Opportunities for advancement in the world of bank management can be traced directly to the amount of education, partnered practical experience in the field. Managers in every banking department have a wide range of responsibilities, and professional certifications can be very advantageous in this competitive profession.
In addition to its general manager or branch manager, a typical bank may employ several managers, each of whom can direct and facilitate a different function of the bank, such as risk management, treasury management and credit management. These managerial positions typically require at least a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or a related field.
|Required Education||Bachelor's and experience for entry-level; master's may be required by employer for advancement|
|Additional Requirement||Professional certification may be required by employer|
|Projected Job Growth* (2014-2024)||6% for financial managers in the depository credit intermediation industry|
|Median Salary* (2015)||$106,480 annually for financial managers in the depository credit intermediation industry|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The duties of bank managers, regardless of their department, can include a wide range of responsibilities. Managers may create financial reports for regulatory agencies or boards of directors. They may also maintain a smooth line of communication between the bank's or department's employees and its clients, executives and board of directors, or troubleshoot logistical and personnel problems.
Banks may require at least a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or a related field from any entry-level employees aspiring to management positions. Students in these degree programs may expect to take courses in such areas as finance, business management, real estate and accounting.
Some employers may prefer or require prospective managers to acquire a postgraduate degree, such as the Master's in Business Administration (MBA). Students in MBA programs may choose to pursue a full-time MBA immediately after they graduate college or complete continuing education while maintaining a career by taking evening and weekend courses in a part-time program.
Students in MBA programs may be required to take courses that emphasize leadership, analytical and quantitative reasoning, marketing and leadership skills. Programs typically offer students the opportunity to major in one of a wide variety of specialties, such as human resources, entrepreneurship and finance.
In addition to formal educational requirements, the aspiring banking manager may choose to undergo training for more specific credentials. Professional certification, while not necessarily a requirement for employment, may nonetheless give the aspiring bank manager a real competitive advantage. Certification may be very effective in establishing legitimacy and trust among present and future clientele. Organizations such as the American Bankers Association offer certification programs for managers in a range of different banking specialties.
Banks may require employees to have a minimum amount of relevant work experience before being promoted to management. Aspiring managers may also need to demonstrate a strong understanding of bank procedures and standards.
Salary and Employment Outlook
In the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bank managers are classified in the category of financial managers in the depository credit intermediation industry and reported as having a median annual salary of $106,480 in 2015. Although the broader field of financial management was expected to see a 7% increase in employment from 2014-2024, the BLS forecast a slower growth rate of 6% for managers in the depository credit intermediation industry over that time period. According to the BLS, financial managers with master's degrees or certification may have a professional advantage when seeking employment.
In general, a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or a similar area will qualify you for an entry-level position in bank management, though some employers may also require you to have a certain amount of work experience in an applicable field. Some prospective employers prefer or even require you to hold a postgraduate degree, such as an MBA. In addition, professional certification from an organization such as the American Bankers Association can go a long way to establishing your bona fides in the financial arena.