How to Become a Banker
Do you have a good head for figures, fine attention to detail, and great interpersonal skills? If so, you should consider a career path as a banker. When you become a banker, you open the door to a secure career with a good salary, as well as plenty of opportunities for development and growth within the industry. Working as a banker, or bank officer, can involve many different roles. You may be working in the retail sectors of banks, face to face with clients, behind the scenes balancing books, or working with loans, currencies or investments.
Education Requirements to Become a Banker
To gain an entry level role as a retail bank teller does not require any education other than your high school diploma. To be considered for one of these roles, you will need to have good grades, particularly in English and math.
As you climb the career ladder, you will find that you only get so far without any tertiary education. A four year bachelor degree in business, finance, or accounting will be held in high regard by your employers.
If you're still in high school or college, try and gain some work experience in a bank. This will give you a better feel of the kind of work you can expect to do upon graduation. Work experience will also look great on your resume, both when applying for college and when entering the work force.
If you are planning on a career as a specialist or investment banker, you may need to gain an MBA with a focus on finance or business. A good idea is to complete your undergraduate degree, then your postgraduate studies can be pursued part-time while you are working.
Banker Job Description
It's not unusual for a banker to complete many different roles during the course of their career. In fact, many banks and credit unions encourage their employees to learn different roles and broaden their skills base, especially in their first few years of employment.
Here are some of the daily tasks you might undertake as a banker:
- Processing deposits and withdrawals
- Opening and closing accounts
- Providing customer service
- Looking over and analyzing loan applications
- Communicating with colleagues
- Referring business to other department as required
The most successful bankers have great communication skills, both written and verbal. Most bankers have a good head for figures as well as fine attention to detail, but not all are apt in interpersonal relations. If you can develop your skills in this area, you will stand out in the crowd. While much of their work relates to figures and math, it's also important to provide a high level of customer service. Being able to keep your customers coming back to you is key to excelling in your role and getting that next promotion.
Banker Salary and Career Path
Most bankers will begin their career in an entry level role, usually in retail bank branches where they will work on the frontline, assisting customers. As you gain experience, you will be promoted to more involved roles, perhaps as a mortgage officer or business banker. If you choose to, you can go on to a specialized role, for example international banking, finance, superannuation, human resources, commercial lending, public relations, advertising, or information technology. This will be dependent on your skills, education, and interests.
The great thing about a career in banking, is that if you get bored with one role, there is always something else you can move on to do. Most employers will encourage their employees to undergo further training, some will even offer financial incentives or study leave. If you are motivated to succeed, and are ready to work hard, this is an excellent sector to be employed in.
An entry level role as a banker will pay around $30,000. With experience and promotion, you could expect salary increases to around $45,000. Top tier bankers working in specialized areas can earn upwards of $85,000+ a year.
If you're looking for a good salary and a stable and secure job, then becoming a banker may be the right fit for you. While there are no formal education requirements to start your career, you will gain better job opportunities and a higher salary with some qualifications behind you. One of the best benefits of a career in banking is that there is lots of room for advancement, further learning, and career progression.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics