If you’re like many newly licensed real estate professionals, you are coming out of an intense period of laser-focused pre-licensing study and haven’t really had the luxury of thinking too much about what lies beyond the licensing exam.
But now that you’re on the other side of that monumental achievement, what’s next?
It’s possible that you have already found your landing spot and a sponsoring broker to help you launch your career. If so, great! That’s a good start.
But what about your personal career growth and development from an educational standpoint? And what are the professional requirements associated with that?
The Difference Between Post-Licensing and Continuing Education Courses
No worries, friend, we’ve got your back!
Many states use these terms interchangeably. But more precise definitions are as follows:
Post-licensing courses are the courses that must be completed between the time you get your license and the time you renew your license for the first time.
Continuing education courses are courses that must be completed during each subsequent renewal period in order to keep your license active throughout your career.
Here’s where it can get tricky, though: Some states provide the newly licensed with post-licensing courses in lieu of continuing education courses, while others require the newbies to take post-licensing courses in addition to continuing education.
A Time and Place for Everything
To understand both the sequence and the purpose of the on-going educational requirements for real estate professionals, start by considering this simple timeline:
Pre-Licensing → Post-Licensing → Continuing Education
Now, consider the goals of each educational phase:
Pre-Licensing: Provide foundational industry knowledge that a prospective licensee needs in order to pass state licensing exams.
Post-Licensing: Reinforce foundational industry knowledge that a newly licensed professional needs in order to properly carry out their daily duties and responsibilities.
Continuing Education: Alert the experienced licensee to relevant changes to state and federal laws and regulations, provide greater depth and understanding in topics appropriate to the experienced licensee, and offer elective courses that potentially align with the areas of interest of the experienced licensee.
Hopefully, you can see how one phase builds upon another, necessarily occurring in the order that they do.
State Post-Licensing Requirements by State
While all states require some form of continuing education, just over half the states require specific post-license courses for new agents prior to the first renewal of their license.
Reminder: With some of these states, the post-license course requirements are in addition to rather than in lieu of continuing education requirements.
Here’s a complete list of those states requiring post-licensing education:
Alabama: 30 hours
Alaska: 30 hours
Arkansas: 18 hours
California: 45 hours
Delaware: 12 hours
Florida: 45 hours
Georgia: 25 hours
Idaho: 19 hours
Illinois: 45 hours
Indiana: 30 hours
Kentucky: 48 hours
Louisiana: 45 hours
Mississippi: 30 hours
New York: 22.5 hours
North Carolina: 90 hours
North Dakota: 15 hours
Ohio: 20 hours
Oklahoma: 45 hours
Oregon: 30 hours
Pennsylvania: 14 hours
South Dakota: 60 hours
Texas: 98 hours
Utah: 18 hours
Vermont: 8 hours
Virginia: 30 hours
Washington: 90 hours
West Virginia: 7 hours
Wisconsin: 18 hours
Wyoming: 45 hours
Learning at Your Convenience
The good news is that most real estate agents will be able to fulfill their post-licensing and continuing education requirements by taking online courses from state-approved educators, like Aceable, when and where they choose — as long as they meet their license cycle deadlines.