With all the stunning properties across Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Harrisburg, it’s easy to imagine a real estate career in Pennsylvania. Becoming a real estate agent in PA is a relatively easy process, and we’ve broken down each step to make it easier for you.

Read our guide on how to get a real estate license in PA and you’ll be selling homes in the Keystone State in no time. First, we’ll make sure you’re eligible, then we’ll dive into the five steps you’ll need to take.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in PA

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How to Get a Real Estate License in Pennsylvania
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Complete a 75-hour Prelicensing Course
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Pass the PA Real Estate License Exam
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Join a PA Real Estate Brokerage
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Submit to a Background Check
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Apply for Your Pennsylvania Real Estate License

To be eligible for a Pennsylvania real estate license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass a background check

Now, let’s break down each step to get you on your way.

1. Complete a 75-hour Prelicensing Course

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission requires prospective real estate agents to complete a 75-hour prelicensing course, which covers 30 hours of real estate license fundamentals and 45 hours of a real estate license practice course. You will have to pass a course test before you’re allowed to take the state licensing exam.

If you’re looking for a real estate school in PA, we recommend The CE Shop. The company offers a free trial of their Pennsylvania prelicensing course so you can test out its online platform before you buy.

You can save 35% on your online Pennsylvania real estate classes with The CE Shop when you use the promo code TheClose35 at checkout.

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2. Pass the PA Real Estate License Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete:

3 hours



120 multiple-choice questions


What to Bring:

2 forms of valid ID


Passing Grade:

75% for both national and state

After you take your classes and pass your course exam, it’s time to move on to state testing. The Pennsylvania real estate license exam is taken on a computer and consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. You’ll have 3.5 hours to complete the license exam: 2.5 hours to complete the national portion and one hour to complete the state portion. To pass, you’ll need to get 75% correct in both sections.

You have five years to take your license exam from the time you complete your prelicensing course. After those five years have passed, you’ll need to retake the prelicensing course.

Pearson VUE administers the Pennsylvania real estate license exam. You can schedule your exam online or by phone at 833-551-0235. You’ll need to fill out an application and include payment of the $49 license exam fee.

Make sure you bring two pieces of valid ID. One of the pieces of ID will need to have your photo and a signature. You may bring a non-programmable calculator to the exam for the real estate math portion.

Here’s a list of testing center locations:

  • Allentown
  • Altoona
  • Erie
  • Harrisburg
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburg
  • State College

3. Join a PA Real Estate Brokerage

In Pennsylvania, prospective agents must have an employing broker in order to be involved in real estate transactions. This broker is essentially agreeing to take on your training and support as you embark on your real estate career. 

It’s essential that you have this lined up before you apply for your license. The commonwealth will require your employing broker to approve your application in the Pennsylvania online application portal.

If you want to learn more about what to consider when choosing a brokerage to affiliate with, check out our section on compensation below.

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4. Submit to a Background Check

Before you can apply for your license, you’ll need to obtain a recent Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) from the state police. And if you’ve lived or worked outside Pennsylvania during the past five years, you’ll need to provide a CHRC from each state where you were a resident as well as an FBI Identity History Summary Check. The reports must be less than 180 days old at the time of submission.

5. Apply for Your PA Real Estate License

To become a real estate agent in PA, you’ll need to create an account with the Pennsylvania Licensing System, or PALS. You’ll save all the information pertaining to your application in this account, which you can access whenever you need. Here’s what you’ll need for your application: 

  • Criminal history record information 
  • National real estate exam results
  • Pennsylvania real estate exam results
  • Letter of good standing (if applying for a reciprocal license)
  • Sponsoring broker information

After you’ve uploaded the required documents and submitted your information, click on Send to Broker and your employing broker will be able to review and approve your application. 

After your application is approved by your employing broker and the commission (which usually takes a week), you should receive a copy of your license within seven to 10 business days.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in PA?

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Quick Facts

Pennsylvania Real Estate Governing Body:

Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission


Prelicensing Requirements:

75 hours


Price Range for Real Estate Licensing Courses:



Estimated Total Costs:


It will cost anywhere from $600 to $900 to get your real estate license in Pennsylvania. The costs include your required prelicensing course, as well as the license exam fee and other fees. In general, this doesn’t include extras like exam preparation tools.

Sample Pennsylvania Real Estate License Costs

Prelicensing classes (75 hours)
$419-$685 (through The CE Shop)
Exam registration
Background check
License application
Total Costs:

(Pennsylvania real estate license costs as of September 2023)

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in PA?

It all depends on the number of deals and commission splits, but according to The Close’s salary information database, the average real estate agent in Pennsylvania makes $65,949.

Whether you decide to commit yourself full time or part time to your new career, here are some important things to know about compensation as you begin your search for a brokerage partner.

  • Split: This is how the company you work under will divide commissions between you and your broker. For example, a 50-50 split means that the brokerage and salesperson share the commission evenly. Some may offer you a larger share.
  • Desk fee: Some brokerages may charge a monthly fee for access to equipment and support. If you are required to pay a desk fee, you might keep a larger share of your commissions via a better split. But the desk fee is collected whether you’ve closed a sale or not. 
  • Cap: Some brokerages might offer a cap, meaning once you bring in a certain amount, you’ll get to keep all of your commission.
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Pennsylvania Real Estate License FAQs

Bringing It All Together

We hope our step-by-step guide to getting your Pennsylvania real estate license has you excited to start your new real estate journey. At The Close, we’re committed to providing actionable strategies for every stage of your career.

Have you gotten your real estate license in Pennsylvania? Any tips? Thinking of getting one but still have questions? Leave us a comment below!