Career in Real Estate

//Career in Real Estate
Career in Real Estate2019-06-12T15:37:40-05:00

A career in real estate can offer variety, independence, and great earning potential. Is a real estate career right for you?

Picture yourself in a career you love

When you decide you want a career in real estate, you have options. You can earn a broker, managing broker, or leasing agent license. Each license has its own education requirements and responsibilities. Most people who are getting their real estate license for the first time choose to earn a broker license.

Once you have your license, you can obtain additional certifications and designations if you want to specialize in one or more areas of practice.

Real estate professionals have the opportunity to specialize in areas of practice. Below are some paths you could take with a real estate license.

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Brokers help individuals buy, sell or rent residential real property, act as an intermediary between sellers and buyers during negotiations, and help draw up the necessary legal paperwork to complete transactions.

Licensing requirements: To qualify for an Illinois Real Estate Broker License in Illinois, you must be at least 21 years old, a high school graduate or equivalent (G.E.D.), successfully complete the required coursework and pass the state licensing exam. The 90 hours of required coursework includes a 75-hour Broker Pre-License Topics course and a 15-hour Broker Pre-License Applied Real Estate Principles interactive course.

Leasing Agent

Leasing agents work with property owners to market and show their properties and attract good tenants. They also help renters find and lease properties.

Licensing requirements: In order to obtain a Leasing Agent license in the State of Illinois you must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate or equivalent (G.E.D.), successfully complete a 15-hour Leasing Agent course at a real estate school approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, pass the state licensing exam.  You can get the Leasing Agent Pre-License Home Study or check the Education Calendar for live classes.

Managing Broker

Managing brokers do all the things brokers do, but work independently and are able to supervise other agents. Some managing brokers own or manage their own brokerage.

Licensing requirements: All new licensees who require managerial privileges are required to earn a Managing Broker license. To qualify for a Managing Broker license in Illinois you must be at least 21 years old, have an active valid Illinois real estate broker license, had an active real estate license for two (2) of the past three (3) years, successfully complete the required coursework and pass the state licensing exam.

If you have a broker license and meet the two out of three year requirement, it is assumed you have completed the 120 Broker pre-license  requirement and you will only be required to take an additional 45 hours .

The 45 required course hours include a 30-hour Managing Broker Pre-License Topics course and a 15-hour Managing Broker  Pre-License Applied Management and Supervision interactive course.  (Managing Broker Pre-License webinar and classroom dates are extremely limited.  If not listed in the store or on the classroom calendar, no classes are currently scheduled.)

Applicants who have never held a license will first have to complete the 90-hour Broker license requirement and the 30 hours of post license and follow with the 45-hour Managing  Broker requirement. You will not be able to apply for your Managing Broker license until you have met the two out of three year practicing broker requirement.

Residential brokerage

When working with sellers, residential brokers help them get the best possible price for their home. When working with buyers, they help identify properties that appeal to the buyer and negotiate the best price.

Commercial brokerage

Individuals who work in commercial real estate specialize in income-producing properties such as apartments and office buildings, retail stores, shopping centers and industrial parks. Commercial brokers can assist buyers in determining if a property is a good investment or in the leasing and managing of commercial properties. Learn more about the commercial real estate specialty.


Appraisers provide expert opinions as to the value of properties. Real estate is appraised to determine many types of values, be it assessed value for tax purposes, insured value, book value for accounting purposes, present value for potential investors or rental value for income projections. They evaluate all factors that affect the potential use of the property at present and in the future. A separate license is needed here.

Farm and land brokerage

Land brokers not only deal with land for farming and recreation, they also deal with land for residential, commercial, and industrial expansion. Land brokers analyze the income potential for properties and determine a farm’s capacity to produce based on their knowledge of agriculture and the market.

Land developer

Land developers attempt to put land to its most profitable use through the construction of improvements. They organize and supervise the project from the acquisition of land all the way through construction and final sale, including site selection, planning and layout, and financing.

Urban planner

Urban planners work with local governments and other civic groups to develop productive and convenient ways to use land and water resources for urban renewal projects. They influence many aspects of community life as they try to accommodate the city’s future growth.

International real estate

Global transactions are becoming increasingly common to all kinds of business. Each of these real estate specialties can be pursued in a global arena. Real estate professionals can be a resource to consumers through assisting foreign investors or helping local buyers invest abroad. Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) is a designation for those interested in global real estate transactions.

Are you ready to get licensed?

Start by reviewing our Get a Real Estate License in Illinois page.

Find a real estate course now


Leasing Agent

Do you already have your license and want to enhance your career?

Take your career to the next level with a designation or certification.

Contact an Illinois REALTORS® Education Specialist

We are happy to answer your questions!
Chat with us online, call (800) 523-5077 or email
Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.