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A title examiner researches a property's history to obtain information about its title, and the first thing you will need to become a title examiner is to earn a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. You could increase the job opportunities available to you in this field by earning a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as business administration or finance. Many two-year colleges in the United States offer degree programs in business administration. If you don't hold a degree, you still could prepare to become a title examiner by completing college courses in business administration, finance, banking, real estate or law. Earning certification is another highly desirable qualification to possess if you want to become a title examiner.
In the United States, the National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors (NALTEA) offers two certifications, the NALTEA Master Abstractor (NMA) and the NALTEA Certified Abstractor (NCA). Holding either of the two will prove helpful in your preparation to become a title examiner, but it is very rare for an employer to require any type of certification. Keep in mind that in some geographic areas or countries, you might have to begin your career in a related entry-level position such as title clerk, abstractor or title searcher. Many people have become title examiners after gaining experience in the field working in an entry-level position. While working as a title searcher, clerk or abstractor, you will gain valuable experience needed as you work closely with title examiners to assist them in their duties.
Some of the businesses for which title examiners work are title companies, real estate agencies, mortgage companies, oil corporations and land development companies. The work generally involves local travel because title examiners must search records kept by local government agencies. Your primary responsibility would be to ensure that a property is free of restrictions that could affect its sale or use. The property can be a single family house, an apartment building, a commercial buildings or simply land. The obtaining of mortgage loans, mineral rights and title insurance are among the transactions that should not take place until a title examiner has verified the legal status of a property.
Title examiners also verify what is known in the United States as a legal description of a property. A legal description is different from the address because it reveals more information useful in checking zone ordinances governing how the property may or may not be used. For example, local law might restrict using a building to conduct a business if it is not commercially zoned. If you become a title examiner, you frequently will work with real estate agents and attorneys, and performing your duties will often require great attention to detail.