Obtaining a Real Estate License in Wisconsin


A Midwest state with consistent population growth and a family-oriented culture, Wisconsin draws people in with its natural terrain and scenic environment. Realtors in this state find a pleasant place to work. For those wondering how to get a real estate license in this state, they should begin by reading the following information. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services handles all realty licensing through the Real Estate Board. People considering a real estate license should note that Wisconsin recognizes an apprentice license in addition to its basic salesperson and broker licenses. This article will mainly address a salesperson license, though it will contain limited information regarding the apprentice license as it forms the basis for other advanced licensing.

Basic Prerequisites

The realty board in Wisconsin requires people interested in becoming salespersons to hold an apprentice salesperson license first. For these, a person must be 18 years old, a Wisconsin resident and working under the supervision of a licensed broker. Additional information on apprentice permits may be found online. The apprentice license lasts for one year, at which point candidates must apply for a salesperson license.

To be considered for a salesperson license in Wisconsin, all applicants must complete the educational requirements, pass the licensing exam and submit an official application. Special considerations are taken for applicants who hold licenses in other jurisdictions, which are discussed under “Additional Information” below. In addition, applicants should pay the $75 new licensing fee.

Training & Education

In order to obtain a real estate license in Wisconsin, applicants must complete either 72 hours of prelicensure coursework from an approved real estate school or complete 10 credit hours in real estate or real estate law from an accredited college or university. The courses are valid for five years leading up to the official application.

Applicants must pass the licensing exam administered by Pearson VUE. The fee for the exam is $82, and real estate licensees must pay and register for the exam on the testing service’s website. An explanation of guidelines, requirements and scoring may be found by visiting Pearson VUE’s website for Wisconsin applicants.

Realtors must renew their licenses by December 14th in even years, and there is an $82 fee for renewal. In addition, realtors must complete 18 hours of continuing education courses, designated by six, 3-hour courses on topics approved by the licensing board. A list of providers may be found online.

Additional Information

Wisconsin offers limited reciprocal options. Indiana and Illinois are the only states with which Wisconsin has a reciprocal licensing agreement. Realtors in these states must still pass the Wisconsin portion of the licensing exam and submit a licensing history to the state board, but they do not need to meet the 72 hours of prelicensure education. Realtors from other states must apply as normal, but they should check with the board to see if they qualify for a waiver of certain education and exam requirements.

As noted in the opening paragraph, Wisconsin offers apprentice licenses as well as broker licenses, while the purpose of this article was to discuss salesperson licenses. Those curious about the requirements for becoming a broker in Wisconsin should visit the state board’s website for information, including additional education, testing and experience qualifications.

The Wisconsin Real Estate Board licenses real estate professionals on a state specific level. The regulation of real estate commissions and realtors on a broader level is managed by national and international organizations like the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). These associations work to maintain standardized codes of ethical behavior of the realty community around the world.