Real estate is a rewarding career, and you won’t be stuck behind a desk all day. You’re out meeting people, showing properties, analyzing markets, and staging homes.  As a real estate agent, you guide people through the biggest financial investment of their lives. You can even help dreams come true.

In Washington State, there are brokers, managing brokers, designated brokers, and branch managers.

So, how do you become a real estate broker? The short answer is to take a course, pass a test, get a license. The long answer is more complicated.

General Requirements

Each state regulatory agency develops licensing systems and requirements to protect the public from unqualified, unethical real estate professionals. If you want to buy or sell the property, you must have an active real estate license from the Washington Department of Licensing.

To qualify for a Washington broker’s license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Successfully complete 90 hours of approved real estate education within 2 years before applying for the exam.
  • Pass the broker’s exam.

Course Requirements

To qualify for a broker’s license, you must successfully complete 90 hours of approved real estate education including a:

  • 60-hour course in Real Estate Fundamentals and
  • 30-hour course in Real Estate Practices

Steps for Getting a Real Estate License 

So you want to be a real estate agent in Washington. To do that, complete the steps below.

  1. Register with AMP: Before completing your course, you must register as a student with the testing vendor, Applied Measurements Professionals, Inc. (AMP).
  2. Successfully complete prelicensing education: Complete 90 hours of approved prelicensing education online or in person within 2 years before applying for the exam.
  3. Schedule your exam: After your education information is submitted to AMP, schedule your exam online by phone or by mail.
  4. Pass the licensing exam
  5. Find a designated broker: Real estate brokers must be sponsored by a licensed designated broker. This broker’s office is where you’ll be working and learning. There is a section on the license application for employing firm information.

Then, it’s time to apply for a real estate broker license. To apply for a license, you must:

  1. Complete the Real Estate License Application form.
  2. Submit the application with a check for the $146.25 broker fee, payable to the Department of Licensing.
  3. Submit fingerprints for state and national background checks

What Else Should You Know About Becoming a Real Estate Agent?

License Renewal

Your real estate license will expire every two years. You must complete the required continuing education, pay a fee, and renew your license online or by mail.

Washington broker continuing education requirements include:

  • First renewal:
    • 30–hour Advanced Practices Course
    • 30–hour Real Estate Law Course
    • 30 hours of approved continuing education, including a 3–hour Core Course
  • Subsequent renewals: 30 hours of approved continuing education, including a 3–hour Core Course

Real Estate Market

According to Glassdoor, the average salary range for a real estate agent in Washington state is $60,00 to $66,000, but this can vary quite a bit according to location and an agent’s motivation and hustle. A broker’s pay comes from a portion of commissions based on the sales price of completed transactions.

Washington Real Estate Commission

The mission of the Commission is to protect and promote the public interest, including the interests of regulated licensees and the interests of consumers, by the development and administration of the licensing laws and regulations.

National Association of REALTORS®

The largest professional association in the real estate industry, the National Association of REALTORS® was first organized in 1908. To become a member, you must be licensed in an individual state to sell real estate and join the local NAR Association. A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who subscribes to a strict code of ethics known as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

So there it is. A quick breakdown of what you need to do to get a real estate broker license in Washington. If you have any questions, visit the WA Department of Licensing web site. States periodically update their requirements, so it’s smart to visit the DOL web site once in a while to stay up to date.