How to Become a Bank Branch Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Jan 31, 2019

Research the requirements to become a bank branch manager. Learn about the job duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a bank branch manager. View article »

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Should I Become a Bank Branch Manager?

Bank branch managers oversee the daily operations of a financial institution's satellite offices. These individuals supervise branch workers including tellers and loan officers, evaluate loan applications and oversee the flow of cash and financial instruments. They also make sure that security and cash-handling procedures are followed.

A branch manager reports to the company's home office on the activities of the branch and may serve as the company's representative in the local business community. These professionals often work in comfortable office settings and maintain a full-time schedule.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2015 the median annual income for financial managers was $117,990.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field(s) Accounting, business administration, or finance
Licensure/Certification Optional CPA or CFA certification helpful
Experience 5+ years
Key Skills Customer service, communication, accounting, decision-making, and time management skills; knowledge of federal and state regulations regarding financial reporting
Median Annual Salary (2015) $117,990 (for financial managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

To be a bank branch manager, you need a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration, or finance. You also need at least five years of experience in financial services including previous experience as a loan officer, financial analyst, or assistant branch manager. CPA or CFA certifications are optional, but they may improve your career opportunities. You should also cultivate your skills in customer service, communication, accounting, decision-making, and time management. You'll want to be involved in community affairs and ensure you have an understanding of federal and state regulations regarding financial reporting.

Steps to Become a Bank Branch Manager

You can follow these steps to become a bank branch manager.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

You need to possess a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance or a related major, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some employers may require a master's degree. Some universities offer a business administration degree that allows concentrations in areas such as accounting and finance, management and marketing, or information systems and operations management.

Step 2: Gain Banking Experience

Commercial banks offer different types of banking services including retail consumer banking, wholesale banking, corporate banking and institutional banking. Retail consumer banking is geared toward personal financial services for individuals and families and is the most familiar type of banking. Because banking experience is a key requirement, individuals at retail banks usually begin their careers as bank tellers, loan officers or mortgage officers before seeking advancement to assistant branch manager or branch manager positions.

Employers seek applicants with leadership and supervisory experience, a background in community involvement, good knowledge of state and federal banking regulations, an understanding of investment and loan products and excellent customer service skills. Budgeting, organizational and training skills were also desired.

Step 3: Seek Professional Credentials

While not required to work as a bank branch manager, earning a professional credential demonstrates your knowledge and skills in certain fields within banking. For example, an individual with a strong accounting background and qualified experience may consider becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Each state administers a CPA exam.

Another professional credential is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. The CFP credential, offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, confirms your expertise in helping people solve their financial problems and meet their financial goals, which often include retirement planning.

Step 4: Consider a Graduate Degree

If you are seeking promotion, you may want pursue a master's degree in finance, economics or a related field of study. These programs allow you to focus on more theoretical studies and research in specializations such as financial analysis and management, risk management or economics. You may also learn about team management, data analysis, information systems management and strategic management.

A graduate degree may help you advance to positions like regional manager or regional vice president. A regional manager or vice president oversees a group of branch offices for a bank and serves as the executive in charge of growing assets for that group of branches.

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