Becoming a real estate agent in Chicago does not take a college degree and is actually easier and takes less time than earning a bachelor's degree. Requirements for licensing can differ from state to state, so it's important to meet the requirements for Illinois only when considering a job in real estate in Chicago.
Make sure you're eligible to start the real estate agent program. The requirements in Illinois are that you must be at least 21 years old and already have a high school diploma before you can start the course to become a real estate agent.
Sign up for a licensing course. You'll need 45 hours of real estate coursework before you can get your license. You'll take these courses in a classroom, online or using self-study. Classroom options include 5 days, Monday through Friday, 5 Saturdays or 12 evening sessions and are held all over Illinois. Online courses can be completed through various education websites. Tuition is around $300.
Study for the real estate licensing exam once you've completed your 45 hours of class. In Illinois, there's an AMP review course that can help you prepare. One class is to prepare for the test and another class covers real estate math. Both classes together will cost you $150. AMP (Applied Measurement Professionals) is the company that administers the Chicago real estate license exam.
Register to take the license exam. The tests are administered at AMP centers all around Illinois. You'll be taking the test Monday through Friday at either 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. or on Saturday in Chicago. Find the center closest to you and make an appointment. The fee is $46, and you'll have to fill out the application form and submit it online, by mail or by fax. You'll have three chances to pass.
Apply for your broker license with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation once you've passed the licensing exam. Call (217) 782-3414 for more information, or go to the website for the application forms. You'll pay another fee to obtain your real estate license for Chicago.
Keep up with your continuing education as a real estate agent and renew your license every 2 years. Real estate salespeople and brokers need 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years to keep their licenses.
It's also recommended to read the "Candidate Handbook: Illinois Real Estate Examination Program" written by the AMP before you take the licensing test.