How to Get Your Real Estate License in Chicago

How to Get Your Real Estate License in Chicago

Thinking about a career in real estate? With more and more construction in Illinois, especially in Chicago, there’s serious money to be made for real estate agents who are willing to put in the hard work that’s necessary for success. If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are the steps you’ll have to take.

1. What type of License do You Want?

Illinois is unlike most other states in that there is not a salesperson’s license. If you’re looking to become a real estate agent, you have two options for licensure: a leasing agent license and a broker’s license. As a leasing agent, you are only licensed to assist with apartment rentals and leasing. This is a good option for somebody who is interested in seeing if real estate is a good fit for them, as the education requirement is far less than that for a broker’s license. Also if you are under 21 years of age, this is the only type of real estate license for which you will qualify.

A Broker’s license will allow you to lease, buy and sell property on the behalf of your clients.

For both licenses, you must be at least 18, and show documentation that you have a high school degree.

2. Education

Once you’ve decided on the type of license that you will obtain, you have to register for the required course hours at an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation accredited real estate school. For a Broker’s license, you will have to complete 90 hours of pre-license Education. Of these 90 hours, 15 hours must be classroom or webinar based. The broker’s license also requires an additional 30 hours of education post-licensure.

For a leasing license, you are only required to need 15 hours of pre-license education.

3. The Exam

Once you’ve completed the education requirements, you have to pass the Illinois licensure exam. The proctored exams must be taken at a location approved by the State of Illinois. Visit the Illinois Division of Real Estate at to find an exam center near you.

To pass the exam, you will need to score at least a 75. There is an exam fee of $46.

4. Applying for your license

If you pass the exam, you can apply for your license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To apply, you must work under for a brokerage, where a managing broker sponsors you. There is a $125 fee to apply for your broker’s license and a $75 fee for the leasing license.

5. Reciprocity

As in all other states, obtaining a real estate license in Illinois will allow you to work in other states with minimal, or no extra training. At this time, Illinois has reciprocity with Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

The Illinois real estate market is getting hotter and hotter, especially in Chicago, where the charms of the city and the job market continue to draw people from across the country. If you’ve ever had an interest in becoming a Real Estate agent, now’s the time!