Business Banker Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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A business banker's median salary is $62,620, but is it worth all the training and professional requirements? Get the truth about job duties and career prospects to decide if a business banker career is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Business Banker

Business bankers interact with entrepreneurs and business owners concerning future financial investments. You can learn other pros and cons to being a business banker by reading below.

Pros of Being a Business Banker
Work increases in a good economy*
Customer-oriented and social work environment**
Independence as a sales-person at banks**
High-school diploma acceptable*

Cons of Being a Business Banker
Work declines in bad economy*
Average employment growth (8% increase from 2012-2012)*
Client base determines income*
Sales environment may be stressful**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine

Career Information

Job Description

A business banker, also known as a loan officer, is a banker that helps a business find a loan or credit. Although loan officers can help an individual client, business bankers provide commercial loans specifically meant to provide a business with the capital needed to start-up or expand. Business bankers need to assess a client to see if they are worthy of a loan, including analyzing an entrepreneur's business plan or a business owner's financial planning or credit history. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a business banker needs to be very careful with their analysis; unlike a personal loan, a business loan is quite large, so paying attention to all the details in a business' financial history requires high scrutiny (ww.bls.gov).

At the same time, the business banker needs to treat the client like a customer and act almost like a salesperson trying to help the business find the strategies that would work for them. The job's daily one-on-one communication with clients, often on a personal level, demands that you treat the client both as a sale and as an associate you care about concerning their financial vision.

Salary and Job Outlook

In May 2014, the BLS reported that loan officers earned a median salary of $62,620. In the category of business operations specialists, loan officers earned a median salary of $67,280 in May 2014. The lowest ten percent of loan officers earned less than $33,000, and the top ten percent earned at or more than $128,000. Jobs for loan officers will grow about as fast as other occupations, with an 8% increase expected from 2012-2022.

Requirements

Education and Licensing Requirements

The BLS states that business bankers require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Most training for this job is done on the job. With higher competition and federal regulations, there is a growing preference for a business banker to hold a bachelor's degree in business or finance. Unlike a personal loan officer, business loan officers must understand the realities of large business loans and financial markets. This insight can come from a 4-year degree, while other technical knowledge comes from on-site training. The BLS notes that business bankers that provide mortgages for commercial ventures need to obtain a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license, which is offered by individual states.

What Do Employers Look For?

Most employment postings for business bankers ask that candidates exhibit a high degree of motivation in their career. Most job postings also show that candidates should posses a great deal of business acumen, in order to evaluate the relative strength of a business applying for a line of credit or a loan. Some recent employment postings from February 2012 include:

  • A national bank in Miami Beach needs a business banker to expand existing banking relationships and find new clients. Candidates should also be available to motivate branch co-workers with personnel coaching and to keep community investments in mind.
  • A San Antonio commercial bank needs a loan officer who can assess how businesses are performing with their credit and loans. The candidate should be able to market each loan to the specific needs of a client.
  • A Wisconsin bank requires a marco-economic savvy loan officer who is willing to travel for clients and multi-task several projects at once.

How Can I Stand Out?

An important aspect to the job is customer relations. Being emphatic and clear in your communication skills helps you solidify a relationship with local business customers. At the same time, since you are mostly assessed as a salesperson, you will need a high-level of independence. Businesses may go to a bank to find their loans, but you are the person from the bank who will communicate constantly with the client on the phone, on the computer or in person. Industry certification could also help you stand out. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) offers the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designation, intended for those who work in both residential and commercial lending (www.campusmba.org). To qualify to take the oral and written MBA exams, you'll need three years of work experience.

Alternative Career Paths

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors consult with businesses and individual clients on financial matters. Instead of providing credit through a bank, personal financial advisors provide hints and insight on financial markets to help clients take advantage of financial opportunities, such as investments and retirement plans. According to the BLS in 2011, the median salary of personal financial advisors was $65,000, and jobs were expected to grow 32% from 2010-2020.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are skilled at analyzing financial markets, especially through investments such as stocks and bonds. They use this information to advise clients about profitable investments and potential risks related to their existing stocks or bonds. Job for financial analysts were expected to grow faster than average, with a projected 23% increase from 2010-2020. Financial analysts earned a median salary of $74,000 in 2010.

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Purdue University Global

  • MS in Finance - Financial Analysis
  • BS in Finance - Investments
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  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

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Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • MBA: Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Accounting
  • BA: Business Administration - Management
  • AA: Business Administration

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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

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Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance

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Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration

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Utica College

  • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
  • MBA - Finance and Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
  • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation

What is your highest level of education completed?

Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization

What is your highest level of education completed?