Title examiners analyze and review building and property title records to ensure correct legal status. Stand-alone certificate programs in this area are extremely sparse. The more common educational path is a paralegal certificate program that teaches a range of legal research and writing skills and how to conduct research, compose documents, and investigate legal cases. Sometimes, students can gain direct experience in a paralegal internship, where they will work in legal settings under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
The majority of these programs are post-degree, meaning applicants must have an associate's or a bachelor's to be accepted. Though admissions preference is given to those with a business or legal background, prospective students can have prior degrees in any area. Other prerequisites are rare, but may include the submission of standardized test scores or a writing proficiency exam.
These programs generally have a focused curriculum with few or no electives outside of the paralegal concentration. Some common courses include:
- Fundamentals of real estate
- Wills and estates
- Legal writing and terminology
- Business law
- Legal research
Popular Career Options
This certificate program prepares individuals for a range of careers in law and title examination. Some possible positions are:
- Legal administrator
- Trust officer
- Contract and will review agent
- Legal research assistant
Employment Outlook and Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual salary for title examiners, abstractors, and searchers in May of 2015 was $49,840.The predicted employment growth rate for this field is 0% over 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals pursuing title examiner positions at larger real estate and title companies may find that a degree is required. The Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) is a trade organization that offers additional educational information, along with networking opportunities, scholarship information, and more (www.reea.org). Graduates can also seek professional certification through the National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors by passing an online examination.
A paralegal certificate is the most common form of education for prospective title examiners, abstractors, and searchers. These degrees teach students the skills they need to thrive within the field and prepare them for professional certification and formal degrees if they choose to continue their education.