How to Become a Property Manager in Oregon? (Must Read)


How to become a property manager in Oregon

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

Oregon is one of the few states that have licensing requirements to be a property manager.

To become a property manager in Oregon, you need to obtain a Property Manager License. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent. You are also required to complete 60 hours of pre-licensing property management courses, pass the property manager license exam, submit the application and fee.

Alternatively, you may obtain a real estate salesperson or broker license to be a property manager in Oregon.

I also had worked with several property managers before. Typically speaking, a property manager’s duties would include finding and screening prospective tenants for a property, negotiating the lease terms. They are also responsible for rent collection, property inspection, maintenance, repair, providing updates, and communicating with the property owner.

If you are interested in knowing about the property management career in Oregon, this is the guide for you. You’ll learn about the steps to become a property manager in Oregon, income updates, career outlook, and FAQ about this profession.

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal property management training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

7 Steps to Obtain a Property Manager License in Oregon

7 Steps to Obtain a Property Manager License in Oregon

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent

Step 2: Register at the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA)

You’ll start off by creating an account through eLicense, the OREA online license management system. In there, you need to fill out the application and pay the $300 application fee. (non-refundable). Then they will email you an Applicant ID number.

Oregon Real Estate Agency eLicense

Step 3: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

You need to take 60 hours property management courses. Approved education providers are either licensed private career schools, accredited community colleges, colleges or universities.

I just checked with an education provider, their pre-licensing course covers the topics such as real estate license law, property management agreement, operating a property management business, trust funds, trust account, property financial statements, landlord and tenant law, contract law basics and others.

The course fees are approximately $500 to $550 depending on which program you select.

Step 4: Pass the property manager license exam

Pass the Oregon property manager license exam

The exam is to test your knowledge of the property management topics covered in the pre-licensing course. It is administered by the PSI.

To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. The exam fee is $75.

The Oregon Property Manager Exam consists of 130 questions. The required passing score is 75%, and you’ll have 195 minutes to write it.

You can find more details about the exam later in this guide.

Step 5: Complete Background Check

Oregon property manager license background check

To protect the public interest, the OREA would conduct a background check on the applicant.

Once you pass the property manager exam, this will be done while you are at the PSI test center. You’ll need to provide your fingerprints, which are to be processed through the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

There is a fee of $56.25 and you will make directly to the PSI. The processing time would take around 3 to 4 weeks.

Step 6: Decide your employment path

Oregon property manager license employment

In Oregon, there are two ways to work as a property manager. First, you may be employed by a real estate principal broker or a licensed property management company. They will have to add your license through the eLicense system. There is a $10 fee to add each licensee.

Alternatively, you may start your own property management company. This requires you to apply for a registered business name (RBN). There is a $310 RBN application fee, and the processing time is between 3-5 business days. 

Step 7: Maintain the property manager license

Oregon property manager license renewal and continuing education

You need to renew your license every two years. You may do so through the OREA online system. There is a $300 renewal fee and can be paid by credit card.

Furthermore, you must complete the 30 hours of continuing education. This is to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the real estate laws, regulations, and best business practices. 

On the first renewal, you must complete:

  • 3-hour Law and Rule Required Course 
  • 27-hour Property Manager Advanced Practices 

For subsequent renewal, you must include:

  • 3-hour Law and Rule Required Course.
  • At least 27 additional hours of CE in required topics.

The CE courses completed are only valid for two years. You must send the CE records to the OREA by orea.info@oregon.gov no ​no later than the end of the month following your license renewal​.​​​

To avoid interruption to your property management practice, don’t leave the renewal until the last minute.

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Oregon

EligibilityEducationExamFees

At least 18 years of age


Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
60 hours of pre-licensing course



30 credit hours of continuing education every two years
195 minutes

130 questions

Required passing score is 75%
Pre-licensing courses around $500 to $550

Exam fee $75

Application fee $300

Background check fee $56.25

Here is the content of the Oregon Property Manager License Exam

Exam TopicsWeighting (# of items)
Oregon License and Agency Laws25
Clients’ Trust Accounts26
Real Property Law9
Tenant Relations and Fair Housing27
Contracts and Leases16
Risk Management and Maintenance13
Economics and Accounting9
Rent Control5
Total130

To increase your chance of passing the exam, you should spend more time studying topics that have a greater weighting.

Furthermore, cramming for the exam is ineffective. Instead, you should study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tends to wander if you study for too long. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it.

Here are some more tips to pass the Oregon property manager exam!

Tips to prepare for Oregon property manager exam

How much does it cost to get a property manager license in Oregon?

How much does it cost to get a property manager license in Oregon?

It costs approximately $981.25 to become a property manager in Oregon. Here’s the breakdown of the costs to get the property manager license:

  • 60 hours of pre-licensing courses typically range from $500 to $550.
  • Exam fee – $75
  • Application fee – $300
  • Background check fee – $56.25

However, if you were setting up a property management company, the cost of getting a property manager license is only part of the expenses. There is also other office expenses such as business registration, salary of administrative staff, business insurance, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.

How long does it take to become a property manager in Oregon?

How long does it take to become a property manager in Oregon?

It takes about 3 to 4 weeks to get a property manager license in Oregon. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 60 hours of pre-licensing education, exam, background check, application, get employment or register for your property management company.

Can you get a property manager license with a felony in Oregon?

If you have any concerns, you may check with the OREA whether they allow you to submit the application and fingerprint before taking the pre-licensing courses.

You may also read over the Oregon Revised Statutes 696.301. It covers situations where the Real Estate Commission may suspend or revoke a real estate license. You can find its link in the reference section at the end of the post.

But don’t get discouraged, as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.

Here’s an article that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical tips which could help your application.

Is there any exemption where managing a property does not require a license?

Yes, there are a few exemptions where property management may not need a license. 

If you are an unlicensed employee of a property manager or principal broker, you can engage in certain property management activities. For example, you may:

  • Receive rental applications from prospective tenants, check their personal credit and references;
  • Show a rental unit and negotiate a rental agreement with prospective tenants;
  • Hire for repairs or maintenance;
  • Collect and process rents;
  • Supervise a premise manager

However, you cannot negotiate a property management agreement with a real estate owner. Also, you must work under the supervision of a licensed property manager or principal broker. 

Keep in mind that you should always follow the state laws and rules that govern property management activities. 

Actually, there are other exemptions as well. Jeff Sorg, the co-founder of OnlineEd, wrote an article called “Exceptions to Oregon Property Manager Licensing.” It discusses other scenarios where a property manager license is exempted.

I’ll leave its link in the reference section below. 

Whom should I contact if have more questions about the Oregon property manager license?

You could contact the Oregon Real Estate Agency:

  • Address: 530 Center St NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301
  • Phone: (503) 378-4170
  • Email: orea.info@oregon.gov

Alternative paths to becoming a property manager in Oregon

Besides getting the property manager license, you may also become a property manager by obtaining either the real estate broker license or the principal broker license. 

To get a real estate broker license in Oregon, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Complete the 150 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses; 
  • Register at the OREA online license management system;
  • Pay the $300 application fee;
  • Pass the Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam with a minimum score of 75%;
  • Conduct a background check through OSP and FBI;
  • Work with a sponsoring real estate principal broker;
  • Complete the continuing education and renew the license.

Here’s a guide with more details on getting the Oregon real estate broker license.

To get a real estate principal broker license, you must:

  • Have at least 3 years of real estate broker experience; 
  • Complete 40 hours of Brokerage Administration and Sales Supervision (BASS) course; 
  • Pass the Oregon Principal Broker Exam; 
  • Register with the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA). 

Here’s a guide with more details on getting the Oregon principal broker license.

How much do property managers make in Oregon?

How much do property managers make in Oregon?

Property managers in Oregon make an average annual income of $100,109. It typically range between $86,905 and $115,174. (*) Your earning as a property manager would depend on your skills, knowledge and experience in managing the properties. The type and number of real estate in your managing portfolio may also affect your compensation.

At the beginning phase of your property management career, you could be working as an assistant for a property manager. So your earning could be limited at that time.

But once you have developed the necessary skillset and demonstrated your ability to work independently, there should be a significant improvement to your earning.

(*) Source: Salary.com Dec 28, 2020

Practical ideas to build a property management career in Oregon

Property management career in Oregon

Tip#1: Network with other real estate professionals

You may consider joining the Oregon Rental Housing Association. This allows you to connect with other property managers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. You will also receive updates on the rental housing markets, changes to the laws and regulations.

Another group you may consider is the Oregon REALTORS. It consists of mostly real estate salespeople and brokers. If you plan to run your own property management company, this can be a great referral source for your business.

Tip #2: Keep up to date with the real estate laws and best practices

Property managers are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of online rental applications, environmental health and safety requirements, it’s important for property managers to be up-to-date on what their renters are looking for in a home.

You can check out the Oregon Real Estate News-Journal. It’s actually a publication written by industry experts, where they will issue a journal 6 times a year.

You may also consider taking the following courses to equip yourself with the property management knowledge. They are offered by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). IREM is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Even though they are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help to set you apart from others in the industry.

I hope you find this career guide helpful. If so, please share it! Thanks!

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

Reference:

  • Oregon Real Estate Agency
    • Property Manager Licensing (source)
    • Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 696 – Real Estate and Escrow Activities (source)
    • Background Check and Fingerprinting (source)
    • Continuing Education Requirements for Property Manager (source)
    • Your Guide to Real Estate Continuing Education (source)
    • Active Renewal Application – Instructions (source)
    • Renew Your Real Estate License (source)
  • PSI – Property Manager Examination Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
  • OnlineEd
    • Oregon Property Management License Training (source)
    • Exceptions to Oregon Property Manager Licensing (source)
  • Salary.com – Property Manager Salary in Oregon (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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