Retail Banking Career Ladder

Retail banking is an essential industry, where bank professionals work with individuals or small businesses to offer banking services. Many begin a career in retail banking as a teller. Some opportunities for advancement within retail banks are presented.

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Positions in Retail Banks

Retail banks work with individuals, families, and small businesses to provide important financial services such as loans and checking services. Many retail banking professionals begin their careers as a teller. Tellers handle routine work at a bank such as counting money, taking deposits, and making accurate records. Tellers can begin in their positions with a high school diploma. After working as a teller, individuals can use their experience to seek other positions, or seek further education. Some opportunities in retail banking are presented below.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education
Head Teller $32,504** (2018) -8%(bank tellers) High school diploma
Assistant Branch manager $43,240** (2018) 8%(management occupations) Bachelor's degree
Branch Manager $56,397** (2018) 8%(management occupations) Bachelor's degree
Loan Officer $64,660* (2017) 11% Bachelor's degree
Chief Lending Officer $129,763** (2018) 11%(loan officers) Bachelor's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale

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Career Information

Head Teller

Bank tellers who enjoy their work may consider advancing to a head teller. Head tellers perform the same responsibilities as bank tellers, in addition to monitoring staff, helping clients access safe-deposit boxes, and encoding checks. Head tellers need to have a high school diploma and extensive experience as a teller.

Assistant Branch Manager

Management positions may be the next step up the ladder in retail banking. Assistant branch managers play a critical role in managing the smooth functioning of the bank. Daily, the assistant branch manager will monitor cash levels. They ensure that all functions of the bank are in compliance with applicable laws. Assistant branch managers also monitor security, and help with customer development plans. Most banks require a bachelor's degree to enter this position, however some may consider candidates with a high school diploma and extensive banking experience.

Branch Manager

Individuals who enjoy working as an assistant branch manager and are seeking more responsibility may wish to consider progressing to work as a branch manager. The branch managers at banks are responsible for the bank's employees, including hiring decisions and training. Branch managers make plans to bring in new customers to the bank. Branch managers typically possess at least a bachelor's degree in an area of business, such as finance or accounting.

Loan Officer

Making loans to help customers with purchases such as cars and homes is an important service offered by retail banks. Professionals who wish to work in banking may consider specializing in a role as a loan officer. Loan officers meet with customers to collect their financial information. Based on this data, they approve candidates for loans. Loan officers also play an educational role in explaining the terms of various types of loans to customers. Loan officers typically have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar business field. They then receive on-the-job training for their position.

Chief Lending Officer

With extensive experience as a loan officer, retail banking professionals may progress to a role as chief lending officer. Chief lending officers are responsible for setting lending policies and procedures for the banks in which they work. They creatively design ways to increase the customer base of the bank. They supervise the work of loan officers. Chief lending officers are required to hold a bachelor's degree, however many employers prefer candidates with a Master's in Business Administration.

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