Becoming a Title Examiner
So you think you might like to become a title examiner?
Title examiners investigate the contents of real estate documents of ownership known as titles. They may do so to compile records of sale or ownership, validate a property's boundaries, or acquire a description of a piece of property. Many work hours may be spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
So what are the career requirements?
|Degree Level||High school diploma is standard; some employers may prefer a bachelor's degree|
|Degree Fields||Accounting, finance, or related field|
|Certification||Voluntary certification is available from the National Association of Land Title Abstractors and Examiners|
|Experience||1-5 years of previous related work experience|
|Key Skills||Time management skills, research skills, analytical skills, problem solving skills, communication skills, computer skills, and knowledge of title laws, geography, and plat maps|
|Salary (2015)*||$49,840 (median for all title examiners, abstractors, and searchers)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com job postings (November/December 2012), National Association of Land Title Abstractors and Examiners, SimplyHired (August 2015)
Step 1: Entry-Level Experience
Aspiring title examiners typically start out in entry-level positions, such as that of title typists, title clerks, or escrow assistants. These positions may work with title examiners or abstractors by doing title searches, interacting with customers, and handling paperwork. They also place calls to mortgage and insurance companies and governmental offices to confirm information, enter data, and manage files. While not always the case, employers may look for candidates with at least one year of mortgage processing and closing, title insurance, or real estate closing knowledge. Some employers may prefer entry-level workers with a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as accounting or finance.
- Build computer skills. Title clerks may better prepare themselves for working as title examiners by learning how to use related computer programs for conducting real estate title searches. When hired, clerks or assistants typically are asked to have basic computer knowledge and good typing skills.
Step 2: Begin Working in the Field
Most employers seek title examiners with one to five years of related experience. Title examiners can work for real estate companies, title companies, or law firms. Examiners may prepare legal documents related to a parcel of land, as well as inspect mortgages, court judgments, plat books, and contracts to determine ownership of a piece of property. They also research titles to determine whether restrictions on ownership exist and search tax and public records to verify ownership of a property.
Step 3: Consider Becoming Certified
Being certified may increase employment opportunities. The National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors offers two certifications: the Certified Abstractor and Master Abstractor. To be eligible for the Certified Abstrator, an individual must be a member of NALTEA and have three years of experience. To earn a Master Abstractor title requires NALTEA membership and eight years of experience.
Aspiring certified abstractors must pass an exam, while aspiring master abstractors must provide a recommendation letter, pass an exam, and submit a sample title search. Every two years, each designation requires 10 hours of continuing education courses for renewal.
Gaining entry-level experience, working in the field, and becoming certified are steps to follow to make the most of a career as a title examiner.