Personal Banker: Job Description & Requirements

Personal bankers help clients manage their money in order to balance risk and return. These professionals must have a strong knowledge of the banking industry and investing. There are academic and licensing requirements for personal bankers that can vary depending on the services rendered.

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Personal Banker Job Description

Personal bankers are sometimes referred to as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. They are responsible for performing banking duties and overseeing the financial activities for personal accounts. Personal bankers need to be comfortable with marketing techniques, such as cold-calling, to help build a customer-base.

Personal bankers typically work in an office environment, although they may meet clients in a social setting or attend networking events. They need excellent customer service skills and must be comfortable explaining investment options. Depending on the branch of personal banking, these professionals may work more than 40 hours a week.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for personal financial advisors was expected to increase 32% from 2010 to 2020 (www.bls.gov). While there is a high turnover rate for this career, potential openings can be hampered by the availability of accounts over the Internet and financial downturns.

Salary Information

The May 2012 BLS report states that the median annual salary earned by personal financial advisors was $67,520, and the top 25% of earners made more than $111,450 per year. Highly populated states, such as New York, California, and Texas, had the largest number of personal bankers employed during that time.

Requirements for Becoming a Professional Banker

Educational Requirements

While a graduate degree may be required for upper-level positions, most entry-level personal banking jobs require a bachelor's degree in economics, finance, or a related field. Finance and economics programs include coursework in business calculus and statistics, as well as introductory courses in micro and macroeconomics. The curricula of finance programs cover topics such as risk management, investment theory, and corporate finance. Economics programs include econometrics, quantitative reasoning, and advanced courses in micro and macroeconomics.

During the summer, many students work as interns for personal banking firms. Internships can count toward elective credit, and many students find work through this experience. The BLS states that many firms provide intensive on-the-job training for new hires to familiarize them with products and services.

Licensure Requirements

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), any banker employed by a member firm must be registered with the organization (www.finra.org). In order to become registered with FINRA, individuals must be employed for four months and pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination. There are other licenses that may be required depending on the services an individual will be offering. These requirements can vary between states.

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