Loan Officer Career

loan-officer-500As a loan officer, you will be responsible for gathering information about the financial situation of a loan applicant and deciding whether or not to grant them a loan. Loan officers generally work for financial institutions such as banks, and can seek out environments where they are working with people applying for personal loans or with large companies seeking loans for projects.

Loan officers also have a great deal of face-to-face interaction with people; this is by no means a job that only involves working with computers and numbers. They have to be able to answer questions and explain decisions to people who may not be familiar with the process of obtaining a loan. You will need patience and a good customer rapport in order to succeed.

Loan Officer Career Snapshot

Most loan officers work in an office setting for a typical forty hour work week. If you are a mortgage or commercial loan officer, expect to spend time meeting with people in their homes or offices. You may work for institutions like small credit unions or enormous banks.

Further details on a career as a loan officer are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average pay for loan officers per year.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 20% have a high school diploma.

Loan Officer Education

While it is a good idea to get a bachelor’s degree in order to have the best chances in this field, about 20% of loan officers have only a high school diploma, and another 17% have some college but have not earned a degree. To become a mortgage loan officer, you will need a Mortgage Loan Originator license, which requires you to complete specific courses and pass a licensing test.

Loan Officer Job Duties

As a loan officer, your time will be split between customer service, research, and analysis. You’ll need to collect data about loan applicants, such as their credit history, and use software to determine whether or not they qualify for a loan. Many companies now use software to make the final determination of whether or not someone qualifies, but it will be your job to explain the decision making process and the outcome to your clients.

Loan Officer Salaries

The median pay for a loan officer was $63,430 in May 2015 according to statistics, or about $30.49 per hour. The top 10% of salaries started at $130,630, and the bottom 10% of earners made $32,870 or less. The wide variety in pay ranges is due to a number of factors. For one, some loan officers are paid on commissions, others receive a flat salary.

Loan Officer Job Outlook

In 2014, the United States had 303,200 loan officers. That number is expected to grow 8% by 2024, which is as fast as average job growth. However, the need for loan officers fluctuates with the economy so it is a more volatile market than many.

Loan Officer Skills & Traits

Loan Officer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Loan Officers:Typical Work Activities:
• Active listening
• Speaking
• Judgment and decision making
• Reading comprehension
• Critical thinking
• Oral comprehension
• Oral expression
• Speech clarity
• Deductive reasoning
• Inductive reasoning
• Desktop/Notebook computers
• Scanners
• Accounting software
• Financial analysis software
• Getting information
• Building relationships
• Making decisions
• Solving problems

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