What is this career about?
Banking is about much more than helping people put money into an account and then withdraw it later on. Bank employees are also expected to be aware of and to follow any local, state, or federal laws that apply to transactions and the maintenance of accounts. There are many positions, even within a single bank branch, and this means a lot of opportunities for job growth as you gain experience.
The biggest component of this job is maintaining positive relationships with customers. Customers that know and trust you are more willing to lend you the use of their money, hence allowing banks to grow their own business. Every bank employee is involved in this process, ranging from tellers on upward.
Who should apply?
A career in the banking industry is a perfect place for people that are interested in working with money. People with a good eye for numbers do well in this industry, but the most important thing here is that you work well with people. Money is a sensitive topic for many people, and being patient with customers, having a positive demeanor no matter what, and taking extra steps to ensure that people are happy with the service that is being provided is a key part of success within the banking industry.
What growth is likely?
There are currently over 1.3 million careers in the banking industry, and more growth is predicted. It’s true that banks were hit hard in the 2008 financial crisis, but these were mostly the larger banks, and not the ones where most U.S. employees are currently working. There are over 6,300 branches located in the U.S., and these have been expanding faster than stats can keep up with.
The national average pay for bank tellers is just under $10 an hour, with starting pay usually at $9 per hour, depending on the region and clientele, of course. Customer service representatives and those in positions of leadership can expect to make much more. Customer service positions can range up as high as $13 per hour, while head tellers tend to make about the same. Branch managers can expect to start out at around $40,000 for medium sized banks, and then this could move upward depending upon business, experience, and location.
Specialized jobs within the bank also can see much higher pay once commissions are taken into account. For example, loan officers can see sizable bonuses when large sales are made, and it is not unusual to see successful bankers make six figures a year after a few years of experience, especially if they live in a more affluent area and have a great network of connections.
Other careers in this industry are also growing. Online banking is becoming more and more popular, and a strong technology team is needed within every single institution. Reliable software designers and system experts are going to be more and more in demand in this industry in the future. Other jobs, like ATM repair teams, are also becoming more and more in demand.
How to succeed?
There are a number of things that you can do to succeed in getting a job in the banking industry. Hiring managers first look to see that applicants are trustworthy and have strong social skills. If you have job experience where you have used these skills, it is important highlighting them on your resume and mentioning during an interview.
You do not necessarily need to have banking experience to break into this career, but working with money in the past can be helpful. This can be something as simple as a cashier position at a fast food restaurant in the past. Hiring managers will want to know that you have basic skills when it comes to counting and handling money for the sake of accuracy—being inaccurate can take away money from either the bank or the customer, and both of these are unacceptable. Money management skills will be enhanced as you gain experience, so a willingness to learn and develop this part of your career is a must if you want to keep moving up in this sector.
Having a high school diploma or a GED is a must in this career path for the entry level jobs. This is a job where basic math is needed, and if you have completed high school, you are far more likely to be successful. Virtually all hiring managers require this, even at small local branches. For more advanced positions within a bank, specifically those that deal with investments, a college degree will be needed, as may certain certifications and advanced post-graduate training. These are industry standards, and typically mandated by federal law. For example, FINRA requires you to have certain training completed and valid licenses if you are going to recommend and sell securities to clients. These hurdles might seem overwhelming, but when you take into account the impact that they can have on other people’s lives. Those that are successful in this career path are more than amply rewarded for their efforts with commissions.
The biggest thing to remember as you pursue a career in the banking industry is that you should be honest. An honest banker will always end up doing the right thing for both their employer and their clients. Being around money constantly can be a temptation for some, and immediately dismissing any sort of dishonesty from your mind is the most surefire way to be successful in this career path.
Use the external resources for an inside view in a financial career in the banking industry. In order to work for a bank it’s important to understand what they’d be looking for in a prospective employee. The best way to do this is by researching exactly what it takes to get a job in banking! Whether you’re looking for an entry level job as a teller or a full on career as a mortgage broker, it’s important to research your future career before moving forward with a job application.
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