Real estate program Q & A

According to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) a total of 29,470 single-family homes sold from June – August 2020. With summer being the best time for sellers and the time of year that home buyers get serious about their house hunts, what better way to transition into a career in real estate than through San Jacinto College’s real estate program. Program director David Turnquist took some time to answer some of the most common questions about the program.


Q: What kinds of careers are available in real estate?

A: There are many to choose from including real estate agent, broker, appraiser, inspector, leasing agent, property manager, loan officer, and commercial property specialist just to name a few.


Q: How much money do real estate agents make? 

A: Real estate agents are independent contractors and work under the supervision of a licensed broker. Agents earn money by commissions on the sales they make. If you don’t sell anything then you don’t make any money. If you sell a lot of homes, then you’ll make a lot of money. The amount of money you make is really up to you and how hard you want to work. The average first year real estate agent earns less than $20,000, however, the average experienced agent with at least five years of experience can earn more than $60,000 a year, with many agents earning more than $100,000 a year. The potential is there if you have a business plan and work hard at marketing yourself.


Q: How long does it take to complete the program and get a license? 

A: The sales agent license requires six courses that are required by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), which can be completed in one semester (16 weeks) if a student is attending full time. After completion of those six courses, students are eligible to take the TREC licensing exam. A broker license requires 900 clock hours (60 semester hours), which the Associate of Applied Science in Real Estate meets. Students can complete the Associate of Applied Science in Real Estate in two years if they attend full time.


Q: Are there any fees to obtain a state license? 

A:  Yes. There is a $205 application fee to TREC, and the state licensing exam costs $54. Once you have your license, you can expect another $500-$1,000 in membership fees to TREC and HAR. There will also be additional costs such as purchasing lockboxes, signs, flyer boxes, and other necessary items to operate your real estate business.


Q: Which campuses offer the real estate courses? 

A: We offer real estate courses at the Central, North, and South Campuses each semester, including the summer. The six state-required courses are offered in the morning, evening, and online.


Learn more about San Jacinto College’s real estate program degree and certificate options.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries, and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient, and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.