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How to Become a Personal Banker

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If you're a social person with a head for math and great communication skills, a personal banker might be the ideal job for you. Being a personal banker involves everything from opening checking and savings accounts to helping customers plan for their retirement. It can also lead to many opportunities for career progression.

What is a Personal Banker?

A personal banker deals with many different inquiries from banking customers. On a daily basis, their tasks are likely to include speaking with customers, selling financial services, updating a customer's digital account and monitoring and assessing branch targets. While daily tasks vary depending on the company, there is always a customer service focus. Some personal bankers work at bank call centers where they interact with customers over the phone. Other personal bankers work in brick-and-mortar branches where they deal with customers face-to-face. The goal of a personal banker is to sell the bank’s products and services and to develop strong relationships with customers.

How to Become a Personal Banker

A college degree isn't a prerequisite for a personal banker. Most banks require a high school diploma or GED plus one to two years of customer service and sales experience. When you are employed as a personal banker, you will get on-the-job training. Some banks may also require additional classes in federal banking regulations.

It's crucial that personal bankers have great communication skills, as they spend so much of their working day talking to customers, either in person or on the phone. Another important skill is excellent customer service. Because personal bankers are effectively sales people (selling their bank's products to potential and existing customers), they have to have great selling abilities. Personal bankers must be extremely knowledgeable about their bank's products and services and all related federal regulations. It's also useful to have good math and organizational skills.

If you tick some or all of these boxes, your first step toward a career in personal banking is to look for job vacancies in your town or city. Search the websites of major banks like U.S. Bank and Bank of America for personal banking positions. Make sure your resume and application highlights your relevant experience, qualifications and skills. It's standard to have to undergo a background check screening (subject to applicable laws and regulations) and provide employment references and criminal history information as part of your application.

How Much Does a Personal Banker Make Per Year?

According to Glassdoor.com, a personal banker at U.S. Bank earns an average of $35,226 per year. At Bank of America it's $39,617 per year and at Wells Fargo personal bankers earn $41,300 per year. These figures are determined by salaries, tips, bonuses and hourly wages submitted anonymously by thousands of people employed as personal bankers in the United States. Most banks also offer performance-based bonus opportunities and comprehensive benefits packages, including medical plans, paid vacations, life insurance and 401(k) plans.

When you compare salaries at different banks, it's important to take commissions into account. Some banks may pay lower base salaries but offer greater potential for commissions. Additionally, most banks offer ongoing paid development training opportunities, which allow you to progress your career within the organization and potentially boost your salary over time.

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About the Author

Claire Gillespie is a writer and editor with experience in law, business and PR. She has written about careers for many websites, including SheKnows and Reader's Digest.