Mortgage brokers work with homeowners and homebuyers. Their job is to research a variety of loan options from multiple lenders and find the best mortgage rate for their client. As independent advisers, they’re instrumental in matching the consumer to the right lending institution for his needs. Like most sales professionals, mortgage brokers charge a commission for their services. Experienced brokers earn around $55,000 per year currently, but the pay scale rises above six figures for people who are truly dedicated to their trade

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Job Description

A mortgage broker is essentially a middleman between people who need a mortgage and the financial institutions that offer home loans. Specific duties include researching the property market, keeping tabs on the latest mortgage products, working with banks to find the lowest rates, pulling credit reports, verifying income and expenses, coordinating with real estate agents and appraisers and completing the loan paperwork. A good mortgage broker will keep a regular stream of communication with the borrower until the loan is closed.

Education Requirements

Mortgage brokerage is a regulated profession, and you’ll need to be certified and licensed to work in the field. To earn licensure, you’ll need to complete a 20-hour education program and pass the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test. The program covers topics such as federal and state mortgage laws, mortgage origination and professional ethics. You can download the handbook and other resources from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System website to help you pass the test. Once certified, you can start work as a licensed mortgage broker.

From a salary standpoint, the median annual wage for mortgage brokers is $55,000 in 2018. The median wage is calculated by ranking all mortgage brokers from the highest paid to the lowest paid and taking the salary of the person in the middle. Most mortgage brokers are paid on commission, however, and the pay scale is very broad. A typical salary might fall anywhere in the range of $28,932 to $176,393 annually, depending on how much business you generate.


Mortgage brokers work in the real estate industry, brokering deals between current and would-be homeowners and banks. The industry is vast, and there are plenty of opportunities for specializing in a specific sector, such as commercial loans or nonconforming loans. Mortgage brokers operate independently of banks and are usually employed by large brokerage firms, although some are self-employed. Whatever your employment status, networking is a key part of the job. You’ll be expected to develop relationships with real estate agents, banks and other professionals to sell your services and source potential clients.

Years of Experience

Mortgage brokers charge a fee for their services, which is usually around 1 or 2 percent of the loan amount. Sometimes the lender pays this fee, but usually, it’s paid by the borrower at closing. Because the salary is entirely commission based, your income is directly related to your experience, reputation and the number of hours you put in. The following represents a typical mortgage broker salary trajectory:

  • 0-5 years: $52,000
  • 5-10 years: $70,000
  • 10+ years: $85,000

Job Growth Trend

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11 percent job-growth rate for the loan industry generally, with 36,300 new jobs expected to be added to the economy by 2026. Job prospects should be especially good for brokers in the mortgage industry since homeownership is still a major part of the American dream. If there’s a negative, it’s that the rate of home buying fluctuates with the economy. In times of recession, few people move and the business volume for mortgage brokers tends to drop quite sharply.

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