How Mortgage Support Jobs Can Become Lucrative Careers
Mortgage support jobs can be a pathway to future earnings if you want a hard-charging career in a competitive industry. An Aerotek expert explains how.
Due to historically low home loan interest rates, the U.S. mortgage industry is in a boom phase. And thanks to new regulations that limit mortgage abuses, the current surge in activity should see a sustainable run into the future.
The outlook is positive, with many employers looking for motivated candidates.
While a mortgage career might not be right for everybody, there’s no shortage of opportunity for job seekers with an interest in pursuing a hard-charging career in a competitive industry.
To find out more about what it takes to succeed in a field with plenty of potential for earnings growth, we talked to Aerotek Account Manager Alex Moraros.
Gain a foothold with your competitive mindset
Depending on the responsibilities involved in a given role, the barriers to starting out in the mortgage industry might not be as high as you think. Many roles don’t require a degree, and professional licensure can often be earned along the way, with leadership roles becoming available down the line based on experience and performance. But that doesn’t mean the mortgage industry is a great fit for just anybody.
Regardless of whether you’re going for a frontline mortgage origination role or a mortgage servicing role, soft skills such as determination, drive and communication may be much more important to prospective employers than prior industry knowledge. “It’s not always strictly necessary to have prior industry experience,” says Moraros, “as long as you’re capable of thriving in a competitive sales-driven environment.”
Showcase your analytical skills
Having a competitive mindset will make you an attractive candidate for mortgage support jobs but hiring managers in the industry also want prospective employees who can think fast under pressure.
“Every mortgage company I’ve worked with uses a cognitive ability assessment as part of their hiring process,” says Moraros. “It’s not a technical test you can study for, just a series of logic and memory problems they use to find people who can handle a lot of information as quickly as possible.” Some amount of math and Excel ability is also a big plus.
Accept short-term risks to reap long-term rewards
In terms of pay structure, the mortgage industry just isn’t the same as other fields.
Rather than offering a high base salary, the field relies heavily on commission fees and bonuses to incentivize high-performing employees. This is true at all levels of the industry — as careers progress into more experienced roles, the fees and bonuses grow as well.
“If you get a little experience, there are opportunities for mortgage-based career roles where you can earn a lot of money,” says Moraros.
Expect to pay some dues in the early days before more lucrative opportunities open up. Consider this risk-reward calculus when deciding if a mortgage career is right for you.
Choose a path for your future development
Careers in the mortgage industry are divided into two distinct paths: front-end mortgage origination and mortgage servicing. Each involves its own set of skills as your career develops, but both will reward a competitive mindset.
“Front-end and service sides both have opportunities, and you’ll typically choose a path early in the development of your mortgage career,” says Moraros. “It gets harder to switch from one to the other later on.”
Before striking out either direction, familiarize yourself with the roles, responsibilities and tasks associated with each area to determine if they feel like the right fit.
Work toward deeper experience and additional licensing
Job seekers looking to get a foothold in the mortgage industry are generally not expected to know every detail involved in home finance — at first. On-the-job training is readily available for employees new to the mortgage industry. As you progress in your mortgage career, you’ll find greater opportunities available as you earn deeper experience and relevant licenses.
Volunteering to work on complex deals will put you on a fast track to career development. “Basically, if anything complicated comes across your desk, pitch in and learn from the experience,” says Moraros. “It’ll increase your earnings potential in the long run.”
Mortgage industry career growth can also involve an alphabet soup of loan types and certifications. For example, gaining experience with loans through government programs such as Veterans Affairs (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can help you grow. There are also classes, exams and professional thresholds for licenses such as Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) or Certified Residential Underwriter (CRU).
While industry terms can pile up in a hurry, the bottom line for success in the mortgage industry is to work hard and stay competitive.
“A lot of it is just believing in yourself,” says Moraros. “Confidence is the No. 1 skill.”
If you’re interested in pursuing a demanding but rewarding career in the mortgage industry, check out our job board for opportunities in your area.