Guide: How to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York 2023 (With and Without College)

If you’re considering a career in real estate even as a side-hustle, you’re in the right place. Since the pandemic, there was a surge in real estate activity and today is still an amazing time to jump on the opportunity. People must have a place to live, and why not help them find their dream home and investment as a career.

Real estate is a booming industry and many are considering it as a career. Here’s an overview of how long it takes to become a real estate agent, the education required, how to enter the field without a degree, and potential earnings in a high-demand market like New York City.

How much does a real estate agent make?

Many people are drawn to a career in real estate for reasons including flexible work hours, the ability to be their own boss, and the potential for high earnings. It can also be fulfilling to help clients find their dream homes or make successful property investments.

Regarding income, real estate agents’ earnings largely depend on the number of transactions they complete and the commission they earn on those deals. The market conditions in a state or city also significantly influence income.

Here is a table showing the average annual pay for real estate agents in some of the highest paying states, according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of my last training cut-off in September 2021):

State Average Annual Pay
New York $111,8001
Massachusetts $84,1801
Connecticut $79,7801
Alaska $79,3601
Colorado $76,8501

Please note that these figures are averages. An individual agent’s income can vary significantly from these amounts based on factors such as experience, skills, and the specific market in which they work.


  1. “Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents” – 2 3 4 5

How Long Does It Take to Be a Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a real estate agent can take anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on the state requirements. The process includes pre-licensing education, passing the real estate exam, and meeting other state-specific criteria[^1^].

Step 1: Pre-licensing Education

This step varies widely by state. For example, in California, you’re required to complete 135 hours of pre-licensing education, while in Texas, it’s 180 hours[^2^]. This education can often be completed online, at your own pace.

Step 2: Real Estate Exam

After completing your education, you need to pass the real estate exam. The exam generally consists of a national portion and a state-specific portion.

Step 3: Application and Other Requirements

Once you pass the exam, you must apply for a real estate license. This usually involves a background check and meeting other state requirements, such as age and residency.

How Many Years of College to Be a Real Estate Agent?

There’s no universal requirement for a college degree to become a real estate agent. Some states require only a high school diploma or equivalent, along with the completion of pre-licensing courses[^3^]. However, a degree in real estate, business, finance, or a related field can provide valuable knowledge and credibility in the industry.

How to become a real estate agent in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona

State Steps Link to Get Started
Florida 1. Be at least 18 years old. 2. Complete and pass the state-approved 63-hour Sales Associate pre-license course. 3. Submit a state application. 4. Get fingerprints taken. 5. Pass the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Examination. Florida Real Estate Commission
Texas 1. Be at least 18 years old. 2. Complete 180 hours of required education. 3. File your application for a license. 4. Get fingerprints taken and pass a background check. 5. Pass the Texas Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Texas Real Estate Commission
North Carolina 1. Be at least 18 years old. 2. Complete the 75-hour North Carolina Broker Pre-licensing Course. 3. Submit an application to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. 4. Pass the North Carolina real estate examination. North Carolina Real Estate Commission
Tennessee 1. Be at least 18 years old. 2. Complete the 60-hour Basic Principles of Real Estate Course. 3. Pass the Tennessee real estate examination. 4. Submit an application to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. 5. Complete the 30-hour Course for New Affiliates before your license can be issued. Tennessee Real Estate Commission
Arizona 1. Be at least 18 years old. 2. Complete 90 hours of “in classroom” Real Estate Salesperson pre-licensing education. 3. Pass the Arizona state real estate examination. 4. Complete 6 hours of Contract Writing classes. 5. Submit an application and obtain a Fingerprint Clearance Card. Arizona Department of Real Estate

If you’re looking to become a part-time real estate agent, this is your Roadmap for your first year.


  1. Increase personal brand recognition.
  2. Improve lead generation strategies.
  3. Expand the client network.
  4. Maintain a high conversion rate from leads to actual sales.
  5. Continuously improve knowledge about the current real estate market.


  1. Struggle with finding quality leads.
  2. Difficulties in marketing and promoting listings.
  3. Lack of networking opportunities.
  4. Staying updated with the rapidly changing real estate market.
  5. Managing time and resources effectively.


  1. Use CRM tools to manage leads more effectively.
  2. Invest in online advertising and social media promotion.
  3. Attend industry networking events and participate in online forums.
  4. Subscribe to real estate news platforms and research tools.
  5. Employ project management tools for better time and resource management.

Monthly Expenses:

  1. Subscription to a CRM platform: $50-$300
  2. Online advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads): $1000-$2000
  3. Real estate listing services: $30-$50
  4. Industry event participation: Variable
  5. Subscription to real estate news platforms: $20-$50
  6. Project management tools: $10-$50




  1. “Real Estate CRM & Marketing Solution | Follow Up Boss” –
  2. “Online Advertising: Everything You Need to Know in 2021” –
  3. “The Top Online Real Estate Listing Websites” –
  4. “Top Project Management Tools” –
  5. “Real Estate News – Residential and Commercial Real Estate News” –
  6. “How to Use Zillow for Your Real Estate Business” –
  7. “Real Estate License School Online, Courses, Classes” –

Please note that the expenses listed are estimated based on industry standards and may vary depending on specific choices and requirements of the individual.

Moreover, the actual movements of a real estate agent starting a new career or looking to revamp their business are hard to determine without access to specific data about the individual, hence it’s not provided in the table.

Andrew Wise

Published by
Andrew Wise

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