Real estate agents and brokers assist in the process of buying and selling real estate for their clients. Working through a broker, agents perform an essential service for both the buyer and seller by promoting the orderly transfer of property. Real estate agents may specialize in selling apartment buildings, or residential, recreational, commercial, industrial or farm property. In the commercial field, real estate agents also become involved in leasing arrangements. Whatever the specialty, agents must have knowledge of all aspects unique to that type of property. Real estate agents are usually paid on a straight commission basis determined by agreement between the broker and the agent. Earnings will vary widely among agents because of the geographic area in which they work and the amount of time and energy put into the job. An agent’s reputation for integrity and service will be the key factor in determining his/her success.

Employment Outlook

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data about the state’s workforce. These data include information about the number of people employed in the field, job outlook, and wage information. While demand for real estate brokers is expected to remain stable, the California EDD predicts that there will continue to be an increased need for real estate agents with 8.1% growth over the period 2008-2018. For more detailed information about positions in the real estate field, check the California Occupational Guide for the occupations listed below:

  • Real Estate Sakes Agents (SOC 41-9022)
  • Real Estate Brokers (SOC 41-9021)

Necessary Education and Skills for Career Success
A real estate agent meets a couple at a house.

Real estate agents and brokers must be licensed by the California Department of Real Estate before they can practice. All applicants for the license must be at least 18 years old and pass an examination administered by the California Department of Real Estate ( There is also an educational requirement for a real estate license, which consists of a college-level course in real estate principles plus two additional courses approved by the Department of Real Estate, one of which must be real estate practices. 

Besides a license, real estate agents will benefit from having strong verbal and written communication skills, a business background, professional telephone and in-person sales techniques, and the ability to work independently.

General Info About the Program

De Anza College offers both a certificate and degree program to help individuals prepare for employment in real estate. In addition to meeting the state licensing requirements for both real estate agents and brokers, these programs also address specifics related to real estate such as real estate finance, appraisal and property management.

* As a result of current and projected budget reductions for California Community Colleges, De Anza College's Real Estate program will have limited course offerings during 2011-12. Please check with the Business Department for updated information.

Real Estate Certificate and Degree Programs

Certificate of Achievement-Advanced

Associate Degree (A.A.)

For more information contact the Business Department:
Business and Computer Systems Division
De Anza L14
(408) 864-8796,8797

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