Banks supply an important component of the economy, connecting investors and depositors with those seeking capital. Some banks engage in retail banking, loaning money directly to consumers. Other banks, often called commercial banks, deal with corporations. Some banks provide both kinds of services. Business bankers work in commercial banking and help firms succeed by providing financial services and products to help them expand or maintain their businesses.
During a typical workweek, a commercial loan officer meets with representatives of businesses, answers their questions and analyzes the credit worthiness and financial health of their firms. He explains the available options and gathers the financial statements and other information required to determine if the loans can be approved. The banker computes and provides payment schedules and performs other kinds of paperwork. Business bankers must continuously stay current with new types of loans and financial products.
Business bankers, particularly loan officers, play a key role in developing new revenues for their banks. They build relationships with customers and therefore don’t always stay in their branch offices. They may travel to their clients’ locations to follow up on existing loans or to generate new business. They may work evenings and sometimes on weekends.
Education and Qualifications
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business bankers usually have at least a college degree. Many hold a master's degree in business administration. Candidates for commercial banking positions benefit from sales experience. Organizations such as the American Bankers Association and others offer professional development opportunities.
Advancement in banking generally requires additional training and certifications. However, many banks pay for continuing education programs. A number of factors influence earning potential, particularly the location and size of the bank.
According to the Occupational Information Network, loan officers earned an average of $26.38 hourly or $54,880 annually in 2009. Candidates for these jobs can expect an average growth in the rate of job openings from 2008 through 2018, according to the BLS.