How to Become a Banker

Learn about the role of bankers, their responsibilities, and how to become one in this informative article. Discover if banking is the right career for you.
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Valerie Black
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Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...
Updated on April 15, 2024
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Rebecca Long
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Rebecca Long is a copy editor for BestColleges. She has nearly a decade of editorial experience, including writing and editing. As a freelance journalist, her work has been published in The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Slate, and others. She has also ...
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Portions of the following article were drafted using an in-house natural language generation platform. The article was then reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by multiple members of our editorial team prior to publishing.

Banking is a key aspect of our financial system, and bankers play a vital role in managing money and assets for individuals and businesses. Their expertise in budgeting, investments, and retirement planning can help customers make sound financial decisions and achieve their goals. Banking is a good career choice for people with strong math skills and an interest in financial operations. Bankers also tend to work long hours, making banking a field well-suited to people with a strong work ethic.

If you're interested in becoming a banker, it's important to understand the different types of bankers and their responsibilities, as well as the necessary education and skills required for the job. In this article, we'll explore the world of banking and provide insight into why this career path may be a great fit for you.

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What Does a Banker Do?

Bankers hold influential positions within the finance sector. They assist customers with important financial choices, like budgeting for higher education, buying homes, and strategizing for business and retirement requirements. They can also make a difference in their communities through charitable acts and volunteer work and may have flexible working hours.

Banker Responsibilities

Bankers' duties differ depending on their specific roles. They:

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    Set up checking and savings accounts
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    Support mortgage and auto loans
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    Assist with banking investments
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    Resolve customer concerns
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    Provide guidance on saving for retirement and higher education

They also evaluate risks associated with large deposits and broker financial agreements. The fundamental aim across all these roles is to help customers achieve their financial goals while protecting the bank's interests.

Different Types of Bankers

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    Personal Bankers

    Personal bankers often work in smaller retail banking branches where they concentrate on addressing individuals' finances.
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    Commercial Bankers

    Commercial bankers work with big businesses and offer major loans.
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    Investment Bankers

    Investment bankers team up with banks to help clients meet their financial goals through issuing debt and selling equity.

Banking Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

What Are the Steps to Becoming a Banker?

Becoming a banker involves several key steps, starting with earning a relevant degree and gaining entry-level experience in the field.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in a Related Field

Most banking roles require a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as finance, economics, accounting, or business administration. These programs typically cover key concepts in banking and finance and provide a strong foundation for a career in the industry.

Step 2: Get an Entry-Level Banking Job

After earning a bachelor's degree, the next step is to gain experience in a banking environment. This might involve working as a teller or in a customer service role within a bank. While it can be difficult to get your first job as a recent college graduate, students should highlight educational and practical experience, like internships, on their resumes. They can also network with mentors from school to find opportunities.

Step 3: Earn Your Master's Degree in a Related Field

While not always necessary, many bankers further their education by earning a master's degree in a related field. This can open up more advanced roles within the banking industry.

While an MBA with a concentration in finance is the most common choice for future bankers, other paths are available. For example, some bankers pursue a master's in finance or economics.

Step 4: Get a Job as a Banker

Once you have the necessary education and experience, the next step is to find a job as a banker. Depending on your interests and qualifications, you may be a good fit for a number of different roles.

While the average banker makes $77,000 a year, according to April 2024 Payscale data, top earners can make much higher salaries. When selecting a job, bankers should weigh not just salary but also quality of life. Potential considerations include work-life balance, the need for business travel, and job security.

Step 5: Consider Continuing Education or Specialization

Even after becoming a banker, there are many opportunities for further education and specialization. This could involve earning a graduate certificate in a specific area of banking or pursuing additional training in a related field.

What to Know Before Becoming a Banker

Before deciding to become a banker, it's important to consider a few key factors. These include the costs associated with education and certification, potential salaries in the field, and the job outlook for bankers.


When choosing a degree program in a field related to banking, it's important to ensure that the program is accredited. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain standards of quality, and it can also be a requirement for certain certifications and licenses in the field of banking.

Licensing and Certification

Certain roles within banking may require specific licenses or certifications. These can often be obtained through professional organizations in the field and may require a combination of education, experience, and passing an exam.


Pursuing a career in banking can involve significant costs, particularly when it comes to tuition and housing while in school. However, many employers in the banking sector offer tuition reimbursement programs, and financial aid is also often available.


Salaries in the banking sector can vary widely, depending on your specific role and level of experience. However, banking is generally considered a well-paying sector, particularly for those in more advanced roles.

Featured Online Bachelor's in Finance Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Become a Banker

Can bankers work from home?

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Bankers may be able to work from home, with flexibility depending on a bank's policies and the individual's role. Many banks adopted remote work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some continue to offer hybrid models. However, front-office professionals like salespeople and traders are often expected to be in the office.

Can you become a banker without a degree?

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A degree isn't strictly necessary to enter the banking industry. It may be possible to secure a position as a bank teller without one, for example.

Employers may also prioritize candidates who are dedicated and perform well over those who simply have a degree. To enhance your prospects, familiarize yourself with financial terminology, enroll in relevant certificate courses, obtain industry licenses, or demonstrate your interest through initiatives such as starting a financial blog. Starting in an entry-level role at a financial company can also pave the way for future career advancement in the sector.

How do I become a banker with no experience?

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To start a career as a banker with no experience, apply for entry-level positions like bank teller, which often only requires a high school diploma or equivalent and includes on-the-job training. There may be opportunities for advancement.

However, those interested in more senior positions and higher-paying roles often must possess a bachelor's or even master's degree.

Is it hard being a banker?

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Banking, particularly investment banking, is known for being challenging due to stress -- these professionals sometimes work more than 60-80 hours per week. This role demands technical knowledge, social skills, stamina, and dedication. While the career can be financially rewarding and offer growth opportunities, it requires a significant commitment that often impacts work-life balance.

What skills should a banker have?

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Bankers can benefit from a blend of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills, including strong communication, analytical abilities, adaptability, ethical standards, and emotional intelligence. They should also be proficient in financial services, have good time management, and be skilled at customer relationship management. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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