Loan Originator: Career Profile, Job Outlook and Education Requirements

Loan originators, also known as loan officers, initiate the process of securing a loan. A bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a similar field is usually needed; some schools offer a certificate program in loan origination. Schools offering Accounting & Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Loan originators work for banks, mortgage companies, or other financial institutions and assist customers who wish to borrow money in order to finance a college education or purchase a car, house, or other expensive items and services. Some loan originators also act in a sales role and try to increase business by contacting potential customers.

Classes Real estate fraud, taxes, ethics, sales, marketing, underwriting
Degree Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook 8% job growth increase, from 2012-2022

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Most companies that hire loan originators require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field. Some colleges offer a certificate program for those interested in a career in loan origination; classes include real estate taxes, real estate fraud, ethics, sales and marketing, underwriting, real estate economics, real estate financing, and titling. Many states require prospective loan originators to receive a license before they can accept a job in the field; some local schools offer training programs to help students pass these mandatory examinations.

What Is the Projected Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, from 2012 to 2022, job growth for loan officers was expected to increase at a rate of eight percent, about the national average. As of May 2014, the annual median salary for loan officers was $62,620, and those at the top of the industry usually made $128,390 or more per year, per BLS statistics; however, wages typically fluctuate depending upon the state of the economy. Almost three-quarters of loan officers work for a financial institution.

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