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A notary public is a public officer, constituted by law, who administers oaths, takes affidavits, authenticates the execution of certain documents, and takes acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances. Public notaries are employed by a variety of industries, including real estate, where every transaction requires a cost-effective method of verifying information.
Salary and Benefits
Public notaries earn between $24,716 and $49,158 on average, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Bonuses make up a very minor portion of the total salary, between $101 and $1,500. Health benefits are not very common among public notaries, with 52 percent having no coverage. For those that do have coverage, the most common is medical, followed by dental and, to a lesser degree, vision.
Experience has an impact on a notary public's income, with peak earnings occurring early in the career. Entry-level notary publics, with less than one year of experience, earn between $23,583 and $37,642, according to PayScale November 2010 data. A substantial increase occurs for those with one to four years’ experience; they earn between $26,880 and $51,048. At five to nine years’ experience, earnings reach their peak at $30,521 to $94,333.
Notary publics wishing to increase their income should think twice before becoming self-employed. In this profession, individuals employed by a company earn between $31,440 and $73,600, according to PayScale November 2010 data. This contrasts greatly with self-employed notary publics, who earn only $25,200 to $50,000.
Notary publics can find work in a variety of industries, including real estate, insurance, government, title insurance, and escrow and title services. Industry can account for up to a 15 percent difference in earnings. Government offers the greatest earnings potential for notary publics, ranging from $38,108 to $64,622, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Public notaries working in escrow and title services earn the least, between $32,976 and $56,089.
The earnings potential of a notary public can vary greatly within individual states. Notary publics in the state of California earn the highest, with the range of $29,277 to $82,200, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Notary publics in Pennsylvania can earn almost as much as those in California, between $17,290 and $73,700. Though notary publics in Louisiana earn far less, the range is substantially smaller as well, between $35,000 and $47,168.
Notary publics working in small companies have the potential to earn more income, though the earnings range varies widely. Notary publics working in companies with one to nine employees earn between $24,308 and $79,000, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Their counterparts working in larger companies of 10 or more employees earn between $31,440 and $55,000.