Your Career in

Real Estate

Q & A

Many people are interested in a career in real estate because of the extra income it will provide. However, whether you choose to work part or full time, you will find other benefits too. For instance, you will meet many interesting people, increase your knowledge and gain the satisfaction from helping others. The following are questions that are often asked together with the explanations to satisfy your curiosity about real estate as a career.

What does a real estate salesperson do?

With a salesperson license there are many jobs regarding real property with which you can become involved.  For compensation, you must work under the supervision and sponsorship of a licensed real estate broker.  You may list and sell and rent and manage real property.

What is the difference between a broker and a real estate salesperson?

A real estate broker is responsible for the supervision and conduct of the real estate brokerage business.  He or she applies for and holds the license on behalf of the brokerage. A real estate salesperson works for and is supervised by the representative broker.

How do I become a real estate salesperson?

In order to qualify for a real estate salesperson license, an applicant must have satisfactorily completed a 45 hour salesperson qualifying education course in real estate approved by the Secretary of State and have passed a state examination.

How do I become a real estate broker?

To become a broker you must become a salesperson first and work for a minimum of one year full time under the supervision of the representative broker, show proof of completing successfully 90 hours of education, and pass the NYS broker licensing examination.  The American Real Estate School has been NYS approved since 1969. We have trained tens of thousands of students in real estate and real estate related fields. We offer courses days, nights and weekends at five different locations.

Can I become a broker without becoming a salesperson if I have real estate experience?

It would be possible if you have at least two years experience as an investor, developer or property manager. The Department of State will decide if your related real estate experience is acceptable.

How do I select a broker?


Of course you can always check your local newspaper for recruitment ads and career nights that real estate offices often sponsor. Decide where you would like to work. Many people prefer a familiar neighborhood. It is not usually difficult to find a broker to sponsor you.  At your interview, ask the broker what hours they require you to work in the office, full time or part time, is there a training program and is there a charge for training, any start up fees and discuss the commission arrangement.


Do I have to pass an exam?


There are actually two exams you need to pass to obtain a real estate license.  First, you must pass the 45 hour qualifying course final exam at the end of your course.  NYS also requires you to pass a 50 question multiple choice exam.  The American Real Estate School fully prepares you for both exams.  We give each student a free study package containing sample tests and study materials.


What are the start up expenses?


Tuition for the 45 hour salesperson qualifying course is $175 and the textbook for the course is $45.   The NYS exam fee is $15 and the license fee payable to NYS Dept. of State is $50. The license must be renewed every two years.  Depending on what firm you choose, you might have to pay national, state and local board yearly dues and multiple listing services fees.  Your brokerage firm may also require you to pay for training and to buy business cards, etc.


How much money could I typically earn as a beginning real estate salesperson?


Many things factor into this answer. For instance, where you work, the type of company you work for and whether you will work part or full time and your motivation can all make a big difference. Generally, the full timer will generate more income in a shorter time than the part timer.  A first year full timer may average $50,000.  Part timers may average $35,000. There are often times when a hard working, highly motivated part timer will earn as much as a full timer who is less motivated. These salary figures only serve as a guideline. There are no limitations to your earning potential, even during the first year.


Will I be paid by commission, hourly wage or flat fee?


Since there is no set fee for selling real property, brokers are usually paid a percentage of the selling price of a property.  A salesperson involved in the transaction will then receive a portion of this percentage from their broker.  There are no set percentages.  It is negotiable.


Do I need a separate license for residential and commercial sales?


No. The NYS license will encompass all dealings with real property including residential and commercial transactions. Since the licensing curriculum is geared toward residential activities, if your goal is commercial sales, you should seek out a mentor in the commercial real estate field.