Notary Publics are highly regarded individuals with a great amount of responsibility. They serve as an impartial witness during the signing of the most important documents like a deed, power of attorney, or mortgage. They may work in an office full-time or serve as a mobile notary a few days per week. Notary Publics are expected to be highly attentive with an eye for detail and to operate in an upstanding manner.
While doing your vital work as a Notary Public, do you wonder if your seal and stamp are earning you the maximum amount of money? Is your current salary the average amount for a Notary Public role? How can you earn even more in your Notary position?
Read on to find out more!
How Much Does a Notary Public Make and How to Earn More?
The average income for a Notary Public is $32,593 per year (Indeed, 2018).
The salary mentioned here is specific to full-time Notaries working in settings such as banks, corporations, government agencies, and law firms.
Salary by State
Geographic location has a significant impact on the salaries for all types of professions. This is because pay rates are directly influenced by the cost of living for a specific community, city, or state. A Notary Public is no different and you will find variances in the average Notary Public salary depending on the job location.
Average salaries for Notary Publics can range from 20% below the national U.S. average all the way to 40% above the national U.S. average. The highest Notary Public annual salary is highest in New York State with the average Notary salary being reported as $53,972 per year. You could also earn high salaries in Irvine, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado – where annual salaries were reported to range around $53,112 and $50,409 per year, respectively. Notary salaries are closer to the national average in Washington at $33,987 per year and in Indiana at $33,716 per year. On the other hand, some regions in the country actually show lower Notary incomes such as Orlando, Florida which only offers Notary salaries around $26,416 which is quite a bit lower than the overall national average.
Income Depends on the Type of Notary Public
Notaries fall into two general categories: stationary or mobile with individuals that pursue a mobile Notary Public role tending to make the most money. This is because most stationary Notaries work only when needed at their current job. For example, if you work as a bank teller that provides bank customers with Notary services as required, you may earn a bit more pay for that extra aptitude. However, you will not make as much as a mobile Notary Public that travels full-time to businesses, government offices, and client homes to serve as a witness and authorize signatures.
It is most common for mobile Notary Publics to be called upon to witness real estate transactions. To be extremely proficient and knowledgeable about mortgage signings and loan transactions, it is best for a mobile Notary to obtain a Signing Agent certification.
Completing the additional training and securing a Signing Agent certification will assist your career development and put you on the path to earning a higher income. This is mainly because you will be put first on the list of mobile Notary Publics for title companies, Lenders, and Signing Services with a Signing Agent (aka Mortgage Signing Agent) being better prepared to handle the unique complexities of real estate deals.
Keep in mind, mobile Notary Publics also charge travel fees to cover the cost of going to their customers so the money you put towards commuting will not cut into your profit.
What Are Some Ways to Increase Income?
There are a few dozen ways for a Notary Public to increase their business volume which will, in turn, increase their overall income. One of the most obvious ways to increase income is to network, network, network!
The best way to start networking is to join a professional organization such as the National Notary Association (NNA), American Society of Notaries, or American Association of Notaries. By participating in these Notary Public affiliations, you will be able to keep up on the latest industry trends and find marketing opportunities. You may also attend Notary workshops and conferences to get your name out into the community, as well as meet new people that may be able to bring you additional business.
Get your name out there and start marketing your Notary services in a traditional manner such as printing business cards and promotional pens that you can distribute to insurance agents, bank tellers, real estate agents, post office clerks, law firms, and other people that can use your Notary Public services. You may not get a call right away but when the public needs a Notary, they will remember you are the person to contact! Again, the more customers you have then the more income you will earn.
Get a Signing Agent Certification
As we mentioned earlier, Signing Agents are some of the busiest of all Notary Publics. For this reason, they also tend to earn the highest income. A Signing Agent (also known as a “courtesy signer”) is a Notary that receives additional training and a special certification to participate in real estate matters. A Signing Agent will be required to courier important documents, witness mortgage and dead signings, and deliver settlement checks.
Associations for Notary Publics provide Signing Agent certification training through online courses, self-study manuals, and in-person seminars. You may also be expected to complete a background check. The final exam for a Signing Agent certification is also administered by the professional organization. Once you’ve completed the final exam, the Notary groups will list you as a certified Signing Agent in their directories so mortgage lenders, title companies, and real estate companies will be aware of your professional Notary services
Build Your Clientele
There are numerous ways to increase your customer base and, therefore, increase your earnings. It’s really all about making the public aware of your Notary work and making sure they know how to reach you in the future. The list of things you can do is endless and includes action items like:
- Create a website, set-up a social media page, post a profile on a Notary Public site such as Signingagent.com.
- It never hurts to give past customers a phone call or send a flyer to remind them of your Notary services. Maybe the customer doesn’t need your assistance but perhaps they have a co-worker, neighbour, or friend that will want to hire you.
- Get involved in your community! It helps to volunteer your Notary Public assistance to the Chamber of Commerce, local high school athletic clubs, and the neighbourhood VFW or American Legion. Any opportunity that you can productively connect with your neighbours will benefit your Notary business in the long-run.
- Organize and co-sponsor identity theft or financial theft seminars. You can also work with your town hall or local bank to set-up a community shred day.
Protect Yourself from Notary Public Risks
In the course of your work as a Notary Public, the possibility of making a mistake might be inadvertently made on any of the documents you handle. You may be fastidious about your duties, but errors are always possible and that’s why it is important to protect yourself from Notary Public risks. If you don’t have some form of protection in place then you may face a very expensive lawsuit, court fees, and possible settlement for the customers “injured” by your mistake.
Remember, the Surety Bond you are required to take-out is intended to protect your clients in the event of a Notary mistake. It is still important to secure the right liability insurance to protect yourself as well.
If you wish to truly protect your Notary business, as well as personal assets, you will want to purchase an Errors & Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance policy. The cost for a Notary E&O coverage can approximately cost $700 in premium. The price is low in comparison to the amount of financial protection it will provide you, should an error befall your Notary business.
It’s a great idea to run an E&O Insurance quote specific to yourself to develop a more accurate premium quote. The quote process will only take a few minutes of your time.
Notary Public duties require someone that is focused on silently witnessing important processes and authenticating vital documents. An American Notary is highly esteemed and well respected for their integrity and honesty. In such a high-pressure role, it is possible a mistake may be made at least once during your career. A small error can cost you a lot of money which goes against your whole goal of earning more cash.
The best way to protect yourself against financial risks as a Notary Public is to buy Errors & Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance. You may never need to use Notary E&O Insurance but having this type of policy will certainly keep you financially protected should the need arise.
Indeed, 2018 [Online]:https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Notary-Public-Salaries
Suttle, Rick. “The Average Income of a Notary Public.” Career Trend [Online]: https://careertrend.com/average-income-notary-public-9633.html. Accessed 26 September 2018.