Written By: Joel Palmer, Op-Ed Writer
Like with any job, the amount a person earns will also depend on the location, the company employing the processor, the amount of experience possessed by the professional, and the value of benefits and bonuses provided. The consensus is that mortgage processors can expect moderate pay increases in their first five to 10 years in the position and that many move on to other positions within the industry once they reach 20 years.
The website Salary.com measured the median salary of mortgage processors on three levels. A median salary indicates a middle point where 50 percent of subjects earn less than the median and the other 50 percent earn more.
For its descriptions of mortgage processors I, II, III, the only differentiator was the amount of experience. In its survey, a mortgage processor I is an entry level position, a mortgage processor II has two to four years experience, and a mortgage processor III has at least four years experience.
According to Salary.com, the median salary of a mortgage processor I, as of November 30, 2016, was $35,036, with a typical range between $31,627 and $39,608. About 25 percent of all level I processors earned at least $39,608 while 10 percent made at least $43,771 in base salary.
The median salary of a mortgage processor II was $38,100, with most professionals falling in the range between $34,175 and $43,477. About 25 percent of level II professionals earned more than $43,477, while the top 10 percent made at least $48,372.
A level III mortgage loan underwriter commanded a median base salary of $47,019, as of November 30, 2016, with a range usually between $42,453 and $51,560. The top 25 percent at this level were paid a minimum of $51,560 while the highest-earning 10 percent made at least $55,965.
Salary.com also reported on compensation for mortgage loan processing supervisors, defined as professionals who supervise a team of processors to “ensure that new mortgage loan packages are processed and completed according to established policies and procedures.”
The median salary for mortgage loan processing supervisors was $65,477 as of November 30, 2016, with a typical range between $54,715 and $73,918. The latter number was also the minimum base salary for the top 25 percent of supervisors, while the highest top percent grossed at least $81,603.
Certain parts of the country will pay more than the national average or median, while others will pay less.
Payscale noted that mortgage processorss typically earn more in markets like San Diego (median of $46,914), Denver ($45,315), Chicago ($42,869), Dallas ($42,150), Phoenix ($42,167), and Minneapolis ($40,777).
While the most significant portion of a professional’s income, base salary in most cases accounts for only 70 percent of a mortgage processor’s total compensation. Most in the profession are eligible for medical, dental and even vision benefits.
The total value of company-paid benefits to mortgage underwriters includes Social Security contributions, 401(k) or 403(b) contributions, disability insurance premiums, health insurance premiums, pension funds and paid time off. The totality of these benefits, according to Salary.com, results in median total compensation of:
- $54,093 for Level I
- $58,100 for Level II
- $70,147 for Level III
- $95,682 for Mortgage Processing Supervisors
There is also a wide range of bonuses paid to processors. The Payscale survey indicated that annual bonus amounts range from just under $973 all the way to more than $12,000. Salary.com data showed median bonuses ranging from $1,292 for level I professionals to $1,587 for level III processors. Supervisors can earn a median annual bonus of $2,656.
About the Author
As an NAMP® Opinion Editorial Contributor, Joel Palmer is a freelance writer who spent 10 years as a business and financial reporter and another 10 years in marketing for the insurance and financial services industries. He regularly writes about the mortgage industry, as well as residential and commercial real estate, investments, and retirement income planning. He has also ghostwritten books on starting a business, marketing, and retirement income planning.