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How to Become a Title Abstractor

Updated on January 27, 2012

A title abstractor finds real estate property records to check for ownership and other legal matters. There are generally no formal training schools for this job, but there are resources to study and licensing exams to take for certain title abstractors.

Most title abstractors must start as supervised employees of real estate companies, title insurance companies, or possibly law firms. This is because states that do require a license for title abstractors generally require a certain amount of work experience.

The purpose of a license requirement is to ensure that those directly charging a fee for title abstract or examiner services are competent to do the job. Until work experience is obtained, however, the abstractor works with a company that has at least one licensed individual that can supervise the work of other examiners and abstractors.

The typical requirement for a license is to pass an exam. Because states can create their own exam, it is important to get with local experts to find resources to study. In addition, studying these resources may also be helpful in getting a job because you can show some knowledge of title abstracting when you do an interview.

An example of how to study for a title abstractor license exam is explained by the Nebraska Abstracters Board of Examiners. It instructs license applicants to get study materials from the Nebraska Land Title Association. Your own state will likely have its own association. Contact that organization or a national title abstractor association for advice on how to prepare. Just note that state exams may have specialized information based on state law, so national associations or home study courses may not have sufficient study material to pass the exam.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were 50,490 combined jobs in May of 2010 for title abstractors, examiners, and searchers. They were earning a median salary of $38,990. This is not bad at all when considering that there are no formal educational requirements for this job. However, college classes in real estate or insurance may be helpful in getting a job in this field.

Resources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Jobs and Salary for Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers

The National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors

Nebraska Abstracters Board of Examiners License Information

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