Bank On Real Estate

Q: I am a pharmaceutical professional with three to four years experience, who was laid off in December 2001 and was able to secure a contract position until the following October. I am also consulting with a mortgage brokerage company on a commission basis and considering opportunities in mortgage banking, but I just started in the area. What advice can you give? I am considering relocating to the Atlanta area.
–F. Obe, Via the Internet

A: Of the industries expected to offer a variety of future job opportunities, both pharmaceuticals and mortgage banking show great promise. According to recent numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mortgage industry employment increased 27% in 2001 and 2002, providing 81,000 jobs.

In these trying economic times, a strong housing market and record low interest rates have been the catalyst for such growth. Expect, however, that as interest rates rise there may be some slowed growth, but not enough to discourage your pursuits.

An article by notes that many mortgage companies are “working hard to keep the good employees they have, rewarding them with thank-you gifts and monthly and quarterly bonuses.”

A good place to start your search is www, which features a job board, advice on becoming a mortgage professional, and information about relevant courses.

As for Atlanta, commercial banking is strong there. But other southern cities offering real estate and commercial banking opportunities include Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore; and Dallas.