Commercial Loan Officer Training Programs and Education Requirements

Students who are interested in becoming a commercial loan officer might consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in finance. Learn about common courses in these programs, as well as certification, continuing education and employment data.

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Essential Information

This 4-year degree program teaches the fundamentals of accounting, business and finance and prepares graduates for careers in the financial industry. Commercial loan officers remain competitive by taking continuing education courses or obtaining certification through national banking organizations.

Students in this degree program learn to manage and invest money for businesses, corporations, governmental agencies and individuals. Students are prepared for entry into the commercial loan industry by studying real estate, sales and banking administration. A B.S. in Finance degree program also can help students navigate the varying state requirements for commercial loan officers. Some programs offer students the chance to work in mock corporations, where they invest money, trade goods and evaluate risk. There are no education prerequisites to this degree program apart from a high school diploma or GED and satisfactory SAT scores.

Program Coursework

A Bachelor of Science in Finance degree program includes studies in liberal arts in addition to business, accounting and sales courses. These courses teach students how to analyze financial reports and markets, as well as how to market themselves, their companies and their products. Students also learn about ethics, management and legal issues in the finance industry. Some common courses in this degree program might include:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Statistics
  • Marketing
  • Finance management
  • Banking

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Loan officers often act as salespeople, locating potential clients, determining their financial needs and guiding them through the loan process. They analyze financial records and credit histories, prepare loan documents and submit loan packages to potential lenders.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), loan officers held over 289,000 jobs in the United States in 2010, and this number was projected to grow by 14% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for a loan officer in May 2012 was $59,820.

Continuing Education Information

The Bank Administration Institute (www.bai.org) offers a series of continuing education courses that lead to a loan review certificate. The program consists of courses with topics that include loan administration, risk assessment and regulatory guidelines. Students must have two years of professional experience and pass a 150-question examination to qualify for the certificate.

Loan officers can also obtain certification through the Mortgage Bankers Association (www.mbaa.org), which offers Certified Mortgage Banker certification in residential and commercial real estate finance. Loan officers with at least three years of professional experience qualify for the master certification.

Students can also continue their education through master's and doctoral degrees in business administration and finance. These degrees may enhance a loan officer's employment opportunities and earning potential.

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