Is Commercial Banking a Good Career Path? What to Know

Published January 11, 2022
bank manager with clients

Any bank that offers consumer services like checking and savings accounts, loans, certificates of deposit, and other basic financial services is an example of a commercial bank. If you are interested in working with money and people, commercial banking can definitely be a good career field to pursue. There will always be a demand for bank accounts and loans, so commercial banks are likely to always exist. Explore some of the most common job opportunities in commercial banking so you can make an informed decision about whether this field offers an ideal career path for you.

Types of Jobs in Commercial Banks

There are many kinds of jobs in commercial banks. Some positions require a degree or certification related to banks or finance, but some roles with commercial banks require only a high school diploma, strong customer service skills, and an aptitude for working with money.

Bank Teller

Bank tellers interact with customers who come to the branch to conduct banking business. They process bank deposits and account withdrawals, cash checks, accept loan payments, and provide information to customers about other services that are available at the bank. They are also responsible for using math skills to accurately maintain and balance cash drawers, and for reconciling discrepancies. The median pay for bank tellers is around $32,000 per year.

Financial Services Representative

Financial services representatives (FSRs) who work in banks are responsible for opening and closing accounts for customers, and for selling other financial services products that the bank offers. For example, an FSR may encourage a customer who is opening a savings account with a large balance to also open a certificate of deposit (CD) with some of the money. The average pay for financial services representatives who work in commercial banking is around $42,000 per year.

Loan Officer

Loan officers who are employed by commercial banks work with consumers who are seeking to borrow money from the bank for various purchases, such as financing a car or other major purchase, or to consolidate debt. Some work with consumers who are seeking mortgage loans. Those who work with mortgages must have National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) licensure. The average annual compensation for loan officers is near $64,000.

Branch Manager

Branch managers function as general managers for the bank branches they oversee. They are responsible for managing the staff, making sure employees are properly trained, ensuring that customers' needs are met, establishing sales goals, and growing the branch in terms of revenue and number of accounts. A degree is usually required for branch manager jobs. The average compensation for bank branch managers is around $68,000 per year.

Assistant Bank Manager

Some banks have assistant managers who work directly under the branch manager. This is most common in large banks where there is a need for more than one on-site employee to adequately supervise the staff and ensure that the needs of customers are met. These jobs involve working closely with the branch manager and employees to ensure that the location operates smoothly and effectively. The average pay for assistant bank managers is around $49,000 per year.

Credit Analyst

Credit analysts who work for commercial banks are responsible for reviewing loan applications against lending criteria, and determining whether each loan can be approved, and under what conditions. They examine factors such as the loan applicant's credit score, payment history, debt ratio, the value of any collateral associated with the loan, and other details in order to make informed decisions. The average pay for commercial bank credit analysts is around $53,000 per year.

Customer Service

Most banks provide a customer service call center that clients can call to ask questions or get basic account information without having to go to a bank branch. These call centers are staffed by bank call center representatives. Some are employed directly by the banks for which they provide customer service, while others work for call center companies with which the bank contracts as outsourcing providers. The average pay for bank call center representatives is around $32,000 per year.

Commercial Banking: A Large and Growing Industry

Commercial banking is a large industry that is expected to continue to grow. In 2021, revenue in the commercial banking industry exceeded $848 billion in the United States alone. If you find any of the jobs listed above to be appealing and you want to be part of an important industry that is likely to be strong no matter what happens in the economy, commercial banking is definitely a good option to consider. Many people start off working in a teller or call center representative position and work their way up into other opportunities. If you have your sights set on starting out at a higher level or advancing quickly, you may find it beneficial to first earn a degree in finance, business administration, or a closely related field.

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