revoked later. Transparency and honesty show your state’s commission that you can be trusted, and this can go a long way to demonstrate that you truly deserve a chance in the real estate Industry. Also, a minimum of two years full-time licensed salesperson experience within the last five years or the equivalent is required. For more information, please review this form: https://www.dre.ca.gov/examinees/requirementsbroker.html 

Step 2: Proceed to complete the required 225 hours of broker education course

The required courses within the 225 hours include: 

  • Real Estate Practice 
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate 
  • Real Estate Finance 
  • Real Estate Appraisal 
  • Real Estate Economics or Accounting* 

Step 3: Proceed to apply for the broker examination. 

The broker examinations must be taken through the California Department of Real Estate. The state requires that you achieve a score of 75% or higher to pass. Agent Real Estate Schools offers a Broker Licensing Course

Step 4: Submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check. 

As an applicant for your real estate broker license, you must submit one set of fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ). An applicant may be fingerprinted after applying for the state exam or after passing the exam. 

Fingerprint processing fees are not refunded if you do not pass the examination. 

Step 5: Pass the California broker licensing exam by earning a score of at least 75 percent. 

Step 6: Complete the Employment verification forms to verify experience. 

You will need to complete a Broker Examination Application and submit it along with the required fee and transcripts showing successful completion of the statutory college-level real estate courses and degrees. 

Applicants must document experience requirements for the broker examination through one of the following methods:

  • Obtaining a transcript to verify a degree earned from an accredited four-year college or university which included a major or minor in real estate. 
  • Completing Employment Verification forms to verify licensed salesperson experience. 
  • Completing forms to verify non-licensed real estate-related experience.

Step 7: Proceed to Submit completed Broker License application. 

Those who pass the exam will be sent a Broker License Application. This form must be completed and returned along with the appropriate fee within 1-year of passing the exam. The completed Live Scan Service Request must be submitted with the application. A license cannot be issued until DRE receives fingerprint response information.

How long does it take to become a real estate broker in California?

The time taken to get a California broker license varies, depending on the pace in which you complete the 225 hours of education and pass your licensing examination, the time it takes you to complete the application process, and application and background check processing times. Please keep in mind you must have experience as a practicing real estate agent for at least 2 years. 

How much does it cost to get a broker’s license in California?

Becoming a real estate broker in California requires time and money but is very rewarding. An aspiring broker will spend up to $800 to get their license, while also spending an additional $245–$360 annually to keep their license active. 
How these costs break down: 

  • Coursework can run up to $350.  
  • Exam fees run $60. 
  • License fees for a broker cost $300. 
  • Required fingerprints will cost $49. 
  • Other miscellaneous fees can run upward of $240, where applicable. 

How difficult is California real estate broker exam?

According to the California Department of Real Estate, the pass rate for the real estate broker exam hovers around 50 percent. 

Becoming a Real Estate Broker 


Once you obtain your broker’s license, you can take your business in plenty of new directions. One option, if you’re not crazy about the idea of added responsibility, is to continue working for another broker. You may even be able to negotiate a better commission split. Alternatively, you can work independently as an agent broker and keep one hundred percent of your commission. 

Of course, your potential for earnings will increase if you hire agents to work under you. You’ll receive royalties, company revenue earned from commissions, Errors & Omissions income, Transaction and/or desk fees from each salesperson. 

Whichever direction you choose, as an expert in the field, people will look to you for your knowledge and understanding of the industry.  


Are you on a mission to launch a new brokerage? There are several things you need to consider before opening your own office since you’ll be responsible for running the show. Not everyone is cut out for management, but you’ll be successful if you are organized and have the personality to handle some of the tougher tasks. While you can hire people to fulfill some roles, you’ll ultimately be responsible for the following: 

  • Personnel coordination such as hiring and firing 
  • Agent recruiting, negotiate Commission splits 
  • Staff and agent training 
  • Mentorship programs 
  • Independent Contractor Agreements 
  • Agent supervision 
  • Expenses like rent and utilities 
  • Administrative tasks 
  • Record keeping 
  • Dispute resolution 
  • Compliance 
  • Legal responsibilities 
  • Marketing and advertising 

California Broker License Requirements 

In the state of California, certain requirements must be met, in order to become a broker: 

  1. Applicants must be 18 years of age and reside in California 
  1. Applicants must have education and/or experience that includes: 
  • two years as a full-time, licensed real estate agent (within the last five years), or 
  • two years of equivalent, unlicensed experience, or  
  • a four-year degree from an accredited college or university with a major or minor in real estate 
  • Member of the California Bar Association 
  1. Applicants must complete approved, mandatory broker license training 

Broker License Training 

Before you can schedule your broker examination with the Department of Real Estate, you must complete eight mandatory college-level courses: 

  1. Real Estate Practice; and 
  1. Legal Aspects of Real Estate; and 
  1. Real Estate Finance; and 
  1. Real Estate Appraisal; and 
  1. Real Estate Economics or Accounting*; and 
  1. Threecourses from the following list: 
  • Real Estate Principles 
  • Business Law 
  • Property Management 
  • Escrow 
  • Real Estate Office Administration 
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending 
  • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate 
  • Advanced Real Estate Finance 
  • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal 
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate 
  • Common Interest Developments 

*If an applicant completes both Real Estate Economics and Accounting courses, they will only need to take two courses from the second group. 

Obtain Your Broker License Through Agent Real Estate Schools 

At Agent Real Estate Schools, we’ve got everything you need to complete your Broker License training. Of course, if you’re already a broker and want to ensure your new recruits are ready to pass the California state real estate exam, tell them about our Group Study and Fast Track pre-license training programs. Through interactive, in-class sessions or self-paced online learning, candidates can complete their training in the stream that best fits their needs. We also offer Continuing Education for both brokers and agents, to make sure your whole office is up-to-date. 

If you eat, sleep, and breathe real estate, and have well-developed leadership skills, this could be the perfect time to obtain your real estate broker’s license. Reach out to Agent Real Estate Schools today and let us know how we can help you move forward in your career. To find out more about becoming a real estate agent, contact Agent Real Estate Schools. Reach us at (858) 329-0999 or email us at [email protected].