Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc.
2175 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 307
Mississauga: 1065 Canadian Pl, Suite 203
t: 1-877-447-3642     e:

Getting your real estate license vs. mortgage agent license

Real Estate Salesperson

So you want to be a Real Estate Salesperson, eh?


Real estate sales can be a fantastically rewarding career…but you need to go in with your eyes wide open!  Like most things in life, successful people make it look easy. But what you see are the results of their efforts, and their money. They’ve had to overcome fierce competition: there are over 100,000 Real Estate Salespeople with their real estate license in Canada or nearly 1 for every 266 adult Canadians.

And they’ve had to invest in their career. Unlike other real estate careers, such as mortgage brokering, real estate can be expensive. It will cost a new Real Estate Salesperson over $6,000 in the process of becoming licensed, compared to just over $1,000 for a mortgage broker. 

That just gets you in the door.  Now you have to pay for marketing, your car, and all of the other costs that will run up your line of credit until you start making some money.

And once you start earning you’ll likely be sharing that commission with your brokerage (and CRA, of course).  But, having said all that, it’s a fabulous career if you’ve got the time and money it takes to make it.  So here’s a breakdown of the time and the money you’ll have to invest to become a licensed Real Estate Salesperson.

What does it take to become Real Estate Salesperson in Ontario

Total Investment: $6,090 (plus brokerage charges, desk fees, advertising, franchise fees, etc)

Time: The licensing process takes from 3 to 4.5 years to complete

To apply to The Salesperson Registration Education Program, you must:

  • have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Equivalent, or
  • be at least 18 years old and pass the OREA Real Estate College Admissions Test (passing mark is 50 per cent)

Educational Prerequisites

Ontario Secondary School Diploma

You must submit one copy of the following items to the Admissions Department of the OREA Real Estate College:

  • Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma, or
  • Ontario Secondary School Transcript that clearly states that an Ontario Secondary School Diploma was awarded

The Salesperson Registration Education Program

Phase 1

Investment: $1,820

Time: Up to 18 months (can be done in as little as 4 months if you’re willing to travel)

The Program begins with the Pre-registration Segment which must be completed within 18 months of the start date of the first course.

$500 – Real Estate as a Professional Career – 40 hours

$520 – Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading – 60 hours

$400 – The Real Estate Transaction – General – 40 hours

$400 – one of: (4a) The Residential Real Estate Transaction OR (4b) The Commercial Real Estate Transaction – 40 hours

Phase 2

Investment: $2,910

Time: Up to 12 months

$400 – RECO E & O Insurance fee (annually)

$350 – RECO licensing fee (every 2 years)

$840 – OREA/CREA membership (one-time fee)

$475 – OREA/CREA Fees (annually)

$460 – TREB Registration (one-time fee)

$860 – TREB Membership (annually)

Following completion of the Pre-registration Segment, students have up to 12 months to obtain employment with a brokerage and obtain Registration as a Salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).  Registration Requirements:

To become registered as a Salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), you must:

  • be a resident of Canada
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • complete the Pre-registration Segment courses within 18 months of the start date of the first course (Real Estate as a Professional Career)
  • obtain employment with a registered brokerage and make application for registration with RECO within 12 months of completing the Pre-registration Segment
  • apply for registration within one year of successfully completing your last Pre-registration course (The Real Estate Transaction-General and either The Residential Real Estate Transaction or The Commercial Real Estate Transaction)
  • complete and submit the forms approved by the Registrar under REBBA 2002, accompanied by the relevant fee

You may begin trading in real estate upon obtaining Salesperson registration with RECO.

Phase 3

Total investment: $1,360

Time: 24 months

The final part of the Program is the Articling Segment, a mandatory 24-month period following the student’s registration as a Salesperson.

$400 – one of: (4a) The Residential Real Estate Transaction OR (4b) The Commercial Real Estate Transaction – 40 hours  (whichever one was not taken in the Pre-registration Segment)

$480 – Real Property Law – 40 hours

One elective

$480 – Principles of Appraisal – 40 hours

$480 – Principles of Mortgage Financing – 40 hours

$480 – Principles of Property Management – 40 hours

$480 – Real Estate Investment Analysis – 40 hours

Keep in mind that there are many different brokerage models in the market.  Commissions range from 60% to 100% for agents, depending on many circumstances.  Understand that a brokerage won’t pay a high commission for a new agent.  Some charge desk fees up to $1,500 per month, while others charge much less.  Some provide a considerable amount of free training, while others make you pay for it.

At the end of the day you, like consumers, have choice.  You can decide which brokerage to join (as long as they hire you!) and what you want to get out of your affiliation with that brokerage.  You also get to decide how hard you want to work at your new career.  Remember that old saying, “garbage in, garbage out” applies to the self-employed the most!

Mortgage Broker/Agent

So you want to be a mortgage broker, eh?

Mortgage brokering can be a wonderful career choice, as long as you know what you’re getting in to.  With under 11,000 mortgage brokers/agents in Ontario, there is much less competition than for real estate sales.  However, while nearly 90% of consumers use Real Estate Salespersons to buy and sell a home, about 30% use mortgage brokers/agents to obtain a mortgage.  Lots of room for growth, or consumers don’t need mortgage brokers/agents as often as they need Real Estate Salespersons; depends on your outlook.

You are considered to be an independent contractor as a mortgage broker/agent (in the vast majority of situations; some brokerages will hire a broker/agent on salary or as an employee but this is rare).   That means you have all of the other expenses involved in running your own business, such as marketing, your car and all of the other costs that, just like in real estate, can run up your line of credit before you start making some money.

And once you start earning you’ll likely be sharing that commission with your brokerage (and CRA, of course).  But, having said all that, it’s a fabulous career if you’ve got the time and money it takes to make it.  So here’s a breakdown of the time and the money you’ll have to invest to become a licensed mortgage broker/agent.

What does it take to become a mortgage broker/agent in Ontario?

Total Investment:  $1,498

Time: One week up to 6 months (can be done in as little as one week or up to 6 months, in class or online)

In Ontario, to become a licensed mortgage broker/agent you must:

  1. Pass the mortgage agent course – click here for information on the course
  2. Get hired by a licensed mortgage brokerage – click here for information on getting hired
  3. Get licensed by the regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)

Educational Prerequisites

None – anyone can take the REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC).  This is the course required to get licensed.

The REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC)

Phase 1

Investment: $298

Time: One week to 6 months

$298 – $345 – REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC) – 47 hours

The Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC) is a certified educational institution by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). As such REMIC’s courses are tax free. 

In addition REMIC offers a free job placement assistance program designed to assist graduates in obtaining employment with a licensed mortgage brokerage in Ontario.

Phase 2

Investment: $1,200

Time: 2 weeks to one month

$300 – $400 – Brokerage E & O insurance fee (annually)

$800 – FSCO licensing fee (this is pro-rated- see below)

FSCO licensing fee

Licenses come up for renewal every two years, with the next renewal on March 31, 2016 (the last one was March 31, 2014). The fee is calculated like this: $100 + (# of months to March 31, 2016 x $30).

For example, if you applied for a license on December 1, 2014 then you would pay an application fee of $100 plus (16 months to March 1, 2016 x $30) = $100 + $480 = $580

In total your new career should cost you approximately $1,500 to get started. Your income potential is unlimited, making this a great investment.


In conclusion, both careers can be as rewarding as you make them.  Selling real estate and brokering mortgages are well accepted careers in Ontario, with the potential to earn a significant income.  If you’re looking for a career that you can begin quickly and with only a small investment, the nod has to go to mortgage brokering.  Of course, I’m biased because I’m a mortgage broker.

Ultimately, the choice is yours!  I hope this information helps you make an informed decision.


You can have both licenses. Something else to consider…


If you found this article helpful, please share it with your community!

Latest posts by Joe White (see all)


  • Md Nurul Hoque July 28, 2019 at 4:32 am

    Hi Joe!
    Currently I am doing job as Real Estate Sales Person for last 14 years in Navana Real Estate Ltd (sister concern of NAVANA GROUP). My location is Dhaka, BANGLADESH. Now I am thinking to get a Mortgage License through REMIC. How is it possible for me? Can you give me suggestions?


    • Joseph White July 29, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Hi Nurul and thanks for your inquiry,
      Where do want to get licensed? Mortgage brokers are provincially licensed in Canada.

  • Calgary Real Estate June 23, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Hey there, just wanted to say thanks for the great information on this article.

  • HKaur June 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Hello Joe,

    Dou you have to be a Canadian resident to get REMIC license?

    • Joseph White June 24, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      Yes, you must be a Canadian resident with a physical address (not a post office box).

  • Dhruv June 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    HI Joe,

    I am interested in pursuing the career as mortgage agent, but i cant do it full time till i am established.Is it possible to work as Mortgage agent along with a full time job ? Does brokerages hire such part time after hours agents (who can work on evening and weekends only)?

    • Joseph White June 21, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      Yes, many brokerages hire part time agents to get started. Many people who are changing careers need the income from the current job to help them transition into this new career. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Kimberley June 6, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Hey Joe, If I decided to become a Mortgage agent, could I find a Broker that would hire me and allow me to work 6-8 months per year. (Snowbird). I’m a realtor in Florida and relocating back to Canada part time. Trying to find a seasonal career that would work. RE agent seems too costly for part time. Thank you.

    • Joseph White June 6, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Kimberley,
      Yes, I’m sure you could. There are definitely brokerages that hire part time.
      Let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

  • Dana June 2, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Hi joe My licence expired in March of 2018 due to a family crisis and I got distracted however I would like to be a broker with my own brokerage. Do I have to take the agent course again or can I take the broker course. I have been employed for more than 4 years with a brokerage before that date

    • Joe White June 3, 2019 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Dana,
      You will need to get hired by a brokerage. The brokerage will then apply to reinstate your license and FSCO will advise what you need to do to get re-licensed.

  • Rajesh kumar June 1, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Hi I am Rajesh kumar from INDIA aged 47 working as a Realestate agent, i want to work in Canada as realestates work person please suggest can it possibal

  • SHIBLY May 28, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for the write up.

    I did mortgage agent course in early 2013 and got the certificate but until now not pursued mortgage agent career. I’m thinking of going forward with this career. What can I do now?



    • Joe White May 28, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      You will have to retake the course as it is only valid for two years. Once you pass you must get hired by a brokerage. If you don’t have a brokerage we offer a free job bank for our students. If you have any questions please call us, email or use our live help.

    • Hasan Shibly May 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you Joe for your prompt answer. So you mean as a mortgage agent we have to come back to School and retake the exam every two years? Or there’s a way to renew before it expires in two years. I’m little confused.

      Best regards.

      • Joe White May 29, 2019 at 7:34 pm

        If you had been licensed you would not have to retake the course. The course certificate is valid for two years. If you don’t get licensed within two years it expires and you have to retake the course if you want to get licensed.

  • M rap May 24, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Is it possible to get s higher mortgage pre approval compared to a bank? The bank is giving us very little.

    • Joe White May 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      That depends on your exact situation. I suggest you speak to a broker directly to see what he or she can do.

  • junior April 30, 2019 at 12:34 am

    how do i apply for the mortgage agent broker

    • Joe White April 30, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      If you want to become a licensed mortgage agent you first have to pass the agent course. Once you pass the course you must be hired by a brokerage. The brokerage will then apply to the regulator for your license. If you have any questions please feel free to use our live help or email us at or call us at 877.447.3642

  • sara April 22, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Do you know where I could purchase used textbooks?

    Thank you

    • Joe White April 22, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t know of any bookstores that sell them, however you may wish to check Kijiji

  • Laurinn April 11, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for sharing such important information. I’m sure it will help me a lot

  • Harjeet April 10, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    If you are 70years old,can you do the real estate couse?

  • Gouldie Stevenson February 12, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    I went threw the mortgage agent course threw centum, I passed the course but never went further. Do I have to do the course again to restart my career?

    • Joe White February 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      That depends on when you took the course. The course certificate is valid for two years, as per FSCO rules. So, if you passed the course within the last two years you don’t have to take it again. For more info, please call us at 877.447.3642, use our live help or email to discuss your specific situation.

  • mike February 12, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    How long does it take to become a fully licensed real estate agent

    • Joe White February 12, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      Unfortunately we can’t help you with that as we don’t provide the licensing course. Please contact OREA at for full details.
      All the best,

  • esmaeil February 6, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    i want to start my registration for real estate broker, how can I start? is it online?

    • Joe White February 7, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      To start that course, please go to as they provide the real estate course.
      All the best!

  • Maria February 6, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Hello Joe!
    I am interested in pursuing the mortgage broker licence. Are there any prerequisites that I would need to consider before signing up? (college/univ degree)

    • Joe White February 6, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Maria,
      No, there are no educational or experience prerequisites to take the course. In addition to passing the course, to get licensed you have to:
      -be at least 18 years old
      -be a resident of Canada
      -have a mailing address in Ontario that is not a post office box and that is suitable to permit services by registered mail

  • Ranine January 31, 2019 at 4:16 am

    I want to get a real estate license but I am a bit confused because lots of people told be that only OREA provide the program to get the license and few people are telling me that centinnal college, George Brown college or Trios college,….. are also offering the same program.
    Is that true that all this colleges are offering the program or it is only OREA?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Joe White January 31, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      OREA is currently the only provider of the real estate licensing program. You can find full details at

  • Gaurav January 29, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Hey Joe, I am an indian resident and want to become a mortgage Broker/agent in canada… please guide me what are the requirements and procedures…. do i have to apply for the Permanent Residency first to get enrolled in the course??

    • Joe White January 30, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Anyone can take the course as long as you have appropriate identification: one piece of non-expired government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport AND a second piece of non-expired, signed ID, such as a credit card, library card, transit card, etc.,
      To get licensed you must be a Canadian resident.

  • M Khalid January 24, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I have passed three Phases from OREA in 2004-05 and joined a broker as sales agent but then left the profession after few months due to my personal reasons. Now I am again willing to start my career as real estate agent. What are the possibilities?

    • Joe White January 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      We don’t provide the real estate course. You will need to go back to OREA at for details on becoming a real estate agent again.

  • Osi Evans November 21, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Hi, Orea is closing by 2020. What’s the implications?

    • Joe White November 21, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Hi, there are effectively none since the course will be offered by a different provider.

  • Neha Sharma August 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    hey Joe, just visited the OREA website. It says they are closing down. What is the option then other than OREA.

    • Joe White September 2, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Neha, there is no other option. You must take the course through them until the new course provider goes live.

  • effat August 17, 2018 at 4:48 am

    i live in Edmonton
    do i need any English proficiency test to be eligible as a real estate in Alberta? please send me the requirements

    • Joe White September 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Please contact the Alberta Real Estate Association for details on this question. Cheers, Joe

  • Mike July 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I would like to keep my full time job, as an Engineer, at least for a while, but also be a mortgage broker part time. Is this possible?
    Thank you!

    • Joe White July 25, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Mike,
      Yes, this is possible and many start in this industry like this. There are many brokerages that hire part time mortgage agents and offer training and support to help them become successful and transition to full time.

  • Kelta June 12, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Hi wondering how hard it is to be an independent broker ? Do you have to work with a brokerage for a certain amount of years before becoming one on your own? How does this work ?

    • Joe White June 20, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      It depends on what you mean by independent. As a mortgage agent you must work for a brokerage, however you are also free to set your own hours and determine how you will find clients, the type of business you wish to do, etc. But you must also follow that brokerage’s policies and procedures. You can incorporate a brokerage and hire a broker to be the principal broker (basically the chief compliance officer). So you can own the brokerage without being a broker. However the most common way is to get licensed as an agent for at least two years, then take the broker course and apply to change your license to a broker. As a broker you can be the principal broker of your own brokerage. I hope this helps explain the process but if you want more info please feel free to contact our office directly.

  • fadhel wahid March 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    hi .joe

    can I finance the OREA courses.

    • Joe White April 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      You will need to contact OREA ( to find out if they offer financing.

  • Lorena Estacio March 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Joe,
    I’m interested to get a real state course how can I start or where can I go?

    • Joe White March 19, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Lorena,
      OREA is the sole provider of this course at

  • tiffany March 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Hi there, I am 20 years old finished high school and now I am looking to take a course for mortgage agent or real estate. Which one do you think is best for me to start off? I know both industries are very competitive but which one do you think would be easier for me to get started? I heard the mortgage agent industry has been really growing and is almost impossible to get successful, is this true? & what happens after I take the course, how do I go about being a successful mortgage broker?

    • Joe White March 7, 2018 at 1:47 am

      Hi Tiffany,
      Your career choice should depend on what you enjoy doing, in my opinion. Have a look at the real estate industry, mortgage industry and life insurance industry. The costs for licensing including the courses are pretty similar between life insurance and mortgage brokering. Real estate is longer and more expensive. Each have their pros and cons but regardless of the industry, if it’s sales related there is probably a good chance that 80% of the business is being done by 20% of the agents. All three industries require planning and perseverance to become successful.
      We have some great resources for you to refer to, including this one:
      Have a look at our other posts as well. They cover everything from licensing to marketing.
      Give us a call if you need any more information.

  • sam January 30, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, are you sure you can be both mortgage broker and real estate agent at same time. I heard you cannot due to conflict of interest.

    • Joe White February 8, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Yes, you can be both however you should satisfy yourself by checking with the regulator.

  • Edgar December 5, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Hi Joe do you offer any correspondence course?

    • Joe White December 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Correspondence is not offered, instead we provide an online course.
      Learn more at

  • Rob November 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I’m guessing mortgage brokers don’t have access to MLS?



    • Joe White November 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Rob, you are correct.

  • Jillian Chico September 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Hi Joe!

    I am a licensed real estate broker in the Philippines and aspiring to be a realtor in Canada. I hope you could help me. Thank you!

    • Joe White September 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Please go to for information on becoming a realtor in Canada.

  • Nikita August 11, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Joe

    Thank you for the insightful read. I’m a lawyer with 4 years of boutique real estate law firm practice. I’m looking to get my license. Do you know how long the process will take if I’m exempted from a couple of exams?

    • Joe White September 5, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Nikita,
      There are no longer any exemptions for lawyers in Ontario.

  • Chang January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Great article! just wondering what would be the definition of the ‘resident’? Is it be the permanent residence and citizen? Or it means the resident by taxation purpose, who have assets, work, time in Canada? I have been Canada for 3 years nearly for the university, and I am interested become a real estate agent. Would I be qualified for the education program?


    • Joe White February 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      You would need to contact FSCO at for the exact definition, as they are the regulator. We provide the educational program to become a licensed mortgage agent, not a real estate agent. That program is offered by OREA.

      • Uday May 24, 2017 at 9:54 pm

        Hi Joe,

        I see same courses offered on REMIC.CA and OREA.COm
        but who conducts the tests for the Realestate agent and Mortgage agent and certifies?

        • Joe White June 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

          The courses are not the same. We offer courses for mortgage and life insurance licensing while OREA offers the course for real estate licensing.

  • dan desveaux June 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    hi Joe,great article here, what’s a good way to contact you?i’d like to talk to you for ten minutes about becoming a broker. Please send me your contact info so i can contact you. Thanks, Dan

    • Joe White June 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      HI Dan,
      The best way to contact us is via live help on our website or at 877 447 3642.

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