jessica-hamiltonMortgage underwriters analyze the income and credit history of people applying for loans that use buildings or land for collateral. Based on their analysis, underwriters determine whether or not a borrower should be approved for a loan. Educational requirements for entry into the field vary by employer. In most cases, mortgage underwriters must have a minimum of a two-year associate’s or four-year bachelor’s degree, preferably in a field related to business, banking or economics. As of November 2010, mortgage underwriters earned an average of $41,889 to $61,802 per year, according to Pay scale.

Work Experience

Mortgage underwriters with more experience working in the field tended to earn more than their less-experienced counterparts as of November 2010, reports Pay scale. During their first year of employment, entry-level underwriters earned an average of $29,799 to $38,024 per year. Those with one to four years’ experience made an average of $35,717 to $48,925, while underwriters with five to nine years’ experience averaged $43,682 to $59,320. After 20 years’ experience or more, mortgage underwriters received average annual salaries of $50,771 to $66,425.

Employer Type

Mortgage underwriters’ salaries varied among different types of employers as of November 2010, explains Pay scale. Those employed by local Kelowna mortgage broker agencies earned the highest average annual salaries at $48,595 to $68,809. Incorporated companies paid an average of $42,414 to $61,293 annually, while private firms and practices featured average annual salaries of $32,000 to $58,555. Underwriters who worked for nonprofit organizations made an average of $38,974 to $60,621 per year.

Geography

Where a mortgage underwriter lived influenced her average annual salary as of November 2010, according to Payscale. Underwriters who worked in California averaged the highest annual salaries at $50,420 to $73,960. New Jersey, the second-highest paying state for mortgage underwriters, featured salaries of $50,870 to $70,572 per year. Other high-paying states where mortgage underwriters earned an average maximum of $62,000 or more per year included Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

Benefits

Mortgage underwriters often receive benefits that increase their overall compensation, according to Payscale, reporting as of November 2010. Underwriters reported receiving an average of 1.8 to 2.6 weeks of paid vacation as well as paid holidays and sick leave. Employers also may pay loan underwriters annual bonuses. Other benefits commonly enjoyed by mortgage underwriters included 401k retirement and company pension plans, life and disability insurance and reimbursement for tuition or other education-related expenses.