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Online Escrow Officer Training and Degree Programs

Escrow officer is a niche career field in real estate usually requiring some formal education and on-the-job training. While there aren't any degree programs specifically for escrow officers seeking training, pertinent information is typically covered in a certificate or associate degree program in real estate. These programs are available online.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer online certificate and associate's degree programs in real estate that include information needed to become an escrow officer. These programs can usually be completed 100% online, with students accessing courses and assignments when their schedules permit.

Certificate programs generally take less than a year to complete and consist of instruction in real estate law, financial topics and the basics of the real estate business. An associate's degree requires about two years of study and includes general education courses in addition to courses in topics such as real estate financing, property management and property appraisal.

Licensing is required for many positions in the real estate industry, including for brokers, sales agents and mortgage loan officers. Students should make sure that any education program they are considering meets their state's licensing standards.


Overview of Online Real Estate Certificate Programs

Students can obtain the necessary skills and knowledge leading to a career as an escrow officer through a broader certificate program in real estate. Escrow officers liaise between buyers and sellers to ensure all financial and legal obligations are fulfilled before funds change hands and a property becomes occupied, and it's these financial and legal obligations that are explored in real estate certificate programs. Students gain a broad overview of how property is bought and sold, including marketing, investment, financing, appraisal and property management. Programs also explore the role and responsibilities of sales people and brokers in the process of buying and selling real estate.

Program Information and Requirements

Certificate programs in real estate can often be completed in less than a year. Online programs are available for students unable to relocate for school or currently employed. Students need a computer and Internet access. Students usually use an online course management system, view presentations online and communicate with instructors by e-mail.

List of Courses in Real Estate

Escrow officers must be versed in applicable laws and legislation, proper transaction procedures, and possess a general knowledge of real estate transactions.

Legal Issues in Real Estate Course

This course covers some of legal issues encountered in real estate, such as probate sales, joint tenancy, sales contracts, trust deeds, the landlord-tenant relationship and escrows. Class discussions and case studies are at the heart of the course.

Financial Issues in Real Estate Course

Students develop a basic vocabulary of financial terms and are introduced to key real estate finance principles. Some topics of discussion are money and credit sources for mortgage funds and property appraisal.

Basics of Real Estate Practice Course

This course gives students a comprehensive idea of the everyday life of a real estate professional. Topics of discussion include the listing and purchase agreement, good customer service practices, handling financial transactions, taxation, and property management.

Career Information

Certificates enable students to seek basic, entry-level positions in various areas of real estate, such as brokerage, finance, appraisal, sales and escrow. Although a certain amount of knowledge is acquired on the job, a certificate is usually the minimum educational requirement for employment. Students often opt to continue education at the associate level, which gives graduates additional depth of knowledge and may lead to better employment opportunities.


Online Associate of Arts in Real Estate Degree Program Overview

An Associate of Arts in Real Estate is an appropriate educational option for students interested in pursuing a career as an escrow officer. An associate degree prepares students for careers in a few different areas of real estate, including escrow. Common procedures in buying and selling real estate are introduced, along with property management, business skills and concepts in real estate law, appraisal, taxation and economics. These programs also typically cover real estate licensing requirements.

Program Information and Requirements

Students should expect to devote two years to an associate degree program. Online programs offer students the opportunity to student from home at their convenience. For online instruction, students need a computer with Internet access.

List of Courses in Real Estate

An associate degree program is comprised of some core educational requirements as well as courses specifically in real estate. Course topics cover property management, basic real estate business practices and other related legal and financial concepts.

Property Appraisal Course

Coursework introduces the theories and practices of assessing property value. Some topics of class discussion include methods of appraisal, residential and retail property value, market value and current industry trends.

Introduction to Real Estate Finance Course

Students get a broad and comprehensive overview of current practices and financial instruments common to buying and selling real estate. Topics include private and federal real estate funding and risk analysis.

Introduction to Property Management Course

An overview of the evolution of property management is given with emphasis on the role of the property manager, legal and administrative issues, and basic maintenance of properties. Students study and discuss current examples and case studies.

Career Information

In March 2011, Salary.com reported the median annual salary for escrow officers was $40,920. While a formal degree is not essential, many escrow officers take courses in business and real estate. Being an escrow officer is a unique career niche that does not offer much advancement. Other related career fields include business and real estate, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was expected to see a 14% growth in employment between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov).

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