Escrow Officers: Employment Info & Requirements
Escrow officers ensure that both buyers and sellers are satisfied with a real estate transaction. Officers hold the transfer of funds, review legal documents and may assist buyers and sellers in obtaining necessary financing. Read further to learn more details about this profession.
The Texas Constitution and Statutes, www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us, defines escrow officers as a neutral third party who hold the deposits, sums or deeds in real estate transactions before money exchanges hands. Escrow officers act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of a property. Escrow officers ensure that each party abides by the terms of the agreement. These officers also make sure that all documents are in order and the title is clean before a closing.
How to Become an Escrow Officer
Most employers require that an escrow officer have at least a high school diploma; however, they may also earn a bachelor's degree in business, finance or a related field. While in school, students should focus on real estate and business courses. Most officers receive on-the-job training and begin their education as assistants before being promoted to an officer. The training may be a combination of formal or company-sponsored training, which teaches them to use underwriting software. Certification is also available to escrow and loan officers.
Escrow officers need to be well organized and able to keep important documents and files in order. Officers should know how to use a computer and software programs. Escrow officers must be dependable and able to follow instructions. Escrow officers must have excellent interpersonal skills and able to communicate with all the parties involved in a transaction. Additionally, they must have initiative to seek out clients and decision-making skills to assess financial information.
Economic and Career Outlook
Jobs for escrow officers are dependent upon the real estate market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that opportunities for loan officers, which include escrow officers, would increase about 8% between 2012 and 2022, due to the continuing recovery of the real estate market. Salary.com reports that the median salary for escrow officers was $41,794 per year as of March 2014.
Alternate Career Options
With at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, financial analysts then seek employment helping individuals and businesses make decisions about investments. Faster than average job growth of 16% is forecast by the BLS during the 2012-2022 decade. As of May 2012, a median annual wage of $76,950 was noted by the BLS for financial analysts.
Insurance Sales Agent
High school graduates may learn their skills to contact potential customers and sell various types of insurance while on the job, although some improve their job prospects by earning a bachelor's degree; insurance agents must gain licensing in their state of employment. The BLS predicted a good outlook for this career, with 10% growth anticipated from 2012-2022. According to this same source, insurance sales agents earned a $48,150 median wage per year in 2012.
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