Carrie Christensen teaches several Notary Public classes at SMC Community Education. She is director of Los Angeles-based Notary Public Seminars, Inc., which has been a leading public course provider for well over 15 years.
What are the advantages of being a notary public?
Being a notary is a relatively easy job and it’s great to have an additional stream of income.
If you’re working in a bank, or as an administrative assistant, for example, does being a notary usually increase your salary?
It should, but it’s not automatic. A Notary might have to negotiate with their boss when appropriate. A notary may be able to charge fees when they notarize for their company but the arrangement must be agreed upon first. It’s a great resume builder when job hunting.
Notaries who worked full time earned average annual salaries of $36,000 as of 2013, according to the job website indeed.com. Is that accurate? Is that salary a little low compared to other professions?
That number does seem low, although it’s probably an average taken from notary earnings throughout the nation. In certain areas like southern California, notaries earn more on average than notaries in northern California.
It also depends on real estate trends. When there are a lot of houses on the market, notaries are making more money. Also, since notaries in California receive a pay raise this year from $10 a signature to $15 per signature, that number will increase. It may not seem like much, but notaries are also allowed to charge for travel. There is no set cap for travel fees.
Mortgage signing agents earned average annual salaries of $45,000 as of 2013, according to the jobsite indeed.com. Is that accurate? That’s more lucrative and so your new class would be a real benefit, right?
We call them Loan Signing Agents and yes, this is the only way to make a serious living as a notary. We do offer a one-day class on how to notarize loan documents. It does take a bit of extra knowledge to be efficient.
Tell us briefly about yourself. Why did you become a notary public? Why did you start Notary Public Seminars?
Directly out of college, I started working for National Notary Association. It was a perfect fit, as I love public speaking and the law. I decided to start my own company because I felt I could create a better seminar and make more money on my own. This has been a great niche for me.
Is there anything you would like to add? I’m very grateful to partner with Santa Monica College. I feel they truly care about their students and educational vendors.
Carrie Christensen will teach three classes this spring: Become a Notary in One Day, Renew as a Notary in One Day!, and Become a Loan Signing Agent: Build Your Own Notary Signing Business.