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Average Salary: $65,000

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,713,620

Can I interest you in some money? (Source)

The big money, as in most industries, comes from being in sales. That's right—if you haven't realized it yet, much of this job is sales, or not unlike working retail. Some people will need to be sold on their loan items. If you like the world of transacting in mortgages, sell them. This is how a lot of your money is going to be made—the more of these loans you write, the bigger your commission checks.

The average annual salary for this career is in the neighborhood of $65,000 (source). Of course, as this gig's all about that sweet commission money, the word average doesn't really mean much. 

The majority of loan officers are paid for every loan they bring in, so you'll probably be very concerned with how many loans you close and, accordingly, how many bonus dollars you're able to score. As you should be—if you can't make the sale, then you're not really doing what the bank hired you to do.

This doesn't make you a bad person; after all, your customers want this money for something. If you can't sell high-priced loans, get out into the community and build connections with people, so that when they need to borrow they come to you to borrow it. This will change your bottom line, which can range anywhere from $30,000 to four times that amount.

Regardless of your sales acumen, as long as you aren't irresponsible with the bank's money, you should be able to make a comfortable living on a loan officer's salary. We hope so, because you don't want to be the loan officer who has to ask for a loan; talk about embarrassing.