Banker: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for bankers. Get the facts about salary, job outlook, licensure and degree requirements to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Banker?

Banking is a broad field. Whether you become a personal, commercial or investment banker will determine your responsibilities as well as your earning potential in this area of the financial sector. As a personal banker, you will provide personal financial information to individuals who want to manage their money wisely. Commercial bankers deal more with organizations and may work on the stock exchange. Information presented in the table can help you make decisions on the type of banker you'd like to become.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Business, finance
Key Skills Math, customer service, interpersonal, decision-making
Licensure/Certification Licensure is necessary to originate mortgage loans, sell/buy securities, or sell insurance; professional certification is optional
Job Growth (2014-2024)8% (for all loan officers);
30% (for all personal financial advisors);
10% (for all securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)*
Median Salary (2015) $63,430 (for all loan officers);
$89,160 (for all personal financial advisors);
$71,550 (for all securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Banker Can I Be?

There are personal, commercial and investment bankers. As a personal banker, you will work closely with your consumer clients to help them with their financial endeavors. You may advise individuals about credit accounts, mortgages, personal loans and deposit products like certificates of deposit or savings accounts. In contrast, as a commercial banker, you would act as a financial advisor to businesses and review matters such as business loans. As an investment banker, you will help to connect companies with investors that can supply capital to the business by selling stocks and bonds.

What Education and Training is Required?

To become a banker, you must graduate with at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related field; however, some companies may require that applicants earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Both of these programs cover accounting, mathematics, marketing, communications, statistics, risk management and economics. After you are hired, you may have to complete a training program to learn the particular policies of the bank that employs you. To work as an investment banker, you may need state and federal licenses in addition to fulfilling the college degree requirements.

A professional organization for banks and bankers, the American Banker Association, offers various certificates and diplomas through the American Institute of Banking. The certificates that you can earn through this organization teach specific skills that you need for a particular position, while the diploma programs offer more of a general overview of banking.

What Salary Can I Expect? reported that in October 2016 the salary range for personal bankers in the 10th-90th percentiles was $27,545 to $46,626. Most investment bankers earned base salaries of $56,277 to $218,303 during that same year, according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the salary range for the 10th-90th percentiles of loan officers, which includes commercial bankers, was $32,870 to $130,630 as of May 2015.

What Are Some Similar Alternative Careers?

You may also be interested in a career as a financial analyst or a financial manager. These professionals work with individuals and companies and help them manage their investment portfolios and make decisions regarding their finances. You could also become a personal financial advisor, which involves working with individuals and giving them advice regarding their investments, estate planning, and retirement funds. All of these careers require a bachelor's degree for entry, and licensure or certification may be necessary.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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