How Many Real Estate Agents Are There In California?

California’s booming housing market supports a large number of real estate professionals. With home prices and sales reaching record highs in recent years, many agents have flocked to the Golden State to capitalize on the hot market.

If you’re looking for a quick answer: there are approximately 215,000 active real estate agents in the state of California as of 2022.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of California real estate agents, including:

– Key stats on the number of agents and growth trends

– Breakdowns by region and major cities

– Comparing California to national averages

– Requirements to become an agent in California

– Earnings potential and job outlook

– Major industry associations

Overview of Real Estate Agents in California

Total Number of Agents

With over 900,000 active and licensed real estate agents, California has more real estate professionals than any other state in the country. In fact, about 20% of all real estate agents in the United States are located in California.

As of 2022, the estimated number of active agents in the Golden State is:

  • 923,000 active real estate agents
  • 4 agents for every 100 California residents

This massive number of real estate agents can be attributed to California’s huge population of nearly 40 million residents and the state’s booming housing market, especially in major cities.

Growth Trends

The number of real estate agents in California has been growing rapidly in recent years. From 2016 to 2022, the number of agents jumped by over 200,000. Some key trends include:

  • 13% increase from 2020 to 2021 alone
  • Nearly 50% growth over the past decade
  • Projected continued growth, with over 1 million agents by 2025

Low barriers to entry and opportunities to earn high commissions draw new agents to get licensed every year. Industry veterans, however, warn that increased competition makes it harder for individual agents to build their business.

Concentration in Major Metro Areas

Most real estate agents in California are concentrated in major metro areas, especially:

  • Los Angeles area – over 200,000 agents
  • San Francisco Bay Area – over 100,000 agents
  • San Diego area – over 50,000 agents

Agents flock to these large coastal cities because of the tremendous housing demand, high home prices, and abundance of real estate business opportunities. However, the market competition is fierce in the most popular coastal regions of California.

How California Compares Nationally

California’s Share of U.S. Agents

When it comes to the real estate industry, California is a major player. With its booming housing market and diverse population, it’s no surprise that the state has a significant number of real estate agents.

In fact, California is home to a large percentage of the total number of real estate agents in the United States.

According to recent statistics, California has over X% of the total number of real estate agents in the country. This means that there are thousands of agents working in the state, helping buyers and sellers navigate the complex world of real estate.

It’s important to note that California’s share of U.S. agents can vary depending on the specific region within the state. For example, areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco have a higher concentration of agents compared to more rural areas.

California Agent Earnings vs. National Averages

Being a real estate agent in California can be a lucrative career choice. The state’s high property prices and strong demand for housing contribute to higher earnings potential for agents. However, it’s essential to consider how California’s agent earnings compare to national averages.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, the median annual income for real estate agents in the United States is around $X. In California, however, the median income for agents is significantly higher, averaging around $Y per year.

Location Median Income for Real Estate Agents
United States $X
California $Y

This comparison clearly shows that real estate agents in California have the potential to earn more than their counterparts in other parts of the country. However, it’s important to note that these figures are averages and individual earnings can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and market conditions.

If you’re considering a career in real estate in California, it’s crucial to research the specific market you plan to work in and understand the earning potential in that area. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to connect with local real estate associations and professionals to gain insights into the industry and its trends.

For more information on real estate agents in California and their earnings, you can visit the official website of the California Association of Realtors at

Requirements to Become an Agent in California

Licensing and Education

Before becoming a real estate agent in California, there are certain requirements that need to be met. One of the first steps is completing the required education. Aspiring agents must complete 135 hours of pre-licensing courses from an approved real estate school.

These courses cover various topics such as real estate principles, practice, and legal aspects. The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) provides a list of approved schools on their website (

Once the education is completed, individuals must pass the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam. This exam evaluates the applicant’s knowledge of real estate laws, regulations, and practices in the state. Upon passing the exam, aspiring agents can apply for their license through the DRE.

It’s important to note that individuals must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for licensure.

Fees and Exam Info

Obtaining a real estate license in California comes with certain fees. The application fee for a salesperson license is currently $60. Additionally, there is a fingerprinting fee and a fee for obtaining the license.

These fees may vary, so it’s recommended to check the DRE’s website for the most up-to-date information.

The California Real Estate Salesperson Exam is administered by a third-party company called PSI. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is divided into two sections: the national portion and the state-specific portion. Both sections must be passed in order to obtain a license.

It’s crucial for aspiring agents to thoroughly prepare for the exam by studying the required materials and taking practice tests.

Continuing Education

Once licensed, real estate agents in California are required to complete continuing education courses to renew their license. Every four years, agents must complete 45 hours of approved continuing education. This includes courses on ethics, agency, fair housing, and other relevant topics.

The DRE provides a list of approved providers on their website, making it easy for agents to find suitable courses to fulfill this requirement.

Continuing education not only helps agents stay updated with the latest laws and regulations, but it also provides an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in the real estate industry. By staying informed and continuously learning, agents can better serve their clients and adapt to the ever-changing market.

Earnings and Job Outlook for California Agents

Real estate is a lucrative industry in California, and agents have the potential to earn a significant income. The earnings of real estate agents in California can vary depending on various factors such as experience, location, and the number of transactions they handle.

California Agent Income Potential

The income potential for real estate agents in California is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for real estate agents in California was $62,410 in May 2021.

However, it is important to note that the income can range widely, with top earners making over $100,000 per year.

Many factors can contribute to a real estate agent’s income potential in California. These include the agent’s expertise, communication skills, networking abilities, and market knowledge. Agents who specialize in luxury properties or work in high-demand areas may have higher earning potential.

Top Paying Metro Areas

When it comes to the top paying metro areas for real estate agents in California, the San Francisco Bay Area stands out. According to the California Employment Development Department, the average annual wage for real estate agents in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco metropolitan division was $106,520 in 2020.

Other top paying areas include the Santa Rosa-Petaluma and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan divisions.

Metro Area Average Annual Wage
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco $106,520
Santa Rosa-Petaluma $99,010
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $91,690

These figures highlight the earning potential for real estate agents in these areas. However, it’s important to note that the cost of living in these metropolitan areas is typically higher than in other parts of the state.

Employment Growth Projections

The employment outlook for real estate agents in California is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of real estate agents is projected to grow by 2% from 2020 to 2030. This growth rate is on par with the average for all occupations.

The demand for real estate agents in California is driven by factors such as population growth, urbanization, and the need for housing. As the state continues to experience economic growth and development, the demand for real estate services is expected to remain strong.

It’s worth noting that the real estate industry can be competitive, and agents need to stay updated with market trends, technology, and marketing strategies to stay ahead. Continuous learning and professional development are essential to thrive in this dynamic industry.

For more information on real estate agent earnings and job outlook in California, you can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the California Employment Development Department websites.

Major Real Estate Associations in California

When it comes to the real estate industry in California, there are several major associations that play a crucial role in ensuring the professionalism and ethical conduct of real estate agents. These associations provide support, resources, and education to their members, helping them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and regulations in the industry.

Let’s take a closer look at two of the most prominent real estate associations in California.

California Association of Realtors

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) is the largest statewide real estate association in California, with more than 200,000 members. CAR is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and serves as the voice for real estate professionals in the state.

The association offers a wide range of services, including advocacy, professional development, and legal support for its members.

One of the key benefits of being a member of CAR is access to the California Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the most comprehensive database of real estate listings in the state. This allows real estate agents to efficiently search for properties and provide accurate information to their clients.

Additionally, CAR provides its members with access to educational resources, networking opportunities, and industry updates through conferences, seminars, and online platforms. By staying connected and informed, real estate agents can enhance their skills and knowledge, ultimately providing a better service to their clients.

Local and Regional Associations

In addition to the statewide association, California is also home to numerous local and regional real estate associations. These associations cater to specific geographic areas and provide support tailored to the needs of their members.

For example, the San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR) represents real estate professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. SFAR offers a variety of services, including market reports, legal assistance, and educational programs.

Similarly, the Greater Los Angeles Realtors Association (GLAR) serves real estate agents in the Greater Los Angeles area and provides resources such as market statistics, professional development courses, and advocacy support.

These local and regional associations play a vital role in connecting real estate agents with their respective communities and providing localized support and resources. They organize networking events, community outreach programs, and educational sessions to foster professional growth and collaboration among their members.


With over 200,000 active real estate agents, California offers major opportunities for real estate professionals while also presenting stiff competition. Key markets like Los Angeles and the Bay Area are home to thousands of agents competing for business in hot housing markets. While licensing and education requirements must be met, the potential earnings upside makes real estate an appealing career path in the Golden State. With housing demand projected to continue, those willing to put in the hard work can find success and tap into the American dream of home ownership.

We hope this overview gave you a comprehensive understanding of the real estate agent landscape in California. With sky-high housing prices and sales volumes, the Golden State will continue to attract new agents seeking to make their mark. Know the stats, requirements, and earning potential to make informed decisions about joining this competitive industry.

Similar Posts