Real Estate Industry: Training & Continuing Education
The minimum training education required to be a real estate agent is usually only a high school diploma. However, most States do require 30-90 hours of classroom instruction on the principles of real estate. Industry experts recommend at least a bachelor's degree to build a foundation for advancement. Instruction in real estate courses can be found at community colleges, through the NAR's Realtor® University Online, and through state and local real estate trade associations. Additionally, training is available from many online real estate schools. Any courses should be from a program accredited by the state in which one wants to be licensed.
In addition to pursuing continuing education for professional development, most states require real estate sales agents to have a certain number of CE hours in order to renew their licensure. States vary greatly in the number of continuing education courses and the subject matter. For example, Ohio requires 30 hours every three years; California - 45 hours every four years; and New York State - 22.5 hours within two years of renewal. Most states mix a number of required subjects with electives.
Training and Continuing Education for Real Estate Brokers
A real estate broker must complete broker's qualification course work. This is usually about 60 to 90 hours of formal training from a school with proper accreditation or at a private real estate school with state approved courses. Courses can be taken in a classroom or online. College courses in real estate, finance, business administration, statistics, economics, law and English are helpful. Undergraduate or graduate degrees are recommended, especially in commercial brokerage.
Continuing Education (CE) is required to renew a broker's license. State-specific courses from accredited schools must be verified by the State licensing authority. The specific number of renewal credits and the renewal periods must be checked with the State of licensure. CE is also required to maintain most specialty certifications. The NAR and its affiliates offer CE hours in some format or another, such as online courses, webinars, and attendance at conferences. Some of the subjects that the NAR offers include courses in: Association Management; Introduction to Real Estate Auction; Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation Course; Business Development; Business Planning; Buyer Representation; Commercial Real Estate;Diversity; Ethics; Environmental; Fair Housing; Finance and Investing; Foreclosure; Generational Marketing; and International Real Estate.
Training and Continuing Education for Real Estate Appraisers
Although states set their own qualifications for appraiser licensing and certification, the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation sets the minimum education standards for training necessary to be certified or licensed. Currently, an appraiser trainee must have a minimum of 75 education hours, and 150 hours are necessary for licensure. These numbers are subject to change, since the minimum amount of hours and level of education are constantly under review by the AQB. Community colleges, accredited real estate schools, and trade associations are all good places to find the appropriate courses. Any courses should be from a program accredited by the state in which one wants to be licensed.
Continuing Education is required to maintain licensure and to earn or maintain specialty certifications. Currently, the minimum requirement set by the AQB is 14 hours of CE per year. Appraisers must also complete a seven-hour National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) Update Course every two years.