How to Become a Banker
Introduction to Banking
If you have a good head for figures, great interpersonal skills, and you have a knack for attention to detail then you should probably consider a career in the field of being a banker.
The job of a banker opens a door to a secure career with good pay, as well as many opportunities for development and growth in the future.
The financial industry employs many different types of bankers, from personal, commercial, to investment bankers. The roles and responsibilities for each of these jobs will be different and must be based on what the particular client needs.
Personal Bankers work more in a one-on-one scenario, with clients opening small business accounts and helping oversee various other financial transactions such as money orders and deposits. Commercial bankers handle the processing of loans for entrepreneurs and investment bankers connect people with money to possible opportunities to invest that money.
Bankers are primarily employed at banks and can be involved in approving loans and mortgages for customers. If you want to learn how to become a banker, read on to find out more.
What Does a Banker Do?
Bankers give their customers a wealth of services. They assist in initial banking requests such as setting up certificates of deposit and opening a checking or savings account as well as handling trusts, investment accounts, deposits, lines of credit and much more. They are able to answer questions that customers may have about their various banking needs and they can help those customers manage their accounts effectively. Bankers attempt to give excellent customer service and to establish a good relationship with the bank’s customers.
A good banker will always be looking for sales opportunities to bring more customers into the bank, to encourage deposits and services. They attend events in the community and must network with various groups in order to recruit new accounts and to enhance the image of the bank.
As stated above, the most successful bankers have a head for figures and attention to detail that most lack. A good grasp of customer service is what will really make the good banker shine, however, as being able to keep the customers coming back to do their banking at your establishment is the key to excelling as a banker and getting that next promotion.
Training to Become a Banker – School and Beyond
To become a banker, you will get training that starts with your education, but is ever ongoing if you wish to reach the top in that field. There are bankers who have office or administrative jobs with just a high school education. In order to work more in management, or to get a business or financial position, at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or liberal arts will do.
For just about all positions banks want employees who have good basic math and communication skills. You’ll find that most bankers have a combination of formal education and on-the-job training to learn the job and the rules, regulation, and procedures they must know for the job. Of course, banks do encourage advancement and will provide their employees with sources of higher education and training programs to help them get promoted and advance.
A good checklist of things to be doing for your future if you have any sort of interest in specializing is listed here:
- Earn a high school diploma – Take courses in business and math. Get familiar with computer software such as spreadsheets and databases.
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree – Take courses in finance that will educate you in accounting, business issues, and regulatory compliance. Take other courses related to banking. Programs in business administration can definitely help. Those who graduate with a bachelor’s can get jobs in commercial and investment banking.
- Participate in an internship – This can be part of a degree program or something you can do on your own during the summer. This will provide you with some great experience and give you a good preliminary knowledge of policies and regulations. This is also a great way to make connections and to begin networking for future employment opportunities.
- Consider obtaining an MBA (Master’s of Business Administration) – This will allow you to get promoted to and work in top-tier jobs in the industry. The courses you’ll be taking will teach you advanced banking and how to follow the market, make investment decisions, and all about trends.
- Complete an investment banking program – Banks will offer these to employees to help teach about various strategies involved in working with clients and making investments. You will learn client relations, banking services, and business practices by using case studies, modeling sessions, and group presentations.
- Get licensed – To become an investment banker you need to get registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This is a very tough process that requires opening a special bank account from which application, examination and registration fees are paid. Fingerprints are also taken as well as having an intensive membership interview. A series of exams then follows that must be completed to get your license.
- Consider certification – While not a requirement, getting certified is a preference of employers, especially if you’re looking to become an investment banker. To obtain this, you must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of four years worth of related work experience. You must pass three intense exams which require hundreds of hours of studying in such subjects as accounting, economics, asset evaluation, corporate finance, and portfolio management.
Career Prospects for the Future Banker
Banks looking to overhaul and revamp their services to provide greater customer service will drive the creation of new branches and the need to hire more bankers for those job openings. Job openings are looking to be favorable for those who have financial service backgrounds and who have proficient computer skills. New employees will also be needed to replace those who will be leaving either through retirement or for other reasons.
Most bankers will begin at entry-level, in retail branches where they will work on and learn the frontline, helping customers. As you gain experience, promotions may follow to more specific and specialized roles as business banker or mortgage officer. There are other more specialized roles such as finance, international banking, commercial lending, human resources, advertising, public relations, or information technology. These promotions and roles will depend upon your interests, education, and skills.
How Much Can a Banker Make
As of 2012, a banker with less than some years worth of experience earned a salary of around $30,000 and those that had anywhere from one to four years experience earned an annual salary of just more than $32,000. With experience and later promotions you could expect to start seeing increases to around $45,000. Top-level bankers who are in specialized areas report earning around $85,000 and up a year.
Anyone wanting to become a banker is looking at an excellent career as long as they feel comfortable handling other people’s money and giving out advice on how to manage that money. You need those all-important communication skills and customer service skills, and you need to have a real love of working with and helping people. Motivation, confidence, and ability in sales will get you far in this career.