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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Officers in Charleston, West Virginia

If you want to be a loan officer, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,110 people are currently employed as loan officers in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 3% to about 1,080 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for loan officers are expected to grow by about 10.1%. In general, loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans.

Income for loan officers is about $22 hourly or $47,120 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $26 per hour or $54,700 annually. Loan officers earn more than people working in the category of Accounting and Auditing generally in West Virginia and less than people in the Accounting and Auditing category nationally. People working as loan officers can fill a number of jobs, such as: personal banking officer, loan administrator, and loan specialist.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a loan officer. The most common level of education for loan officers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a loan officer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Loan Officer

Loan Officer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. They also advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments.

Loan officers meet with applicants to obtain data for loan applications and to respond to questions about the process. They also analyze applicants' financial status and property evaluations to establish feasibility of granting loans. Equally important, loan officers have to obtain and compile copies of loan applicants' credit histories, corporate financial statements, and other financial data. They are often called upon to stay abreast of new types of loans and other financial services and products to better meet customers' needs. They are expected to explain to customers the different types of loans and credit options that are available, as well as the terms of those services. Finally, loan officers handle customer complaints and take appropriate action to deal with them.

Every day, loan officers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for loan officers to coordinate with clients to pinpoint their financial goals and to discover ways of reaching those goals. They are often called upon to approve loans within specified limits, and refer loan applications outside those limits to management for approval. They also inspect loan agreements to insure that they are complete and accurate in line with policy. They are sometimes expected to talk with underwriters to assist in resolving mortgage application problems. Somewhat less frequently, loan officers are also expected to supervise loan personnel.

Loan officers sometimes are asked to ready reports to send to customers whose accounts are delinquent, and forward irreconcilable accounts for collector action. and interview and train new employees. And finally, they sometimes have to market bank products to individuals and firms, promoting bank services that may meet customers' needs.

Like many other jobs, loan officers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong social orientation.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Loan Officer Training

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated two students in 2008.

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Finance which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Lender Business Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals whose primary function and expertise focuses on the provision of credit and financial transaction services to businesses and/or corporations.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Personal Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Personal Banking Diploma and who function as personal bankers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Certified Residential Underwriter: The Residential Underwriting Professional Certificate is designed for residential underwriters seeking recognition for continued excellence in education and professionalism.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Mortgage Compliance Achievement Certificate: The Mortgage Compliance Achievement Certificate recognizes compliance officers, lawyers and other professionals who seek to maintain current and comprehensive knowledge of the laws, regulations and other compliance requirements applicable to the residential real estate finance industry.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Commercial Certified Mortgage Servicer: The Certified Mortgage Servicer (CMS) designation recognizes an individual's superior knowledge and experience in servicing practices, theories and applications.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Residential Certified Loan Officer: The Certified Loan Officer(CMT) designation creates a recognizable and meaningful seal of quality for residential loan officers.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.