Loan officers need a high school diploma and typically receive formal company-sponsored training and informal on-the-job training over their first few months of employment. Previous banking, lending or sales experience is highly valued by employers. Loan officers may start as tellers or customer service representatives.
Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, commercial loan officer positions often require a bachelor's degree in finance, economics or a related field.
Loan officers who work as independent loan processors for licensed mortgage brokers or loan processing companies must be licensed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
Licensing requirements include being at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent; demonstration of financial responsibility and character; a background check; passing a written exam covering the mortgage business and related regulations; and completion of 2 continuing education courses, of no less than 3 hours each, every year for license renewal. During the first year of licensure, one of these courses must cover ethics.
Loan officers may become mortgage brokers. Loan processors may move up to loan underwriter.