Loan officers work with both individuals and businesses who need to borrow money from a financial institution to pay for property, education, investments or other purchases. They may specialize in a specific area, such as commercial or consumer loans. The amount of money a loan officer makes a year is dependent upon his experience level, his field of expertise and industry and his location.
Loan officers earn an average of $63,210 a year in the United States as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Loan officers in the bottom 10 percent earn as little as $31,030 a year, while those in the top 10 percent make as much as $105,330 a year. While some positions require only a high school diploma, others, such as that of a commercial loan officer, require a bachelor's degree, which will usually mean higher wages.
The bureau reports that most loan officers work in the industry of depository credit intermediation, where they earn an average salary of $62,010. In non-depository credit intermediation the average wage is slightly higher at $63,910. Loan officers working in activities related to credit intermediation earn an average income of $62,610, while those working in the management of companies and enterprises earn an average of $65,990. The federal executive branch employs loan officers for an average annual wage of $70,150 a year.
Advancement and Higher Wages
With experience, loan officers can advance into larger branches of their firm, or move into a supervisor role in which they oversee a team of loan officers. Another option is to move into an industry with higher wages; for example, mortgage loan officers may pursue the Certified Mortgage Banker credential through the Mortgage Bankers Association and move into real estate, where the bureau estimates the average salary is $73,810. Other industries with higher than average pay include management, scientific and technical consulting services, securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage and investment pools and funds, where the salary averages all exceed $75,000 a year.
The bureau names New York as the top paying state for loan officers with an annual average salary of $77,310, followed by Washington at $75,840 and Massachusetts at $75,420. San Jose and Sacramento, California, and New York City are the nation's three highest paying metropolitan areas for loan officers with salary averages of more than $86,000 annually.
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