Banker Training Programs and Requirements
Banks employ various professionals, including office and administrative support staff, bank tellers, clerks, loan officers, auditors and managers. Some gain expertise on the job, while others complete degree programs in business administration, accounting, finance or management.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
Banker training programs often are geared toward office and administrative staff. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reported that, in 2008, 64% of banking jobs were held by bank tellers, new accounts clerks and customer service representatives. Management positions, such as financial managers and loan and trust officers, accounted for 25% of banking industry positions.
Excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as proficiency in math, are necessary for all occupation levels in the banking industry. Banking professionals must be polite, accurate and trustworthy. Many banking professionals must undergo criminal background checks prior to employment.
Banker training is often offered through informal, in-house programs. However, those interested in management positions may need to pursue a formal degree in accounting, business administration or finance.
Many banks have customized training programs that offer workshops or seminars for future and current banking employees, including bank tellers, clerks, support staff and administrative assistants. These programs typically teach check-handling skills, transaction procedures, account-balancing tasks, counterfeit currency recognition and daily settlement procedures. They also emphasize customer service strategies and emergency preparedness techniques.
Bank teller certificate programs are offered through some community colleges and financial organizations, such as the American Bankers Association (ABA). Programs like these often include courses in banking ethics, business etiquette, relationship selling and regulatory compliance.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Aspiring banking executives often need at least a bachelor's degree to reach their professional goals. An undergraduate program in business administration, finance or accounting could benefit those interested in upper-management positions.
These programs typically include courses in accounting, business mathematics, management, human resources and marketing. Many prepare future banking executives to manage branch offices and staff, ensure that revenue goals are achieved, develop new business acquisition strategies and implement marketing initiatives. Bachelor's degree programs for prospective bankers usually take four years to complete.
On-the-job training and experience is paramount for banking professionals. Since many banks promote from within, job experience and performance could dictate career outcomes for tellers, clerks, customer service representatives and new account specialists. Likewise, aspiring management-level professionals might demonstrate leadership and fiscal responsibility through internships or part-time jobs while completing a banking degree program.
Licenses and Certifications
Banking employees who sell securities, bonds and insurance must be registered with the National Association of Securities Dealers. Most other banking professionals are not bound by licensing or certification requirements. However, voluntary certification, which may establish credibility and demonstrate proficiency in specialized areas, is available through various professional groups.
The ABA Institute of Certified Bankers offers the Certified Bank Teller (CBT) credential, in addition to more than a dozen certifications within the areas of compliance and risk management, mortgage and commercial lending, retail, retail bank management, retirement, and wealth management and trust. Additionally, the Mortgage Bankers Association provides a credentialing program for Certified Mortgage Bankers (CMB).
Workshops and Seminars
To stay abreast of current financial issues, banking professionals often attend professional workshops or seminars on topics such as commercial banking risks, compliance issues, credit assessment strategies and fair lending legislation. Colleges and universities, government agencies and professional organizations, such as the ABA, host or sponsor these banking conferences.
Additional Professional Development
Banking professionals can supplement their professional development through numerous trade magazines and journals. For example, the ABA's Banking Journal and Bank for International Settlements' Quarterly Review offer articles on industry trends and new marketing strategies. These resources also report on evolving federal and global banking policies and procedures.
Banking executives looking to advance in their careers often pursue 2-year graduate degree programs. Professionals may choose to complete traditional master's degree programs in business administration or specialize in investment banking or international finance. A variety of graduate certificate programs in banking also are available.
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