Loan officers are experts in a process known as underwriting to assess, authorize, and recommend approval of loan applications for individual applicants and businesses.
Loan officers are typically responsible for meeting with loan applicants to gather personal background information, explaining various types of loans and their terms, obtaining and confirming financial data on loan applications, analyzing candidates’ finances to determine whether they are suitable for receiving the loan, and approving loan applications.
How much does a loan officer make? According to records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 286,670 loan officers that are employed throughout the United States are compensated with an annual yearly loan officer salary of $70,350, which is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $33.82.
While the bottom ten percent in the profession earn $32,600 or less, the top ten percent of loan officers break the six-figure mark with a sizeable mean salary of $119,710 each year. Loan officers employed depository credit intermediation earn slightly less than average at $68,610, but those who work in securities and commodity intermediation brokerages are the highest paid with a mean wage of $122,170. The top-paying state for the field is by far New York, where loan officers are paid an average annual salary of $116,950.
The vast majority of loan officers, an estimated 86 percent, are employed in the depository and nondepository credit intermediation services industry, including commercial banks, mortgage brokerages, credit unions, and other financial institutions.
Other loan officers may find employment by financial consulting firms, automobile dealers, management of companies, securities and commodity intermediation, and investment pools or funds. Nearly all loan officers work in an office setting on a full-time basis; however, some work on commission need to work longer hours to take on additional clients.
The demand for loan officers tends to fluctuate with the economy, mostly increasing in times of economic prosperity, population growth, and lower interest rates. After the recent financial crisis, banks and other lending institutions will likely be increasing the number of loans provided as the downturned economy slowly recovers. Therefore, employment for loan officers is expected to grow as fast as the national average for other professions at a rate of 14 percent, which will create 41,000 new jobs before 2020.