Career Guide: How to Become an Escrow Assistant
There are many positions within the field of real estate besides the most obvious: real estate agent. One such role is that of the escrow assistant. Escrow assistants are important members of teams at banks, escrow companies, title companies, credit unions, and other kinds of financial institutions.
Not entirely sure what an escrow assistant is, or what they do every day? That’s okay – it’s not exactly a household job description. But the truth is that escrow assistant jobs are great positions in the world of mortgages, property, and real estate, and they can also serve as the perfect stepping stone into other types of financial or real estate positions.
Let’s examine the escrow assistant career field in more detail, including what this position entails, how much escrow assistants make, and how to become one. We’ll also discuss some potential career paths for an escrow assistant, and some essential skills to succeed in the role.
But first, the simplest question: What exactly is an escrow assistant?
What is an Escrow Assistant?
An escrow assistant helps to facilitate real estate transactions like purchases and refinancing. This individual is responsible for a variety of administrative support tasks related to these transactions, including pre-closing preparation and post-closing tasks. The ultimate goal of an escrow assistant is to ensure a title can move through the escrow close process.
An escrow assistant usually works as one part of a team, working under the direction of an escrow officer or as part of a broader escrow team. Part of the job is interfacing with clients, as well as insurance representatives, title company representatives, loan officers, real estate agents, and other professionals.
What Does an Escrow Assistant Do?
An escrow assistant performs a variety of tasks related to real estate transactions. A list of duties in an escrow assistant job description might look something like this:
- Read and finalize contracts, commitments, and lender closing instructions to ensure escrow closing
- Communicate with title insurance representatives, loan officers, escrow processors, title companies, real estate agents, and clients to assist escrow officers in the closing process
- Maintain proper accounting procedures when depositing and removing earnest money funds from an escrow account
- Perform all necessary administrative and clerical duties for an escrow officer in order to complete escrow transactions and necessary follow-up requests
- Thoroughly prepare closing documents like settlement statements, escrow files, and closing statements
- Coordinate other pre- and post-closing responsibilities as necessary
How Much Do Escrow Assistants Make?
The average escrow assistant salary in the United States, according to Indeed.com, is $20.69 per hour, or about $37,172 per year. Keep in mind that this is only an average, and pay rates depend heavily on location, the job duties, and the employer.
The job outlook for escrow assistants is good, with the career field expected to grow over the next decade and thousands of escrow assistant jobs opening up across the country. And as mentioned above, this role can set real estate professionals up well for future jobs – we’ll learn more about that momentarily.
Where Do Escrow Assistants Work?
Escrow assistants typically work in office settings, perhaps in real estate offices or banks. They can also work in other kinds of financial institutions like credit unions or title companies. Most of the escrow assistant’s job is performed at a desk, behind a computer, since much of the financial transaction process occurs online or through electronic means.
How to Become an Escrow Assistant
We’ve learned about what escrow assistants do and where they work. But how do you actually become an escrow assistant? What are the common escrow assistant qualifications?
For some escrow assistant jobs, the only education that’s required is a high school diploma or a G.E.D. Most escrow assistant jobs, however, will require some college education. Most escrow assistants have a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree, usually in something like business administration. According to data from Zippia, 39.8 percent of escrow assistants hold Bachelor’s degrees. It’s safe to assume that even more have Associate’s degrees.
Aside from education, escrow assistant jobs might require previous experience as a residential or commercial escrow assistant, or experience in administrative or clerical jobs. In fact, individuals who served in roles like Administrative Assistant or Office Assistant often go on to become escrow assistants.
In terms of skills, experience with Microsoft Office (especially Excel) and other common software tools is a must-have. Prior experience with escrow software is a big plus. Candidates should also possess basic mathematical and computing skills, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills. (We’ll learn more about the necessary skills of an escrow assistant below.)
Career Path of an Escrow Assistant
One of the great things about the role of escrow assistant is that it sets you up well to move upwards in your career as time goes on. Escrow assistants may take on more responsibilities over time and eventually become escrow officers, executive assistants, account executives, and more.
An escrow officer is perhaps the most common career path point for escrow assistants. Escrow officers are responsible for verifying real estate deals and processing their finalization. They manage disbursement for property expenses, prepare real estate closing documents, and coordinate with buyers, sellers, lenders, and realtors to finalize real estate deals. Since escrow assistants help the escrow officer with many of the normal tasks of the job, it’s a natural step up for the escrow assistant to an escrow officer role.
Executive assistants work in a variety of industries, including real estate, and are the high-level support that companies rely on to keep things running smoothly. Executive assistants are not low-level secretaries (although some of their duties can be clerical or administrative in nature). These individuals report directly to executives like managers, department heads, and even members of the C-suite like CEOs or CFOs. Because many of the administrative, customer service, and processing skills used by an escrow assistant translate well to this role, many escrow assistants can find work as executive assistants later in their careers.
An account executive is the person in charge of one or many accounts, whether it’s in an industry like real estate or in something else entirely. This job designation is a broad term and can encompass many responsibilities, but account executives are generally responsible for maintaining the account, keeping in touch with customers and other associated parties, and closing deals. Because an escrow assistant works closely with a variety of individuals to close real estate deals, becoming an account executive is a viable career path. The people skills and processing functions an escrow assistant uses on a daily basis will serve them well in this job.
Escrow Assistant Skills
Let’s take a closer look at the hard and soft skills an escrow assistant needs to succeed in this career path.
A big part of the escrow assistant’s job is providing top-notch customer service. Whether it’s answering a buyer’s questions about a deal or finalizing last-minute finances with the lender or seller, the escrow assistant needs to be ready to help in whatever way they can. Doing so in a friendly, approachable manner is paramount – it’s especially important when dealing with big real estate deals that involve a lot of money.
Escrow assistants commonly use Microsoft Office tools like Word and Excel to keep track of information, write reports, and perform other daily tasks of the job. Familiarity with the MS Office suite is crucial. Basic computing skills like this won’t be taught on the job, so an escrow assistant is expected to have them on day one. From there, they’ll learn the specific financial institution or title company’s processes and procedures.
Exceptional Written & Verbal Communication
Escrow assistants spend a lot of their days talking with other people involved in the real estate deal, from realtors to lenders to buyers and sellers. Excellent verbal communication skills are a must-have for this kind of role. Written communication is equally important, as the escrow assistant crafts messages to the above parties, writes up reports, and may send important reminders or notices to the parties involved in a real estate deal.
Find an Escrow Assistant Job with Workway Today
The role of escrow assistant is a fantastic way to enter the world of banking, real estate, and mortgages, and it’s a fantastic stepping stone toward other rewarding career paths in this field. If you’re looking for escrow assistant jobs or are interested in learning more about the industry, why not partner with a real estate staffing company that specializes in this field?
Workway is the escrow, banking, and mortgage staffing agency you can rely on for your job search. With locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX, CA, AZ, and FL, we can help you find the financial services job you want and deserve. Get in touch with one of our escrow temp agencies in Dallas or our other offices to get started.