A Guide to Continuing Education in California

By Ciprian Morariu Published: May 24, 2024

Continuing Education in California

Keeping Your License Sharp

Your California real estate license is your key to success, and keeping it active requires ongoing education. This ensures you stay on top of industry trends, legal updates, and best practices to serve your clients effectively. Real estate continuing education in California ensures that you as a broker or as a salesperson stay current.

Here's a quick rundown of what to expect in the California real estate continuing education requirements:

Clock In Your Hours

All real estate professionals in California must complete 45 hours of continuing education every two years. 

What You'll Learn:

  • Core Knowledge (18 hours) covers the topics of the legal framework of real estate transactions, fair housing, and more. You can take a single 9-hour course or separate 3-hour courses to fulfill this requirement.
  • Protecting Your Clients (minimum 18 hours): You will learn about real estate financing and disclosures. 
  • Your Specialty (remaining hours): Choose from several specialized areas such as property management or green building practices.

Heads Up

Lately, implicit bias training is now mandatory for all real estate professionals. It can be taken separately while going through the CA real estate continuing education program.

Find the Right Fit

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) approves various providers offering online and in-person courses. Before enrolling, make sure that the course is on the approved list of the DRE. 

Staying on Top

  • Renewal Reminders: Renew your license in time to avoid paying late fees. 
  • Courses with a Purpose: Select courses that align with your career goals and interests.

Why It Matters

  • Stay Informed: it helps you keep pace with the ever-changing real estate landscape.
  • Sharpen Your Skills: It enhances your knowledge to provide better service to your clients.
  • License to Operate: It fulfills the requirement to keep your license active.

Why Continuing Education Makes You a Real Estate Rockstar

What CA Real Estate Continuing Education Entails

Your California real estate license is your ticket to continued success in this dynamic market. But with all the hustle and bustle of daily business, what does ongoing education entail? 

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the process:

How Much Education is Needed?

Real estate professionals must renew their licenses every two years after going through 45 hours of continuing education. It helps you stay updated with the current industry trends and best practices. 

What's on the Curriculum? 

  • Core Curriculum (18 hours): This forms the foundation of your refresh and includes subjects like professional conduct and ethics and the legal framework of real estate transactions. 
  • Consumer Protection Powerhouse (minimum 18 hours): You will go deeper into areas that directly impact your client interactions. These courses will enhance your understanding of real estate financing, disclosures required during transactions, and effective client communication strategies. 
  • Your Specialty Corner (remaining hours): You can choose from a wide range of elective courses that are offered by approved providers. 

Are you intrigued by the growing market for green buildings? Then you can lean towards sustainable building practices. Is property management your calling? Then you can explore courses that equip you with the knowledge to manage rental properties effectively. 

This flexibility allows you to tailor your education to your specific interests and career goals.

Implicit Bias Training: Now A Required Step

Implicit bias training helps to identify and address unconscious biases that can impact your client interactions. 

Finding the Right Fit: Choose Your Courses

Choose a learning format that best suits your schedule and preferences.  Before enrolling, you must ensure the course is DRE-approved to guarantee it fulfills the licensing requirements. You must consider factors like your learning style, instructor reputation, and course content when making your selection.

Staying on Track

Renewal deadlines can catch up quickly!  Try to set calendar reminders or utilize the DRE's online portal to stay informed and avoid late fees. To maximize the value of your continuing education, actively seek courses that align with your career goals and interests.  

Are you looking to expand your network and specialize in luxury homes? Choose courses on high-end property marketing.  Are you passionate about first-time homebuyers? 

Find courses that go deep into the intricacies of navigating the purchase process with these clients.

Why Make the Investment In Real Estate Education?  

You got your license, and you're a pro, but to stay ahead of the curve, continuing education is your secret weapon. Here’s how:

Knowledge is Power:

The industry constantly evolves and grows. That’s why it is completely dynamic. New laws, regulations, and market trends emerge all the time. So, continuing education ensures you have the latest intel to give your clients the best possible advice.

Sharpen Your Skills:

Remember those negotiation tactics you learned in licensing school? Continuing education refreshes your memory and teaches you new ones. You'll be a smoother operator, closing deals with confidence.

Become a Client Magnet:

Clients want to work with someone who's on top of their game. By showcasing your commitment to ongoing education, you demonstrate your expertise and build trust, attracting more clients.

Stay Relevant, Stay Licensed:

Most states mandate continuing education to keep your license active.  These courses ensure you're familiar with the latest legal and ethical requirements, protecting yourself and your clients.

Find Your Niche:

Continuing education offers a vast variety of courses. You can dive deeper into areas that pique your interest, like green building practices or luxury home marketing. 

Invest in You:

Continuing education might seem like extra work, but it's an investment in your long-term success and it is worth it.  The knowledge and skills you gain will pay off in more satisfied clients and a thriving career.

By embracing continuing education, you're not just complying with regulations, you're actively investing in yourself and your career.  

Potential Paths for Acquiring Education

In California, you have a variety of options for acquiring your real estate continuing education (CE) credits:

Delivery Formats:

  • In-Person Courses: You have a traditional classroom setting with direct interaction with instructors and fellow agents.
  • Online Courses: This convenient option provides you the flexibility to learn at your own pace and schedule. Many online courses are interactive and offer downloadable materials.
  • Hybrid Courses: You can choose a mix of classroom sessions and online modules at your convenience.

Course Providers:

  • Real Estate Schools: Many schools that offer pre-licensing courses also provide continuing education options.
  • Real Estate Associations: Local and state realtor associations often host or sponsor CE courses for their members.
  • Independent Providers: Numerous independent companies and organizations offer a wide range of DRE-approved CE courses.

Course Selection Tips:

  • Consider your learning style: Are you comfortable in an in-person class or online form of learning? 
  • Align with your career goals: Choose courses that complement your areas of interest and career aspirations.
  • Review instructor credentials: Look for instructors with expertise in the topics you want to learn about.
  • Check course approval: Always select a course that is on the approved list of the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). 

Additional Resources:


  • Keep track of your completed courses and certificates for recordkeeping purposes.
  • The DRE website allows you to verify your CE completion status online.

How to keep the fire going?

Focus on the "Why":

  • Career Growth: Imagine yourself closing deals with confidence and attracting clients who value your expertise.
  • Client Impact: Think about how your newfound knowledge will benefit your clients. You'll be able to provide them with better advice, navigate complex situations more effectively, and ultimately deliver exceptional service.

Make it a Learning Adventure:

  • Choose Engaging Courses: Don't settle for dry lectures. Explore interactive online courses, workshops with industry experts, or even conferences that offer networking opportunities.
  • Turn it into a Group Activity: Find colleagues or fellow agents who are also completing their continuing education. Form a study group or simply discuss the course material together.

Break Down the Workload:

  • Schedule Your Studies: Carve out dedicated time each week to focus on your continuing education. Scheduling ensures you make progress and avoid last-minute cramming.
  • Bite-Sized Learning: Instead of tackling lengthy modules in one sitting, break them down into smaller chunks.
  • Utilize Online Resources: Take advantage of online quizzes, practice exams, and downloadable resources offered by many course providers.

Reward Yourself

  • Celebrate Milestones: Finishing a course module, or completing a practice exam - these are all achievements! Reward yourself with a coffee break, a new book, or an activity you enjoy.
  • Visualize Success: Keep a vision board or a simple list with your goals. Looking at it regularly will serve as a reminder of why you're putting in the effort.
  • Long-Term Rewards: Remember, continuing education is an investment in your career. Think about the long-term benefits – increased confidence, a larger network, and ultimately, a thriving real estate business.

Explore the various formats and providers before deciding on a California real estate CE course that matches your learning style.