Notaries public help prevent forged signatures and deceit in various public matters, including contracts, powers of attorney, attestations and mortgage documents. They authenticate people's signatures by having them sign documents with raised seals. They also administer oaths, maintain records of documents and perform marriage ceremonies in some states. You need to be at least 18 to become a notary public. Expect to earn a relatively average annual salary compared to other occupations.
Many notaries public work part-time in banks or government offices where people need documents authenticated. Those who worked full time earned average annual salaries of $36,000 as of 2013, according to the job website indeed.com. To become a notary public, you need at least a high school diploma. After completing a short classroom or online training program, you must then purchase and maintain a notary surety bond through your state. Other important qualifications for a notary public include attention to detail, math, interpersonal and computer skills.
Average salaries for notaries public can vary $10,000 to $15,000 per year among certain states and districts. They earned the highest salaries of $43,000 per year in New York, according to indeed.com. You would also earn a relatively high salary working in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and New York -- $42,000, $41,000 and $40,000 per year, respectively. Your salary would be closer to the industry average in Texas at $34,000 annually -- and less in Kentucky or South Dakota: $32,000 or 28,000, respectively.
Experience probably contributes the most to a higher salary as a notary public. As you gain experience, you might qualify for some of the higher-paying positions. If you work for the same employer, you will likely get annual increases that can add significantly to your yearly earnings. And geographical area -- to some degree -- dictates what you'll earn as a notary public. For example, your New York employer might pay you 20 percent to account for the higher housing and general living costs in that state.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't report job trend data for notaries public. It does, however, report job opportunities for court reporters and information clerks, which are expected to increase 14 and 7 percent in the next decade. Court reporters and information clerks work with public records as notaries public do. Therefore, like these professionals, you might find more job opportunities as a notary public in higher growth areas, and as the economy improves: More business contracts, for example.
- Linda McCulloch: Montana Secretary of State: Frequently Asked Questions
- American Society of Notaries: Basic Notarial Duties
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Court Reporters: Job Outlook
- Gage Personnel: PT Notary Public/Title Clerk
- Bright: Notary Public
- Indeed: Notary Public Salary
- Indeed: Notary Public Salary in New York, Washington, DC, and Massachusetts
- Indeed: Notary Public Salary in California, Kentucky, and Texas
- Indeed: Notary Public Salary in South Dakota
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Information Clerks: Job Outlook
- Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images