How to Get an Ohio Real Estate Broker License

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

Becoming an Ohio real estate broker is a strong step forward in your career. Not only does this advanced license look great on a resume, it also allows you to work independently, open real estate brokerage firms, and manage other agents within these firms.

Getting the Ohio Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete five steps, and have a few prerequisites before applying or taking the broker’s exam.

This guide covers all of these requirements in a simple, easy to understand way that will make it easier for you throughout this process.

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Ohio Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker

Ohio offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.

sales agent’s license is the initial license that real estate agents get in order to sell real estate.

A broker’s license is an advanced license that allows the license holder to operate at a higher level within real estate businesses in Ohio.

People often confuse sales agents and brokers. A simple way to look at the difference is that holders of the sales agent’s license are called real estate agents, while holders of the broker’s license are called real estate brokers.

If you are working towards getting your first license, check out our Ohio Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Ohio real estate broker license, keep reading this page!

Ohio Real Estate Broker License Requirements

First, to be eligible for a real estate broker’s license, you must meet the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in Ohio.

These prerequisites are:

  • Must have been licensed as a broker or salesperson for at least two years
  • Must have completed 20 real estate transactions or have such equivalent experience as defined by rules adopted by the Ohio Real Estate Commission (OREC)
  • Must have worked as a broker or salesperson for an average of 30 hours per week for two of the last five years immediately preceding your application. If you have been licensed in another state, these years can be counted

Ohio has a point value system that measures your qualifying work experience. For example, a closed sale or purchase is worth one point per transaction. The total number of points required is 20. So, you need 20 successful transactions within five years to qualify for a broker license.

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Ohio

Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these five steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Ohio.

Step 1: Complete an Ohio Broker Pre-Licensing Course

The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Ohio is to qualify real estate courses. The amount of hours required varies from 0-240 hours.

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These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within 12 months of your broker’s license application. This requirement is divided into two sections:

No additional educational requirements are needed if you were licensed prior to January 2, 1972.

The required classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses, including the following mandatory courses are:

  • Real Estate Principles and Practices (30 hours)
  • Ohio Real Estate Law (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Appraisal (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
  • Financial Management (30 hours)
  • Human Resource or Personnel Management (30 hours)
  • Applied Business Economics (30 hours)
  • Business Law (30 hours)


The courses listed in this chart may be included in your two years of college with a major in real estate.

Ohio offers partial reciprocity, so if you’re an agent (or broker) in a state other than Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming during the previous four years, your experience and those continuing education (CE) credit hours won’t count towards your prerequisites. 

After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 70%. The final pre-license exam is to be supervised by a proctor, whether on-site or online. This is not the same as the state broker exam.

After passing your broker course exam, your pre-license education provider will provide you with your course completion documents. Agents can check their transcript by going to the department’s website.

Step 2: Submit an Ohio Broker License Application

Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you can now apply for your license.

To submit your broker license application, you can use the OREC broker exam application. The application fee is $135.

Make sure to include your proof of completion of all education requirements (A copy of official transcripts or course completion certificates) with your application.

Step 3: Get Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After submitting your license application, you must have a fingerprint-based background check. You must submit your fingerprints via Webcheck.

To begin the fingerprinting process, you must pay all fees associated with the criminal records check to the Webcheck user at the time your fingerprints are taken.

You must then use the BCI&I Reason Code: 4735 05 and/or 121 08 and FBI Reason Code:121 08, and send the results to:

Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 S. High St., 20th Fl. 
Columbus, OH 43215

The fingerprinting fee is $18.

Some Webcheck users can only submit fingerprints for a state records check and not an FBI records check. You should confirm that you can submit both state and FBI fingerprints to BCI&I.


If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.

Step 4: Pass the Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam

After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI Exams.

The fee for the broker exam is $39.

In Ohio, brokers take the same national section as real estate agents which consists of 75 scored questions. The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 40 scored questions. You must complete the Ohio real estate broker exam within 180 minutes (three hours total).

The passing score is 75% for the Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam.

There is no limit to the amount of times you can retake the exam. If you do not pass, you must retake and pass the portion(s) which you failed before you can be licensed. Submit a new registration form to PSI with the appropriate fee, and schedule a new appointment to retake the examination.

For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook and Real Estate Broker Exam content outline.

Taking an exam prep course provides you helpful tools and materials, such as quizzes and specific state-only practice exams, to increase your chances of passing your broker license exam the first time.

Step 5: Application Review

After passing your broker exam, the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing (REPL) will issue you a license as soon as it receives notice you have passed both sections of the exam. This can take 5-10 business days.

Once your application has been processed, you should receive an email from REPL with a license document.


Now that you’ve successfully passed the broker licensing exam and obtained your license, there are a few things you need to do to keep your broker license active and updated.

Ohio Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE

In Ohio, you must renew your real estate broker license every three years. You are required to do 30 hours of CE. The first CE due date is three years after your first birthday following licensure. The 30 hours must include 12 hours in four separate mandatory core courses.

To renew your license, you must submit copies of completed 30 hours of CE and a renewal application on or before your CE due date. The renewal fee is $243.

The earliest you may file your renewal is two months prior to your renewal deadline.

Ohio Post-Licensing Education

In Ohio, broker licensees are required to complete 10 hours of post-licensing education (PLE).

You need to submit a Proof of Completion of all education requirements (a copy of the course completion certificate) with your renewal applications. The PLE course is not the same as the CE courses for brokers.

Ohio Department of Commerce

Mailing Address:
77 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: (614) 466-4100

Fax: (614) 644-0584 


Ohio Real Estate Broker License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Ohio?

The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Ohio can range between $401 and $591.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Application fee: $135
Fingerprint-based background check: $18
Broker exam fee: $39

How long does it take to get a real estate broker license?

The steps that typically take the most time when getting a broker license include taking pre-license education courses and exams. The average amount of time to get a broker license is generally three to six months.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?

Real estate agents focus on working with clients on individual real estate transactions, while real estate brokers have more experience with the added responsibility of managing a team of real estate agents or brokerage business. See our Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor page for more information.

How much does a real estate broker make?

Real estate brokers get paid just like real estate agents by earning commissions on their agents’ sales. Brokers can also charge the real estate agents they manage a fixed monthly fee or have the option to earn money on commission sales by helping their own clients buy and sell property. According to Payscale data, brokers earn $61,314 per year in base salary, with anywhere between $10,000 and $147,000 in commissions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.

How do I get a job as a real estate broker in Ohio?

Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!

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