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How to Become a Title Examiner

August 25, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 05/27/23

If you’d like to work in the legal field and have an interest in real estate, read on to learn more about how to become a title examiner.

The legal field is a popular career choice, but the prospect of attending law school often deters people from pursuing this path. Fortunately, there are several legal careers that don’t require you to spend three extensive years and thousands of hard-earned dollars on a law degree

One such career is a title examiner. These professionals often work closely with real estate agents and lawyers, offering them crucial legal assistance. If this sounds like a career you’d enjoy, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to become a title examiner.

Steps to Become a Title Examiner

There isn’t a set path to take to become a title examiner, and many of these professionals have different levels of education and training. 

However, the majority follow these steps:

Step One: Consider Obtaining a Degree

Since you’ll be providing legal assistance, it’s generally recommended you gain some formal education in law. While some title examiners begin their careers with a high school diploma, a large majority of them hold Bachelor’s degrees in Paralegal studies. You may alternatively receive an Associate’s degree or certification in Paralegal studies.

However, keep in mind that a bachelor’s degree will offer you more employment and advancement opportunities because it gives you more specialized training.

The time required for this step may range from a few months to as long as four years, depending on the type of degree you choose. 

Step Two: Gain Experience

Title examiners rarely work independently at first; they require some form of on-the-job training to do their job effectively and learn the ins and outs of real estate law. 

Accordingly, title examiners typically pursue internships before landing full-time, independent positions.

Step Three: Get Certified

While certification isn’t required to become a title examiner, it can open more doors for you and make you more qualified to work in larger law firms. 

You can gain certification through various trade associations. Popular options are the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors (NALTEA).

Make sure you do your research and choose an accredited association to pursue this certification.

Step Four: Join a Trade Association

Aside from getting certified through a trade association, you may also want to consider joining one for more opportunities.

These associations often offer their members exclusive benefits, such as employment notifications, networking opportunities, and industry updates, to help them get their foot in the door. 

Step Five: Continue Your Education

If you choose to become certified, you will be required to participate in continuing education programs throughout your career. These programs are essential to staying up-to-date on protocols and policies, and providing the most accurate information to the lawyers you work with.

What Does a Title Examiner Do?

Now that you’re aware of the steps it’ll take to join this profession, your next inquiry might be learning what their daily duties are. Title examiner’s exact roles will depend on the organizations and lawyers they work for, but they typically involve the following tasks:

  • Acquiring maps or drawings that portray property delineations 
  • Studying titles to determine if any restrictions will affect the current title status or property use
  • Collecting and keeping records of mortgages, deeds, contracts, liens, easements, and other related documents
  • Using record-keeping databases to update title records and keep track of cases
  • Working alongside other professionals in the field, including realtors, property buyers, lenders, surveyors, contractors, and lawyers
  • Examining documentation to confirm the legal status of properties
  • Verifying the ownership, restrictions, and potential for the sale of properties
  • Identifying if land can be sold
  • Conducting legal research on insurance, titles, and real estate
  • Searching public and private records to create lists of pertinent real estate documents
  • Preparing reports detailing any issues or encumbrances found during property title searches

Title examiners have a range of employment options to choose from. They may work in public or private law firms, with insurance companies, at real-estate agencies, or as self-employed professionals. 

The last option requires the most effort and experience but has the highest earning potential, as you can set your own prices and build up a strong clientele!

Title Examiner Salary and Career Outlook

Another factor to consider when deciding if becoming a title examiner is the right career for you is their salary and career outlook! You likely have financial goals you’d like to meet, and there’s a high chance becoming a title examiner can help you meet them.

The average title examiner salary is $52,390. However, this salary can drastically increase depending on where you work and your experience. 

For instance, title examiners working in the oil and gas extraction industry make an average of $80,030 a year. Additionally, title examiners willing to relocate should consider working in California, as their average salary is more than $16,000 higher than the national average of $68,540.

There is currently steady demand for these professionals, which is expected to increase by almost 3% in the coming years.

FAQs: Becoming a Title Examiner

For any remaining questions about how to become a title examiner, read on to find your answers.

1. How Much Do Title Examiners Make in Florida?

Title examiners make an average of $49,040 in Florida.

2. How Do I Become a Title Examiner in VA?

There are no additional requirements to become a title examiner in Virginia than the ones listed in this guide. To join this profession, pursuing higher education by obtaining a bachelor’s degree, certification, and considerable hands-on experience is ideal. 

3. How Much Do Title Examiners Make in California?

California is the highest-paying state for title examiners. The state’s average salary is $68,540.

4. How Do You Become a Title Examiner in Texas?

To become a title examiner in Texas, you should follow the above steps, but instead of gaining certification through a trade’s association, you should gain sponsorship through a title insurance company. You can also gain sponsorship for an escrow officer’s license. Escrow officers are certified to act as third parties between buyers and sellers.

5. How Long Does It Take to Become a Title Examiner?

The timeline to become a title examiner is different for everyone. For those who pursue this career right after high school, it may only take a couple years to gain enough experience to work as an independent examiner.

For those considering an undergrad, this step alone will take four years, and it will likely take at least another year to get your foot in the door and begin working independently.

Final Thoughts

Title examiners are essential members of any real estate legal team. They ensure the smooth selling and buying of properties and acquire all of the documentation required for these transactions. Follow the steps shared in this guide to join this profession and have a prosperous legal career!

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