What qualifications do you need to work in a bank?
The banking sector employs more people than any other service in the finance industry.
Opportunities are available in a range of companies, from small community credit unions to regional and global commercial banks. You may work at a local branch as a teller or loan officer, where you interact directly with the public, or behind the scenes in credit card banking, credit analysis or international lending, according to careers-in-finance.com.
"Good communication and customer service skills are necessary for all occupations in the banking industry," according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Customer service occupations such as tellers, new accounts clerks and service representatives account for the largest portion of those employed in banking.
They provide routine services such as deposits, withdrawals and payments in the bank, and may answer calls and e-mails regarding inquiries and complaints. This requires knowledge, friendliness and professionalism.
In commercial banking, "you need a broad understanding of business because your job will most likely involve interacting with businesses," says careers-in-finance.com. Regional banks also provide services to local businesses. A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is optional, but very helpful, as many executives of commercial banks have them.
According to Richard Kovacevich, CEO of Norwest: "I believe we all must be salespeople, we can no longer be order-takers. In fact, we must be great as salespeople and we must be aggressive." As commercial banks become more marketing-oriented and try to build their brand names, they seek those who have taken numerous marketing courses, in order to support their efforts, according to careers-in-finance.com.
In smaller banks, tellers must be knowledgeable about their banking services and be able to sell them to customers, as well as trying to get customers to open new accounts. The tellers must be unafraid to sell, according to career-in finance.com.
Accounting and written communication
In commercial banking, credit analysts and loan officers make up the majority of bank employees. "These jobs require a strong understanding of accounting," says careers-in-finance.com, and you must be able to justify and communicate your credit findings in writing.