Banking is a great place to start if you’re looking for a great career with federal holidays off, a steady and reliable paycheck, and plenty of advancement opportunities. Most banks offer paid time off, health insurance for yourself and your family, and some kind of retirement package, such as a 401K. There is no shortage of financial institutions in the United States (and worldwide), so plenty of prospects are out there.
If you’re wondering what the banking world is all about, check out this list of possible banking careers!
Do I Need Special Training?
Nope! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go to school for banking to succeed. All banks require to start is a high school diploma or GED, and about a year of general cash handling and customer experience. This means a retail job, office work, or customer service are all positions that will give you the expertise you need to jump-start your banking adventure.
Though there are many federal and state rules that all banks must follow, every bank has different systems, policies, and procedures; banks take it upon themselves to educate and train their employees on the specific methods and procedures they use. As you advance, you’ll gain skills and undergo more training, such as obtaining your NMLS license in order to help customers with mortgages and loans.
Tellers are the backbone of the banking industry. They are, more often than not, a customer’s first point of contact when engaging with a bank. Tellers are responsible for taking customer deposits, handling withdrawals, cashing checks, providing balances, and answering any questions about the bank’s products and services. Frequently, banks will have several products – such as credit cards, overdraft protection, and online banking platforms––that tellers are responsible for promoting and explaining to interested customers.
If the customer needs a product or service, and the teller isn’t authorized to sell or explain it (lending or wealth management require special training and licensing even to discuss) they are responsible for directing the customer to the correct party. Working as a bank teller is a great way to start; you’ll learn the basics of banking from the ground up and gain the knowledge to advance your career.
2. Relationship Banker/Universal Banker
Relationship bankers (sometimes referred to as Universal Bankers) can help customers open accounts, send wires, order debit cards, and credit cards, fill out fraud claims, and enroll customers in digital banking. These bankers are usually one step up from a teller, meaning they do everything a teller does and then some. These are traditionally the bankers you see sitting at the desks when you walk in, though sometimes they can be behind the teller line assisting customers.
Bank managers are responsible for the above, plus much more. Overseeing the bank’s day-to-day operations, coordinating employees, and acting as an employee and customer liaison to upper management are some of their most essential functions. Managers regularly go out into the community, attend networking affairs, and speak at schools and local events to educate the community on financial literacy.
Bank managers also regularly hit the pavement looking for new prospects, and visit existing clients to deepen existing banking relationships.
Banks have a whole separate lending department with specially trained staff. The lending department is responsible for assisting customers in getting a loan. This loan can take the form of a traditional mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, personal loan, or even a business loan.
The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System ensures that those talking about and selling bank lending products are qualified and certified. Bankers in the lending department must become NMLS certified in order to discuss and sell lending products. NMLS certification requires specialized study, a background check, and fingerprint registration. This is, of course, all covered by the financial institution. Best of all, your NMLS license is completely transferrable – all banks in the United States have the same lending education requirements.
The term “banker’s hours” was coined because banks usually have much shorter hours than conventional retail establishments; banks are one of the top careers that offer an exceptional work-life balance. So, if you’re sick of working in traditional retail but still want to put your customer service experience to good use, look and see what banks in your area are hiring.
If you love learning and growing, and working with others in a team-oriented environment (not to mention the occasional three-day weekend), banking could just be the career you’ve been waiting for!
Also read: Top PPP Loan Alternatives – Stay Competitive with a Business Loan