The Mortgage Industry Is on an Upswing: Here Are 7 Hot Jobs to Consider

The economic challenges resulting from the pandemic have been immense and nearly every industry has been impacted. But among those rare sectors that have actually experienced high growth in 2020 are the real estate, mortgage, and lending industries. There are several factors that have contributed to the huge growth in these fields. Taking these factors into account, it also appears that these industries will continue to experience high growth and demand in the coming years—making them perfect for those who are trying to decide on an occupation or looking to make a career transition.

One big reason that we’re seeing so much movement in real estate is simply that it makes a lot of financial sense. Mortgage rates fell below 3% in July. These low rates have spurred a frenzy in housing markets across the nation as people try to lock in home loans or refinance at a lower rate. Refinances increased 60% in Q2 of 2020 compared to Q1 in 2019. Lenders issued a total of $1.1 trillion in home loans between April and June 2020, which is just under half of the total loan value for all of 2019.  

While interest rates are subject to change at any time, most economists anticipate a long, slow recovery that will take years following the pandemic. And, typically, interest rates stay relatively low during downturns and recessions, meaning that the real estate and mortgage lending industries could be offering low interest rates for the foreseeable future.

But the economics of home loans are not the only reason for a strong housing market. The pandemic has presented an opportunity for many individuals to re-evaluate their priorities and create a new vision for their futures. Companies are shifting to permanent remote-working arrangements at unprecedented levels. Storms and wildfires are increasing concerns about climate change and making certain regions less stable for permanent residence. Additionally, insuring homes in these regions is becoming more expensive. People are taking these factors into account, and they have more freedom than ever before to dictate how and where they want to live.

The combination of these factors is leading many people—especially those who now have the freedom to work from anywhere—to sell their current home in favor of a more desirable one, They can leave expensive cities in favor of more remote and affordable options or relocate to be closer to family. There are many reasons why more people, once given the opportunity, are choosing to move in greater numbers than ever before.

This is making the mortgage industry a hot choice for those entering the workforce. There’s plenty of demand for jobs, and mortgage companies and title companies are finding it hard to fill open jobs, even in a job market with incredibly high unemployment numbers. If you’re considering making a career change or are just entering the workforce, there are occupations within this industry that you may want to consider.

1. Underwriter

Education & Responsibilities

An underwriter is responsible for evaluating and assessing mortgage loan applications for risk. They determine whether or not a loan will be approved. Generally, applicants need a bachelor’s degree to be hired as an underwriter, unless they have significant previous experience. While you don’t need a specific bachelor’s degree, those in mathematics, economics, business, or finance are preferred.

Salary Details

The average national salary for an underwriter is between $57,000 and $82,000, and job growth in this field for the next decade is expected to grow at least at an average rate.

2. Loan Officer

Education & Responsibilities

Loan officers meet with potential loan applicants and review their loan options. They often work for the bank or financial institution that will fund the loan. They assist the applicant with all of the paperwork required by an underwriter to assess risk and prepare the file. Loan officers are generally required to have a non-specific bachelor’s degree and receive on-the-job training.

Salary Details

The average national salary for a loan officer in 2019 was more than $76,000 annually, and this sector is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

3. Mortgage Broker

Education & Responsibilities

Mortgage brokers work as matchmakers between a borrower and a lender. They review mortgage loan options with a client in a similar manner as a loan officer. The difference is that mortgage brokers will then shop around with multiple lenders to find the best interest rates and loan terms.

Salary Details

The average salary for mortgage brokers in 2019 was just over $50,000. However, growth in this field is anticipated to be slightly lower than the average of all fields.

4. Mortgage Processor

Education & Responsibilities

A mortgage processor works with both loan officers and mortgage underwriters. They assist with the process of gathering all required documentation for the loan applications and ensure that the documentation is complete. This might include credit appraisals and title insurance.

Salary Details

The national average salary for mortgage processors is over $52,000 annually, and job growth in this field is anticipated to be at 8%, which is much higher than average

5. Mortgage/Escrow Tax Specialist

Education & Responsibilities

Mortgage and escrow tax specialists often establish, monitor, and maintain escrow accounts, as well as provide accurate tax information as it relates to various loan requirements. They complete complex calculations by prorating taxes and interest and close escrow accounts and disburse funds. Tax specialists can also provide audit tax information and set up new tax payees.

Salary Details

Tax specialists, on average, earn about $55,000 annually.

6. Property/Real Estate Manager

Education & Responsibilities

A property manager maintains property rentals, fills vacancies, negotiates and enforces leases, and secures the premises. They establish the rates and work directly with current and potential renters. These individuals also are able to provide information about properties that are currently listed for sale.

Salary Details

Property managers make approximately $59,000 annually, and the job outlook is expected to remain constant over the next decade.

7. Real Estate Appraiser

Education & Responsibilities

Real estate appraisers conduct formal appraisals of real property or land before it’s sold, which is required by most lending institutions. Appraisers evaluate the property and establish a market value based on relevant data for the area and the property itself. They visit the site and inspect the property and follow up with the current owner to get additional information if it’s needed. Then they prepare a formal report for the potential purchaser and their lender.

Salary Details

The average national salary for real estate appraisers is just over $57,000 annually, and the potential growth rate in this industry over the next decade is anticipated to be at least average.

This list represents just some of the career options available in the mortgage lending industry. Contact the Hunter Hollis team to learn more about available mortgage lending jobs and other positions across the U.S.

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