Careers in Banking

Considering a career in the banking industry? A bank is a necessary service, just like a grocer. We often obtain a bank account in our early years, whether for savings, checking, personal, or college savings. This is an essential, like a car or home loan. Banks need to fill a variety of career positions in order to provide broad financial services to their customers.

Traditional or Specialty

When you think of a career in banking, you might automatically picture tellers or bank managers. But in addition to those retail banking positions, there are many other fascinating careers you might consider in banking. Some of these can be found in segments such as financial planning, foreign exchange, and mortgages. Within a specific segment, there are specialty areas. For example, mortgage banking specialties might include:

  • Reverse mortgage processing
  • Loan origination
  • Loan underwriting
  • Auditing

If you choose to work at a large bank, some positions might lead to other career tracks that aren’t as available in a small bank environment. Some positions don’t require a college degree and most banks offer on-the-job training, as well. Some positions and career tracks will require graduate work or other advanced degrees and certifications. Here’s a look at some possible banking careers to consider.

Teller Supervisor

A teller is often the first person you see at a retail bank. Tellers represent the bank to customers. A supervisor or head teller will often assist newer tellers by handling deposits, withdrawals, check cashing, wire transfers, currency exchanges, and helping to market products such as savings bonds. Requirements for this position are usually a high school diploma plus considerable on-the-job training in customer service skills and finance knowledge.

Branch Manager

A branch manager is the person who handles the daily operations in a retail bank behind the scenes. Responsibilities can include:

  • Hiring
  • Payroll
  • Marketing
  • Security
  • Training

Branch managers at banks in large cities typically have different responsibilities than their counterparts at retail banks in rural towns. In the larger banks, a finance-related degree is usually required for this position along with significant job training. Branch managers often hold assistant manager positions before advancing.

Loan Officer

A loan officer lends money to the bank’s customers who apply for mortgage, vehicle or personal loans. These individuals are tasked with finding great rates for their customers while acting as an advisor to their employer on whether a customer is a good risk for the bank. Loan officers are highly trained in risk assessment, lending rates, and in understanding regulations at both state and federal levels.

Wealth Management Representative

The most affluent members of a bank are typically assigned to a financial planner or support representative who has a high level of customer service skills, understands their needs, and has extensive training in financial advising. This individual uses consultative and soft selling techniques to present the bank’s products which are tailored to wealthy customers. In smaller banks this position requires significant job training and is possible to obtain without a degree. In larger banks it often requires an undergraduate degree in finance.

Trust Officers

Trust officers handle things like pension funds and profit sharing. They sometimes function as a bank’s lawyer or accountant. They are also expected to handle endowments upon occasion, making this a position with a variety of options depending upon the employer.

Support Staff

There are many support positions in banking from administrative and office positions to legal and financial support. Behind the scenes, these individuals process deposit slips and checks that customers deposit and perform data entry, computer maintenance, track records, and automate the paperwork that travels through the banking system. Some of these positions include:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Accountant
  • Audit clerk
  • Lawyer
  • Computer specialist

While these jobs make up a smaller segment of the population within the banking industry, these positions are critical to keeping any bank running smoothly. These individuals play a key role in keeping their banks in compliance with all existing federal and state regulations.

While some positions, such as an administrative assistant won’t require a degree, positions such as accountant or lawyer will require graduate or post-graduate work in their specialization. Computer specialists will be required to have at least an undergraduate degree, along with some advanced skills in areas like programming, software security, and databases.