If you currently have your Illinois real estate broker license, you know the benefits of being a salesperson in the flexible and highly lucrative real estate industry. You probably also know that by becoming a managing broker, you’ll have even more ways to earn money and advance your career.

If you’d like to recruit and manage a team of real estate brokers while also assisting your own clients, keep reading. We’ll walk you through the process of becoming a managing broker. Let’s get started!

What Are the Managing Broker License Requirements in Illinois?

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Quick Facts

Illinois Real Estate Governing Body:

Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation – Division of Real Estate


Prelicensing Requirements:

45 Hours


Prelicensing Course Cost:

$200 (Through Colibri Real Estate)


Estimated Total Cost:


To be eligible for a managing broker license in Illinois, you must:

  • Be at least 20 years old
  • Hold an active, valid real estate broker license in Illinois
  • Have held an active real estate broker license for two of the past three years

If you meet these minimum qualifications, it’s time to learn how to become a managing broker in Illinois. We’ll recommend an online real estate school and answer common questions about the process, the role, and whether or not it’s worth doing.

How to Get a Managing Broker License in Illinois

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How to Get a Managing Broker License in Illinois
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Complete a 45-hour Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker License Course
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Pass the Illinois Managing Broker Exam
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Apply for Your Managing Broker License in Illinois

There are three basic steps to earn your real estate managing broker license in Illinois: education, exam, and application. Here’s the skinny on each of the steps.

1. Complete a 45-hour Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker License Course

If you’re currently licensed and have been a beginning broker in Illinois for two of the past three years, you only have to take 45 hours of additional class time to be eligible to apply for your managing broker license. The state divides the course into two sections:

  1. Managing broker prelicensing topics (30 hours)
  2. Managing broker prelicensing applied management and supervision (15-hour interactive course)

Depending on how much time you can carve out of your schedule, you might be able to complete these classes in one to two weeks. Please note that the 15-hour course is interactive, which means you need to take it in person or live online. Also, you need to choose a real estate school that’s been approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

While there are many approved real estate schools on their list, we highly recommend Colibri Real Estate. Their Managing Broker Basics course is both affordable and easy to use.

Learn more about how to pursue your real estate broker license in Illinois by visiting the Colibri Real Estate website. Use our code “TheClose30” and get 30% off!

2. Pass the Illinois Managing Broker Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete:

3.5 hours



Computer-based, 140 multiple choice questions


Bring to Testing Center:

Two valid forms of ID


Passing Grade:


After successfully completing the 45 hours of real estate classes, you’ll be eligible to take the managing broker exam. The easiest way to schedule your exam is to visit the PSI testing website. PSI is the testing company that oversees the Illinois managing broker exam.

There are 31 PSI testing sites in Illinois, located in the following cities:

  • Addison
  • Bloomington
  • Buffalo Grove
  • Carbondale
  • Carol Stream
  • Champaign
  • Chicago
  • Collinsville
  • Des Plaines
  • Elgin
  • Franklin Park
  • Galesburg
  • Glen Ellyn
  • Lake-In-the-Hills
  • Matteson
  • Midlothian
  • Mokena
  • Moline
  • Naperville
  • Park Ridge
  • Rockford
  • Schaumburg
  • Springfield
  • Urbana
  • West Chicago
  • Westmont

You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site. No personal items are allowed in the testing center. Learn more about test expectations from the PSI Candidate Handbook for the State of Illinois.

Bring the following to the testing center:

  • A current, valid, government-issued ID with a photograph and signature.
  • Another form of ID (may also be a government-issued) that has your name and signature.
  • To gain entry for the test, you must also provide biometric identification. This means that a testing center employee may ask to take your photo or scan your fingerprint.

The managing broker exam is divided into two sections, with items covering national real estate issues and state-specific real estate questions. You’ll get 150 minutes for the national portion and 90 minutes for the state portion of the exam.

The national section is presented as 10 simulation problems. Each problem will describe a scenario and you’ll need to answer a series of questions based on each one. At times, you may have to choose the single best option, and other times, you may need to select multiple solutions.

The state portion of the exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions related to topics associated with Illinois real estate law.

You’ll learn whether you passed or failed immediately upon completion. If you passed only one section, you’ll have one year to retake and pass the remaining section, then apply for your license, as long as you meet all other requirements for licensure.

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The Average Real Estate Broker Salary for Every State

3. Apply for Your Managing Broker License in Illinois

If you pass both sections of the Illinois managing broker exam, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your professional background and criminal history. Additionally, they’ll want to know if you’re in arrears for child support or state taxes.

If there’s nothing in your background that requires further review, you’ll apply for your license with the state next. This process is completed through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation service portal.

The application is rather straightforward. However, if you’re planning to open your own real estate brokerage, you’ll need to complete additional steps to get your business up and running before applying for your managing broker license.

And that’s it! Once the state approves your application, you’ll be able to work as a managing broker in Illinois real estate.

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How to Start a Real Estate Brokerage in 2024 (Without Going Broke)

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Managing Broker License in Illinois?

It costs approximately $400 to get your managing broker license in Illinois and begin leading other real estate brokers. This is a great deal, considering that, with a managing broker license, you can collect desk fees and a portion of the commissions earned by brokers who work under you.

Related Article
Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Sample Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker License Costs

Classes (45 hours)
$200 (through Colibri Real Estate)
Illinois managing broker exam fee
Managing broker license
Total costs

(Illinois real estate managing broker license costs as of June 2023)

Pursue your Illinois real estate broker license by enrolling in managing broker courses with Colibri Real Estate. Use our code “TheClose30” and get 30% off!

Do Real Estate Managing Brokers Make Good Money in Illinois?

Yes. A managing broker’s income in Illinois averages at $73,913, according to The Close’s proprietary salary information database.

Some of that income comes from collecting desk fees and a share of the commissions of the real estate sales brokers working under a managing broker.

Additionally, some managing brokers receive income from the ownership of businesses such as title or mortgage companies.

However, if you aren’t interested in opening your own brokerage, you may still raise your yearly income just by having a managing broker license. High-volume and luxury real estate clients often seek the help of a managing broker for transactions in the millions. And you won’t have to split that commission with a managing broker.

Related Article
The Average Real Estate Broker Salary for Every State

Illinois Real Estate Broker License FAQs

It’s a pretty straightforward process to get your managing broker license in Illinois. However, is it worth it? Here are our thoughts on the matter, as well as answers to other frequently asked questions on this topic such as the difficulty of the managing broker exam as well as how long the process takes and how much it costs.

More Career Resources From The Close

Are you excited to become a managing broker in Illinois? We hope that this guide helps. Check out other resources from The Close that will help you succeed at every stage of your real estate career.

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