Any and all types of people can succeed in a real estate career and many originate from fields such as retailing, teaching, communications, government, and the armed forces. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) Members Profile, nearly 70% of sales agents came to real estate from a non-related field and only one in four agents had previously worked in a management or sales position.
Education is very important to the success of an agent. Most states require a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, but a college degree is not critical. In fact, just three of every ten sales agents have college degrees, according to the NAR Members Profile, and only about half have taken any college courses at all.
However, it is the lack of real estate knowledge that most people lack and that which successful real estate professionals need to obtain. This is usually done through additional courses, often referred to as certifications or designations that cover many different fields of expertise such as buyer agency, seller agency, staging, luxury homes, working with different generations, online marketing, knowing the neighborhood, etc.
To keep your license active, state laws require that real estate agents continue their education through MCE (mandatory continuing education) courses.