• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • How to Become an Escrow Officer (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become an Escrow Officer (A Complete 2023 Guide)

Last updated on September 11, 2023

How to Become an Escrow Officer

Quick note! RealEstateLicenseTraining is partnered with the best online real estate schools. When you sign up using our links, we may get a small affiliate commission. Read how we conduct our reviews here

So you’re thinking about becoming an escrow officer…

But you don’t know how or where to begin. 

You’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’re going to give you a detailed and updated guide on how to become an escrow officer. 

Of course, we know that every state’s and hiring manager’s requirements differ — but we’ll give you the general steps to show you the big picture. 

More than that, we’ll explain what an escrow officer does, go through the pros and cons of this job, and answer some frequently asked questions. 

So are you ready?

Let’s jump right in!

What is an Escrow Officer?

Simply put —- escrow officers take care of processing and finalizing real estate deals. 

Part of the job is to deal with all the paperwork — from preparing the legal documents to making sure the requirements are met. 

They also communicate closely with all parties to make sure that the transaction will be handled properly, legally, and fairly. 

Here are other responsibilities of an escrow officer: 

  • Management of escrow documents and funds (this also includes depositing).
  • Ordering important documents such as title commitments, tax certificates, and loan documents.
  • Checking and resolving existing issues of the real estate title.
  • Scheduling closings and preparing closing documents.
  • Coordination between buyers, owners, and other important parties on the status of the property’s closing process.
  • Briefing clients on escrow procedures.
  • Obtaining the signatures of clients on all needed documents.
  • Maintaining and keeping escrow documents and records.
  • Managing disbursement of property expenses.
  • Ensuring documents and processes comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

The 6 Steps to Becoming an Escrow Officer

Here is how to become an escrow officer: 

  1. Fulfill the basic requirements
  2. Get a college degree
  3. Gain relevant real estate experience
  4. Apply for your state’s escrow license 
  5. Get the necessary insurance
  6. Practice as an escrow officer 

Okay, let’s walk you through these steps one by one. 

Step #1: Fulfill the Basic Requirements

The basic requirement to become an escrow officer is a high school diploma. 

This will already give you a foundational knowledge of math, business, English, and computer skills.

If not a diploma, some hiring managers also accept GED, especially since these exams are known to be challenging and comprehensive.

That’s it. 

Of course, there might be a few other requirements specific to your state (like age or experience), so you’ll have to check that out. 

Step #2: Get a College Degree

Okay, okay. 

This isn’t REQUIRED.

But it’s a MUST.

What do we mean?

Hiring managers prefer escrow officer applicants that have a college degree — more preferably an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. 

So if you want more chances of getting hired, this step is very important. 

Nowadays, there are programs specific to real estate

If not real estate, having a degree in business, finance, accounting, and psychology is also great. 

With a college degree, we GUARANTEE it’ll benefit you when headhunters and interviewers are screening through the resumes. 

Step #3: Gain Relevant Real Estate Experience

What’s another quality that hiring managers look for?


More importantly, experience in real estate or any relevant fields. 

So go ahead and get some experience under your belt before applying. 

A lot of hiring managers prefer applicants with at least 2 years of experience. 

Also, this is good because the role of an escrow officer is crucial and demanding. It’s best to slowly ease yourself into the industry. 

To do that, you can work as a:

  • Real estate assistant
  • Escrow Assistant
  • Legal assistant in a real estate or accounting firm
  • File clerks
  • Receptionists in real estate or escrow firms

By getting into these positions first, you can familiarize yourself with key individuals in your day-to-day, the jargon and the processes, and even clients and stakeholders whom you can work with in the future. 

NOTE: You can work on this and your college degree simultaneously. 

Step #4: Apply for Your State’s Escrow License

Know this —- some states don’t issue escrow licenses.

However, most do. 

So before anything else, check what your state implements for this. 

Now, the escrow license application will differ from state to state. 

Again, make sure you research the specifics of where you live. 

But generally, here are the requirements that you may have to fulfill:

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent GED
  • Complete an escrow training program
  • Pass an exam
  • Pass a criminal background check, including fingerprints
  • Obtain the required surety bond and/or insurance 
  • Work for or hire a partner — this can be a Title Insurance Agency or an Escrow Manager (this is only for specific states)
  • Submit an application
  • Pay the necessary fees

In California, an additional requirement is to be a member of the Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation (EAFC). However, you no longer need to complete an escrow program or pass an exam. 

As for Texas, you don’t need an escrow program or pass an exam —- but you do need to work with a Title Insurance Agency. 

These small differences are what you should look out for when applying for an escrow license. 

License Application – Escrow Program Requirements

For the states that require escrow program completion, the usual courses or training are as follows:

  • Paperwork preparation
  • Escrow requirement determination
  • Fund checking
  • Property transfer assistance 
  • Property management
  • Real estate and/or escrow law

Step #5: Get the Necessary Insurance

If your state doesn’t require a surety bond and/or insurance for application, you may still have to get one. 


Because many hiring managers require this.

Even if not, we highly recommend you get a surety bond and insurance. This is to ensure safety for all. 

Step #6: Practice as an Escrow Officer

The final step is to apply with a hiring manager. 

The most common path is to apply as an escrow officer in a private escrow firm.

No surprise there.

But there are so many other places you can apply. These include:

  • Title insurance agencies
  • Lending services
  • Banks
  • Real estate agencies

For those just starting, we recommend that you apply for established firms in your state. 

They have bigger portfolios; they are more familiar with the local laws and regulations; and they usually offer more benefits than in other places.

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Escrow Officer

Should YOU become an escrow officer?

Only you can answer that. 

But to help, let’s go over a few pros and cons of the job. 


  • Plenty of benefits. Aside from getting good pay, many firms offer escrow officer benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, dental insurance, life insurance, flexible spending account, and even 401(k).
  • Streamlined and clear tasks. As an escrow officer, you don’t need to intervene in ongoing transactions until it’s nearing the closing. Versus a real estate agent who has to oversee the sale from start to finish, you are usually employed during the latter end of the sale process. 
  • More clients, more business. Given that people (mainly your clients) are busy, more and more have been employing the help of escrow officers to make sure all closing documents are prepared, managed, and stored correctly. 
  • Fulfilling career. There’s nothing like helping someone out. And as an escrow officer, you can help stressed homeowners or homebuyers finalize their deals and make them happy. 


  • Constant communication and involvement with stakeholders. Now since you are a “middle-man” for owners and buyers, you will be in constant communication with both parties. Sometimes, you will need to initiate these discussions with each other. And when you do this for several accounts and more demanding clients, it’ll be tough.
  • Can be high pressure. Since you’ll be handling a lot of legal and financial paperwork, it can sometimes be stressful, especially during a time crunch. 
  • Can be manually and physically tedious. We know we’re living in a digital world, but with the transactions you do, you will need to print each and every document and get signatures on all of them. It’s a bit tedious and hassling, so best to find ways how to organize and track all your papers. And lastly, expect a lot of face-to-face client calls, as most clients prefer this setup, especially in handling transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Escrow Officers

How Much Do Escrow Officers Earn?

Here’s a table showing how much escrow officers earn on average in all states.

StateAnnual SalaryHourly Wage
Rhode Island$83,476$40.13
North Dakota$81,288$39.08
New York$81,108$38.99
South Dakota$77,952$37.48
New Hampshire$75,087$36.10
South Carolina$72,912$35.05
New Jersey$71,705$34.47
West Virginia$68,368$32.87
New Mexico$63,262$30.41
North Carolina$61,096$29.37

Source: ZipRecruiter

Of course, your annual salary will depend on your employer, experience, performance, tips, and all that. 

The table above is to gauge how much you CAN earn as an escrow officer per state. 

What’s the Difference Between an Escrow Officer and a Title Agent?

These two roles are often confused with each other — since both handle the title discussions and processes, as well as act as intermediaries to the parties involved. 

However, as a title agent, you focus on looking at title issues that could possibly delay the overall transaction. 

As an escrow officer, you check on the possibilities of title issues while you oversee all the paperwork and financial transactions. 

Title agents focus on the titles, escrow officers focus on all closing processes and documents. 

What are the Skills to Be a Successful Escrow Officer?

As an escrow officer, you will need to have a mix of hard and soft skills. These include:

  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of titles and the ability to interpret them
  • Survey drawing interpretation skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Time management
  • Good customer service
  • Attention to detail
  • Trustworthiness
  • Reliability
  • Knowledge of state escrow laws


And that is how to become an escrow officer. 

Sure, the process takes a bit of time. 

But if you work on the steps diligently, you’ll soon find yourself working as an escrow officer. 

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know the steps, you can get started right away!

Just don’t forget to research the specific requirements for your state. 

Good luck!

Compare Real Estate Schools:

Additional real estate license guides you might like

January 16, 2024

Instead of just giving you the best California online real estate school, I’m going to

Best California Online Real Estate School – Top 8 Reviews

September 28, 2023

At first, becoming a mortgage loan officer might seem overwhelming.  How do you even begin?

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Hawaii

September 28, 2023

So you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Vermont… But don’t know how

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Vermont