Title Officer: Career Information & Requirements

Title officers investigate the status of property titles during real estate transactions, ensuring that a property is free of any obstacles that could jeopardize a sale or interfere with a buyer's rights to the property. Read on to learn about the training requirements, skills, salary and outlook of this occupation. View article »

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  • 0:01 Career Definition
  • 0:46 Education & Certification
  • 1:22 Skills Needed
  • 1:54 Financial Future & Career
  • 2:25 Alternate Career Options

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Video Transcript

Career Definition for Title Officers

Title officers search for claims that might jeopardize a buyer's rights to property purchased in a real estate transaction. After verifying title conditions, title officers report their findings to buyers so that issues may be resolved before sales are completed. Based on title search results, title officers will generally recommend whether or not title insurance should be offered. Title insurance will protect buyers in the event that any claims are made against their property after purchase. In addition to searching public records, title officers may also conduct physical inspections of property to gather information. They are employed by title agencies and companies that issue title insurance throughout the United States.

Education High school diploma or GED
Licensure/Certification Title agent or notary licensure may be required depending on the states
Job Skills Knowledge of field-related information, researching skills, communication skills, problem solving, computer literacy
Median Salary* $49,840 (2015)
Career Outlook* 3.6% (2014-2024)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Certification Requirements

Employers generally require title officers to have high school diplomas or GEDs as well as experience in title searching, abstracting, or underwriting. Some employers may also require title agent or notary licensing; requirements vary by state. Notary training can often be completed online or in a day-long seminar, followed by an exam. The National Notary Association (NNA) provides information about training, exam registration, and state licensing requirements. The American Land Title Association provides continuing education courses that cover title regulations and practices.

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Skills Needed

Title officers must be detail-oriented and have strong written and verbal communication skills. They must have good analytical and problem-solving ability, and they should have the ability to anticipate problems before they come up. They must have in-depth knowledge of title insurance requirements, title search procedures, and real estate closing practices. Computer and Internet searching skills are vital; most employers require proficiency with abstracting and title searching software, as well as word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Financial Future and Career Outlook

During the 2014-2024 period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 3.6% job growth for occupations related to title officer professions, such as title examiners, abstractors, and searchers. Job prospects may be best for candidates with real estate closing or underwriting experience and notary or title agent licensure. The median annual salary as of May 2015 was $49,840 according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Related careers include:

Appraiser and Assessor of Real Estate

These professionals estimate the values of land and buildings before they are sold, insured, or mortgaged. The required education and training varies by state, but associate's degrees are common, and bachelor's degrees are sometimes required. Job growth of 8% was predicted by the BLS for the decade 2014-2024, for this occupation that paid a median annual wage of $51,860 in 2015.

Real Estate Sales Agent

Those interested in helping others buy, sell, or rent property might be interested in this career. Agents must have at least a high school diploma, take real estate courses, and pass a licensing exam. Average employment growth of 3% was projected by the BLS from 2014-2024, and in 2015, the median annual wage reported was $45,610.

Title officers research the history of a given property to ensure its viability to a prospective purchasing customer, but there are related careers of interest such as appraiser and assessor of real estate and real estate sales agent.

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