How to Become a Personal Banker

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

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Begin a Financial Services Career to Support Your Future

Personal bankers work at banks or credit unions to provide customer service, assess client needs and offer financial products that meet those needs. If you enjoy helping people plan for their financial futures and seeing them achieve their goals, a career as a personal banker could be interesting and rewarding. Education requirements for entry-level personal bankers are flexible, making this a good career if you don't want to spend several years in school before you can earn a salary. Hours are generally regular and offer good benefits, ideal for moms with little ones at home.

Job Description

Personal bankers work with customers in-person or by phone to assess their financial needs and help them find the proper products and services to meet those needs. Bankers are aware of and stay up-to-date on the changing financial world, both inside their institution and in the greater marketplace. Excellent listening skills, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills and customer service skills help ensure clients receive competent care they can trust as they plan for their financial goals. Math and computer skills are essential in helping clients choose products with the greatest potential return on investments or the lowest cost. Some personal bankers only serve customers who walk or call in to the bank, while others also place out-calls to sell bank services to clients and those in the community.

Education Requirements

While a high school diploma may enable you to secure a job as a banker, many employers prefer candidates with some additional education. Consider earning a certificate in accounting or an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting or personal finance. Certification is not required, but many personal bankers also choose to sit for the series 6 and 63 exams, which are offered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Education and certification can help you stand out from the crowd and land the position you've been hoping for.

The median annual salary for personal bankers is $37,238, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earns less. This is more than bank tellers make, who earn a median salary of $27,260, but lower than personal financial advisors, who earn a median salary of $90,530. The education requirements for becoming a financial advisor are not very different from those required to become a personal banker. The primary difference is that you must acquire special licensing to sell particular products and certification through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. If you begin your career as a personal banker and hope to make more money after a few years of experience, becoming a financial advisor could be a good option for you. At the top end, personal bankers earn more than $46,000 per year, while the bottom end earns less than $30,000 per year. Making that career shift could double your salary.

About the Industry

Most personal bankers work in a bank or credit union. Some bankers have personal offices, while others work in cubicles that are arranged to allow room and privacy for conferencing with bank clients. Some bankers may work in call centers, if their primary responsibilities involve calling clients or online customer service, rather than meeting with clients in the bank branch. Hours tend to be regular, which is convenient when you have little ones at home. Benefits are stable and may provide you some access and inside knowledge about financial services to help you plan for your own financial future.

Years of Experience

Years of experience, geography, education and employer impact the salary for personal bankers. Though they do not earn the highest salaries in the financial services field, personal bankers report a high degree of job satisfaction.

  • Entry-Level: $26,633 - $44,970
  • Mid-Career: $29,163 - $49,821
  • Experienced: $30,456 - $51,961
  • Late-Career: $31,176 - $55,418

Job Growth Trend

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that job opportunities for bank tellers are expected to decline by 8 percent over the next decade, while job opportunities for financial planners are expected to increase by 15 percent during that same time period. Many people are banking online rather than in branches, which reduces the need for bank staff like tellers. The aging population is causing an increased demand for personal financial planners, both inside and outside of banking institutions.