There are a few steps to becoming a real estate agent in Canada. For example, you’ll need to take online courses and then pass an exam. The process differs depending on the province where you want to work, but it usually takes about 12 weeks from start to finish.
The preparation process to become a real estate agent differs from province to province.
The process to become a real estate agent differs from province to province. Each province and territory is responsible for setting their own standards and requirements for licensing, so that’s why you’ll see different timeframes on this page.
For example, Alberta requires pre-licensing education through an approved program before you can apply for your license at all. If your application is accepted by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), you will receive your license in about 4–5 weeks after submitting all required documents and paying the fee.
What you need to do to get a real estate license in Ontario
To get a real estate license in Ontario, you’ll need to:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Graduate from high school or earn an equivalent certificate.
- Have no criminal convictions that are considered non-disqualifying by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). This means you can’t have been convicted of fraud or any other crimes related to financial matters. You also cannot have been convicted of a sexual offense against a person 18 years or older who was not your spouse at the time, unless it happened when you were 12-15 years old and it’s now more than five years since you completed your sentence for this crime.
- The only exception is if one of these cases involves drug possession with intent to traffic under s 2(3) Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), in which case RECO will consider whether there’s evidence that demonstrates exceptional circumstances justifying your continued licensure despite the conviction(s).
Licensing requirements can be met in as little as 12 weeks.
You may be wondering how long it takes to get your license. Licensing requirements can be met in as little as 12 weeks if you’re determined to get into real estate, but the amount of time you need could vary depending on the province or area you’re applying for a license in.
- Ontario: The licensing process involves passing examinations and completing an industry-recognized course that covers all aspects of real estate practice and law. The course is divided into eight modules, which take around four weeks each to complete. The final module must be completed before taking the exam.
- British Columbia: Prospective agents must complete a broker-specific course through one of four approved agencies before sitting for their provincial exam.
- Alberta: Applicants will need proof of English proficiency and must complete an online course prior to sitting for their provincial exam.
Pre-licensing course (Theory)
The pre-licensing course (theory) is a three-month program. It is offered at various times throughout the year, so there are no set start dates. The cost of the course varies depending on your location and whether you take it online or in person.
Pre-licensing practical training
Practical training is the next step. You will need to complete a minimum of 32 hours of practical training in order for your license application to be considered complete and ready for submission. This type of training is done under the supervision of a licensed broker or salesperson and includes:
- shadowing an existing broker at their office or visiting properties;
- observing open houses;
- showing clients real estate listings;
For those who do not have this kind of access to learning opportunities, there are also online courses that can help prepare you for your initial practical training requirements.
The process can vary from province to province and may take up to 6 months.
In some provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, it could take up to 2 years or more. In other provinces like Alberta and Quebec, the process takes between 1-3 years. In Newfoundland & Labrador, it takes 4 years because of curriculum changes.
If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent in Canada then it’s best to do some research on the process for each province before enrolling in any courses. In general, you will need to take an online pre-licensing course, complete at least 60 hours of practical training and then pass an exam before applying for your license. The exact length of time it takes will depend on which province you want to work in since each province has its own requirements.