Becoming a Lien Specialist: Careers, Salary Info & Job Description

About this article
A lien specialist is responsible for ensuring that a payment on an existing debt will be made to either a mortgage company or creditor by holding the property or freezing an account until payment is made. A bachelor's degree in accounting or business is required for many jobs; however, some employers will accept applicants with an associate's degree in a related field.
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Pros and Cons of a Lien Specialist Career

A lien specialist is an accounting clerk who has to be current on laws that exist within his or her industry of expertise and must be able to sift through all of the paperwork that details property or debt information. Read on to go over the pros and cons of becoming a lien specialist to decide if it's the right career for you.

Pros of Being a Lien Specialist
Most work completed in an office setting*
Median salary of $36,430 in 2014 for all accounting, bookkeeping and auditing clerks is slightly above the national salary for all occupations combined ($35,540)*

Cons of Being a Lien Specialist
Specialists may need to work extra hours at certain times through the fiscal year*
Decline in job growth, -8%, for all accounting, bookkeeping and auditing clerks from 2014-24*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

A lien is a hold over an existing debt or a piece of property that cannot be lifted until the owner or person pays a specific amount of money. The lien functions within the mortgage industry to stop the property's owner from selling the property or transferring the title to someone else. It may also allow the mortgage company to force the property into sale so that they can collect any outstanding funds. In positions of more responsibility they may also be required to make a decision regarding any outstanding debt and put in motion any procedures to secure lost funds.

Salary Info and Career Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the employment outlook for accounting, bookkeeping and auditing clerks, including lien specialists, is negative, with experts predicting a -8% decline. However, many openings are still forecast, due to both the large size of the career field and the likelihood of many workers moving on to other jobs. According to the BLS, the median annual salary of these clerks is $36,430.

What Are the Requirements?

An undergraduate degree in business or related field may be required for employment; however, many companies may only desire an associate's degree or high school diploma and two to five years of experience in order for a candidate to be eligible for employment. Lien specialist should be comfortable dealing with large amounts of paperwork that detail a person's debt history. They also need strong computer skills and be knowledgeable of Microsoft Office.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Many prospective employers want lien specialists who have experience in the field. You can learn more by considering this real job listings from 2015.

  • An accounting company in Michigan is looking for lien specialists for a long-term temporary project. Experience in clerical and administrative duties is required.
  • A facility in Texas would like to hire a lien release manager. A bachelor's or associate's degree is required for this position. Managerial experience is also required, as well as strong organizational skills.

How to Stand Out

Lien specialists that can perform duties outside of their area of expertise will more likely have better chances of securing employment than candidates lacking this flexibility. Employers are searching for more diversified employees able to perform multiple tasks in order to cut down on costs, which is especially true in smaller companies.

Other Fields to Consider

Budget Analyst

If you're interested in helping institutions keep their finances organized, a career as a budget analysts might be right for you. Budget analysts typically require a bachelor's degree before they can work, though some employers prefer a master's degree. These analysts work to understand financial needs and organize budgets. The BLS reports a yearly median salary of $69,280 for this career.

Financial Clerk

The career of a financial clerk involves keeping financial records and completing financial transactions. Higher education is generally not required for this career. According to the BLS, this career will grow by 11% from 2012-2022. The yearly median salary for financial clerks in 2012 was $34,960, also according to the BLS.

Popular Schools

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    1. Kaplan University

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    Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
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    2. Strayer University

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    3. Capella University

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    4. Southern New Hampshire University

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    5. Grand Canyon University

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    6. Colorado State University Global

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    7. Herzing University

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    8. Everest

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    9. Ashford University

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    10. Indiana Wesleyan University

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • MS in Accounting- Tax Specialization
  • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
  • Associate: Accounting
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Strayer University

  • M.S. in Accounting: Taxation Concentration
  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Accounting
  • Associate in Arts in Accounting
  • Diploma in Acquisition and Contract Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Capella University

  • PhD: Accounting (ACBSP-accredited)
  • MBA: Accounting (ACBSP-accredited)
  • Bachelor: Accounting (ACBSP-accredited)

What is your highest level of education completed?

Southern New Hampshire University

  • MS in Accounting - Taxation
  • BS in Accounting
  • AS in Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • MBA: Accounting
  • BS in Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Master of Finance
  • BS - Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting & Healthcare Mgmt.
  • Bachelor: Accounting
  • Associate of Science - Accounting
  • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

Everest

  • Associate's - Accounting

What is your highest level of education completed?