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How Much Do Bankers Make?

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Bankers' Salaries Vary Widely by Specialty

If you love numbers and helping companies and individuals grow wealth, a career as a banker could be both lucrative and rewarding. Salaries for personal, investment and commercial bankers vary widely. Choose a higher-paying banking specialty to earn a dependable income that can help you create a positive financial future for your family. As an added bonus, bankers normally work regular business hours and enjoy full benefits.

Job Description

Bankers help individuals and companies achieve their financial goals by advising them on investments, credit options, securities and deposit accounts. They spend a great deal of time contacting clients and meeting with them to discuss their financial aspirations and the options available to them. They sometimes evaluate and either approve or deny applications for credit, as well as assess financial risks and benefits in a variety of scenarios. They are keenly aware of the overall financial environment and keep up with what is happening in the stock market. Some bankers are also responsible for buying and selling investments to grow financial portfolios in a lucrative manner.

Education Requirements

To break into the field of banking, you must earn a bachelor's degree with significant coursework in accounting, business and finance. Many employers look for candidates who have also earned a master of business administration degree. On-the-job training is critical, so seek out internships in high-profile firms during your education and following graduation. Make connections within the field to give yourself an edge over the competition.

Salaries for bankers vary widely by area of specialty and employer, so choose your internships wisely. Securities, commodities and financial service sales agents earn a median salary of $67,310 per year, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earns less. Commercial bankers enjoy a median salary of $91,937, while investment bankers take home about $91,727. Personal bankers earn a median hourly rate of $15.91.

About the Industry

Bankers work in a wide variety of settings, from local bank branches to corporate offices and on the stock market. Hours are regular, but those who trade on Wall Street can expect a stressful work environment and several hours on their feet. The pace of work can be frantic, with high pressure from managers and clients to excel and quickly grow financial portfolios. Personal bankers enjoy a slower pace and more downtime during the day, which helps to make up for lower pay, but that schedule could be more compatible with family life. Commercial bankers enjoy some of the same benefits as personal bankers, with the added benefit of a larger salary.

Years of Experience

Income increases with experience in all areas of banking, but some areas pay more than others. Commercial and investment bankers generally earn more than personal bankers. One projection of income over the course of a commercial banking career looks like this:

  • Entry-Level:

    $40,168 - $89,954
    * Mid-Career: 

    $49,965 - $119,200
    Experienced: $70,644 - $151,403
    Late Career: $83,043 - $156,318

Job Growth Trend

Job opportunities for all securities, commodities and financial services agents is expected to grow by 6 percent over the next decade, about as fast as in other industries. Personal financial advisers are expecting a growth of 14 percent over the next decade, which is faster than in other industries, and loan officers should see 11 percent growth, also faster than other industries. Competition for jobs can be steep, especially in higher profile firms. Establish yourself as an asset during your internships to get your foot in the door and secure the best position possible.