The recent uptick in the housing market has spurred interest in real estate careers.
The Nevada Department of Business and Industry reported that 917 individuals passed the real estate licensing examination from January through July, a 22 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Of those passing the test, 759 are real estate sales agents and 158 are brokers.
The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reached 10,000 members in 2003 and saw membership peak at 17,478 in 2007. The number dropped below 11,000 during the depths of the real estate bust and stood at 11,005 in August. It's down by 195 from a year ago.
The Nevada Association of Realtors reports membership of 13,458 in August. That's down by 207 members from the beginning of the year.
Michelle Casolair of Prudential Americana Group in Las Vegas said the number of students attending prelicensing courses is a good indication the industry has stabilized.
She's seen a consistent increase in enrollment at Prudential's prelicensing school, which averages 30 people per session, about double from a year ago.
"This is by far the highest average attendance we have had in the past two years," said Casolair, who manages curriculum for Americana Real Estate Academy.
The course consists of 18 five-hour sessions taught at Prudential's corporate office at 2140 Pebble Road and at 7475 W. Sahara Ave. Students learn real estate principles, practices and law, and 97 percent of them go on to pass the state exam, she said.
Casolair said people from all backgrounds are looking into real estate. Some are unemployed and others are looking for a career change. She's also seen an increase in agents who were previously licensed and are looking to restart their career.
Upfront costs to get into real estate are relatively low, generally less than $1,500, she said. That includes about $400 for the prelicensing course.
Contact reporter Hubble Smith at email@example.com or 702-383-0491.