Are High School Diplomas Required for Real Estate Licenses?

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Each state has its own rules for real estate licenses. Most set a minimum age -- usually 18 -- and require that applicants have completed a certain number of hours of real estate training courses. In addition, 14 states require all applicants for real estate licenses to have a high school diploma, and four others require at least some applicants to have a diploma. The remaining 32 states and the District of Columbia have no diploma requirement.

Types

  • Most states have two basic kinds of licenses: a "salesperson" or "agent" license, and a "broker" license. The key difference: You need a salesperson license to represent clients in buying and selling real estate, but you need a broker license to actually operate a real estate agency. Salespeople generally must work for brokers. With only a couple of exceptions, states that require a high school diploma to obtain a real estate license apply that requirement to all types of licenses.

Diplomas Required in All Cases

  • According to Mortgage News Daily, which tracks license requirements, 14 states require applicants for all levels of real estate license to have either a high school diploma or an equivalent certification, such as a GED. Those states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Special Rules

  • Four additional states -- Kentucky, Montana, Ohio and Washington -- have high school requirements that don't necessarily apply to all license applicants. Kentucky requires a high school diploma or GED, but the licensing board can waive that requirement for applicants who have earned 28 credit hours at a post-secondary educational institution. In Montana, applicants for a salesperson license need only to have completed high school through the 10th grade; applicants for broker licenses, however, need a diploma or GED. In Ohio, license applicants must have a high school diploma or GED if they were born after 1950. And in Washington state, applicants don't need a diploma or GED for a salesperson license, but they do for a broker license.

Reciprocity

  • Most states have real-estate "reciprocity" agreements with neighboring states. These agreements allow real estate professionals who are already licensed in one state to obtain a license in another state without having to go through the entire training sequence normally required. These agreements can sometimes circumvent a diploma requirement. Alabama, for instance, normally requires license applicants to have a diploma -- but applicants for reciprocal licensing need only fulfill their own state's requirements, then study Alabama law and pass an exam.

References

  • Photo Credit real estate contract image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com
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