How to Become an Escrow Officer
Escrow Officer Careers & Degrees

The home buying process can be an exciting but time consuming process for anyone who is in the market hoping to buy their dream house.

After all the dust has settled and buyer and seller are in accordance and have agreed on terms, there are still several more steps before a new homeowner can move into their new home.

One of these steps lies in the hands of an Escrow Officer, also known as a Loan Officer.

An escrow account holds funds or a deed made by one party that will not be delivered to the second party until all legal matters are completed and all instructions are met by both groups.

It is a safety measure used to make sure the exchange of assets is not made until every party has fulfilled their responsibility in the home buying process.

Escrow Officers are considered a neutral third party and are typically employed by a title company.

Their main purpose is to manage the escrow process making sure funds or deeds aren’t exchanged until finalization is complete.

An Escrow Officer handles all the paperwork and procedures related to the closing process before the finalization of a real estate deal.

Some typical responsibilities include organizing and preparing the final paperwork, researching home titles, serves as an observer for documentation signatures and assuring that all the final steps for the transaction are done appropriately and according to law.

Education Requirements to Become an Escrow Officer

The minimum education requirement in order to become an Escrow Officer for certain companies is having a high school diploma or equivalent.

A candidate with a Bachelor’s degree in the field and knowledge of all concepts, procedures and practices is an alternative option to becoming an Escrow Officer in the commercial field.

Candidates with high school diplomas must supplement their diploma with work experience in the field, possibly as an Escrow Assistant.

Someone who wants to become an Escrow Officer should plan on working as an Escrow Assistant for at least 3 to 4 years before they can work as an Officer; three of those years should be specifically working as an Escrow Assistant.

Some skills that are sure to strengthen a candidate’s background include having great communication skills, basic computer skills, be able to read legal documentation, ability to write correspondence or reports and have some basic math skills such as algebra and geometry proficiency.

In order to become an Escrow Officer, a candidate will also need to seek certification.

Certification rules and regulations vary by state and candidates will need to get approval from the state they wish to work in.

A national organization that can provide information is American Escrow Association.

Visit their website for more information: AEA

Escrow Officer Job Description

Escrow Officers get involved in the home buying process during the final stages.

They are responsible for setting up new escrow accounts and processing documentation according to previously established policies and procedures.

Escrow Officers also have the responsibility to provide escrow information to all parties involved.

They are in charge of the documentation, assets and home titles and distribute the information after finalization is complete.

All specifications need to be met before the escrow is allowed to be closed.

A more specific job description can be read below.

  • Communicate with lenders, buyers, sellers and borrowers in order to prepare documentation for finalization
  • Opens, processes and maintains escrow account according to instructions
  • Deposits monetary funds into escrow account and maintains records of all transactions
  • Assist in safeguarding funds and documentation
  • Finalizes real estate escrow deals after establishing whether requirements were met
  • Is involved in clearing titles; prepares, collects and evaluates closing documents
  • Attends closings and delivers closing documents and other related materials

Escrow Officers can handle several escrow accounts and clients simultaneously.

They must be organized and knowledgeable about the home closing process.

They typically follow up after a closing and maintain documentation of any communications.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$76,200
$32K
$44K
$76K
$92K
$132K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$70,790
Alaska$70,500
Arizona$60,680
Arkansas$71,970
California$77,270
Colorado$68,310
Connecticut$83,050
District of Columbia$86,880
Florida$73,990
Georgia$77,700
Hawaii$87,750
Idaho$60,930
Illinois$78,740
Indiana$65,190
Iowa$68,420
Kansas$79,410
Kentucky$67,000
Louisiana$56,630
Maine$78,450
Maryland$87,120
Massachusetts$91,460
Michigan$73,790
Minnesota$80,900
Mississippi$65,350
Missouri$77,980
Montana$67,030
Nebraska$81,410
Nevada$77,680
New Hampshire$85,910
New Jersey$80,570
New Mexico$61,190
New York$103,040
North Carolina$75,570
North Dakota$79,790
Ohio$78,300
Oklahoma$74,810
Oregon$76,510
Pennsylvania$74,870
Rhode Island$70,660
South Carolina$70,810
South Dakota$66,680
Tennessee$62,640
Texas$81,930
Utah$61,110
Vermont$69,790
Virginia$80,100
Washington$71,600
West Virginia$60,670
Wisconsin$73,860
Wyoming$70,160
Guam$50,970
Puerto Rico$37,860

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $103,040.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $103,040
Massachusetts - $91,460
Hawaii - $87,750
Maryland - $87,120
District of Columbia - $86,880
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Loan Officers, OCC Code 13-2072, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does an escrow officer do?

An escrow officer is someone who assists real estate sellers and buyers; the specialists help complete legally required administrative tasks (like facilitating property transactions between parties).

The change or transfer in the status of real estate or personal property can’t be carried out unless the legally required administrative duties are complied with.

That’s exactly what escrow officers do; these specialists become a third party between the buyer and the seller of a property.

The typical tasks of an escrow officer include holding and disbursing funds; preparing escrow instructions; preparing certain documents; obtaining the signature of the sellers and buyers, and so on.

In the majority of cases, escrow officers simultaneously play the role of a notary; that means that the specialists can notarize the documents involved in the sale or exchange.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become an escrow officer?

You don’t have to go for a degree, in order to become an escrow officer.

There are schools that offer certificate programs in escrow management and associate’s degree programs in real estate.

You can also find escrow accounting courses online that will cost you as little as $150.

You would need to get a license, in order to be able to work as an escrow officer.

The application fee will differ from state to state; in Texas, for example, the application fee is $35.

QuestionHow long does it take to become an escrow officer?

In case you decide to go for an associate’s degree program in real estate, it will take you 2 years to complete it.

Experts suggest going for the degree, in case you want to have better job opportunities in the future.

However, you can always choose a certificate program in escrow management.

Some online programs last for only a few days, while offline programs can take you a couple of weeks or months.

A lot of employers require the candidates to have some working experience in the field; so, you might want to work as an escrow assistant or a receptionist for a year or two to gain the necessary on-job experience.

Find a Program