Job Search

Escrow Officer vs. Loan Officer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in the financial industry can be both exciting and rewarding. Two common positions in this field are that of an escrow officer and a loan officer. Though both roles require excellent customer service and math skills, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between an escrow officer and a loan officer, and we provide additional financial professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is an Escrow Officer?

An Escrow Officer is a professional who holds money or property in trust for another person or entity. Escrow Officers are often used in real estate transactions to ensure that the buyer’s and seller’s conditions of the sale are met before the property changes hands. They may also be used in other types of transactions, such as business mergers, to hold funds until all conditions of the deal are met. Escrow Officers are responsible for managing the escrow account, ensuring that all funds are properly accounted for and disbursing the funds according to the instructions of the parties involved in the transaction.

What is a Loan Officer?

Loan Officers work in banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. They interview loan applicants to collect information about their financial history, goals and needs. They also explain different types of loans, the terms of those loans and the interest rates associated with them. Loan Officers review loan applications to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications. They also calculate an applicant’s debt-to-income ratio to determine whether they can afford the loan. Loan Officers typically work regular business hours, but they may occasionally work evenings or weekends to meet with clients.

Escrow Officer vs. Loan Officer

Here are the main differences between an escrow officer and a loan officer.

Job Duties

One of the biggest differences between an escrow officer and a loan officer is the type of duties they perform. Loan officers work with banks to secure financing for individuals looking to purchase property. They evaluate applications, create contracts and communicate with clients to ensure that each individual has the resources needed to complete a real estate transaction successfully.

Escrow officers are responsible for managing transactions once a contract has been signed. This involves collecting important documents from both buyers and sellers, ensuring that payments are made on time and overseeing the transfer of funds once a sale has been finalized. Escrow officers also have more knowledge of legal terminology than loan officers do because they often work with contracts more frequently.

Job Requirements

Escrow officers and loan officers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in business administration or another related field. Additionally, both escrow officers and loan officers must obtain a license from their state before they can begin working. The requirements for licensure vary by state, but they usually include passing an exam and completing a background check. Some states also require professionals to complete continuing education courses to renew their licenses.

Work Environment

Escrow and loan officers work in different environments. Escrow officers typically work for escrow companies, which are private businesses that provide services to clients. They may also work for real estate agencies or law firms.

Loan officers usually work for banks, credit unions or other financial institutions. Some of them work as independent agents who offer their services to multiple lenders. Loan officers can also work for mortgage brokers, where they help borrowers find the best loans for their needs.


Both escrow officers and loan officers need to have excellent customer service skills. They will be working with clients throughout the process of either securing a loan or finalizing a real estate transaction, and it is important that they build positive relationships and provide a high level of service.

Both positions also require strong organizational skills. Escrow officers need to keep track of all the documents related to a real estate transaction, while loan officers need to keep track of their clients’ financial information and credit history. Both roles also require attention to detail to ensure that all the paperwork is completed correctly.

Loan officers need to have strong math skills to calculate interest rates and monthly payments, while escrow officers need to have basic math skills to calculate things like property taxes and insurance premiums. Loan officers also need to be able to explain complex financial concepts to their clients in layman’s terms, so excellent communication skills are important.


Escrow officers earn an average salary of $62,459 per year, while loan officers earn an average salary of $105,620 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the location of the job, the size of the company and the level of experience the professional has.


product owner vs. Product Designer: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Executive Recruiter vs. Recruiter: What Are the Differences?