Becoming a Banking Manager: Job Description & Salary Information

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A banking manager's average salary is about $130,000. Is this worth the education and training required? Learn the truth about career outlook, plus read postings from real employers that can help you decide if this occupation is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Banking Manager

As a banking manager, some of your responsibilities would include managing the business and personal banking affairs of clients, soliciting new clients through cold-calling and outside sales activities, overseeing a sales team and remaining abreast of commercial lending government regulations. Following is a list of more pros and cons that can help you determine if becoming a banking manager is best for you.

Pros of Being a Banking Manager
High earning potential (average annual salary of $130,000 in 2014 for financial managers)*
4-year degree acceptable for most jobs*
Management trainee programs available*
Several specialties to choose from (small business administration, private banking, business banking)**

Cons of Being a Banking Manager
Strong competition for jobs*
Usually requires long working hours*
Sluggish job growth (expected 5% increase from 2012-2022 in the depository credit intermediation industry)*
Work experience is usually for managerial positions**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com.

Essential Career Information

Banking managers can work in a variety of specialties. According to Salary.com, some of the most common include business, private and small business administration (SBA) banking. As a business or SBA banking manager, some of your responsibilities would include managing the business and personal banking affairs of clients with loan portfolios, providing loan extensions and reconstructions, soliciting new clients through cold-calling and outside sales activities, overseeing a sales team and remaining abreast of commercial lending government regulations. You would perform similar duties as a private banking manager for high net-worth clients. Some additional duties you might have in private banking include assisting clients with depository services, buying and selling investment products, providing financial advice and cross-selling compatible products.

Besides these specialties, you can work in a more generalized role as a bank branch manager. Some typical duties you would perform include opening and closing the branch at the scheduled time, making sure tellers are adequately staffed, providing superior service to clients, auditing teller cash drawers, reconciling funds in bank vaults and coin machines and keeping accurate records of branch performance.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for financial managers who work for depository credit intermediation organizations, such as commercial banking and savings institutions, is expected to show slower-than-average growth of 5% from 2012-2022. However, job prospects are likely to be favorable if you have certification or a master's degree. According to Salary.com, the median salaries in 2015 for banking managers working in a specialized area of banking are as followed:

  • Business Banking: $122,000
  • Private Banking: $131,000
  • SBA Banking: $117,000

What Are the Requirements?

According to the BLS, you typically need a bachelor's degree to work as a banking manager. Employers usually look for candidates with a degree in areas such as business administration, accounting, finance or economics. However, employers often prefer to hire candidates who have a master's degree in one of these disciplines.

Since these banking specialties are heavily sales-oriented, you would be required to prospect clients to increase your book of business and travel to clients' locations to maintain relationships. Employers might also expect you to be knowledgeable about bank and investment products, credit analysis and loan procedures.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Actual job postings show that a bachelor's degree is often required for this occupation. Some employers might accept candidates without a college degree if they have several years of work experience. Employers also requested at least two years of experience and willingness to travel up to 25% of the time for most positions. Following is a list of postings for banking management positions that can give you an idea of what skills employers were looking for during April 2012:

  • A bank in New York is looking for a commercial banking relationship manager to develop new business, evaluate loans and maintain existing portfolios. This candidate must have a working knowledge of accounting and credit analysis principles, a bachelor's degree and at least five years of lending experience. Applicants can expect 25% of this job to involve travel.
  • A Denver, CO, bank is seeking a private banking relationship manager with at least two years of experience and a bachelor's degree. This candidate will be responsible for meeting the banking needs of high net-worth clients, selling investments products and approving and monitoring loans.
  • A bank in Illinois wants to hire an SBA portfolio manager to perform loan modifications and extensions and annual loan review. You also must maintain relationships with commercial clients. This job requires 20% travel and 2-4 years of commercial lending experience with a related bachelor's degree or 4-6 years of experience with a high school diploma.
  • An Indianapolis, IN, bank wants to hire a branch manager who has a 4-year degree and three years of experience with bank deposits and loans. Job duties include supervising and motivating your sales team to increase lending and deposit services, cross-selling products and soliciting new clients.

How to Stand Out

Along with completing a master's degree program in a financial-related discipline, you can stand out by becoming certified. Certifications you can obtain include the Certified Lending Business Banker (CLBB) designation offered by the American Bankers Association as well as the Certified Wealth Manager Advisor (CWMA) or the Certified Private Banking Advisor (CPBA) credential offered by the International Society of Financial Professionals (ISOFP).

You must meet one of the following education requirements to take the CLBB exam: be a graduate of a commercial lending program approved by the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) with two years of experience, have a 4-year degree and three years of experience or have five years of lending experience. Other requirements include providing a letter of recommendation and signing an ethics statements. For the CWMA and CPBA designations, you must complete 40 hours and 80 hours of coursework, respectively.

Alternative Careers

Sales Manager

If you would like a career that focuses primarily on developing new and existing business outside of the banking field, consider becoming a sales manager. This job also involves maintaining relationships with clients, such as dealers and distributors. You would perform other duties, such as managing a sales team, assigning staff to cover certain territories, preparing and approving budgets, setting pricing plans and analyzing sales statistics.

To become a sales manager, you generally need a bachelor's degree and 1-5 years of experience, depending on the seniority of the position. In some instances, you might not need a degree if you have several years of experience. As of May 2011, the median salary you could earn as a sales manager was $97,000, according to the BLS.

Compensation Manager

If soliciting external clients to increase revenue isn't appealing to you, consider a position helping internal clients as a compensation manager. In this role, you would oversee a company's pay structure and ensure employees receive competitive wages. To do this, you would keep track of market trends and government regulations that can affect how much employees are paid. You might also develop incentive plans to reward employees with bonuses based on their work performance.

A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum education you need to become a compensation manager. However, you can be a more favorable candidate if you have a master's degree in disciplines such as business administration, finance or human resources management, according to the BLS. The BLS also noted that the need to reduce administrative costs have played a role in the projected slower-than-average employment growth from 2010-2020 for compensation managers. As of May 2011, the BLS reported the median salary for this profession was $92,000.

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