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How to Become a Bank Branch Manager

Career News December 29, 2013

You’ve decided you want to become a Bank Branch Manager. And, why wouldn’t you? Branch Managers are paid pretty well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the starting salary runs from $42-65k per year.

It is very helpful that you are actively involved in community affairs because you will essentially be the “face” of the bank branch. You should also have excellent communication skills, good judgment, and be able to make decisions.

As a Branch Manager, you will be responsible for some key duties. Because of all the laws and policies in the banking industry, you will be ensuring that security and cash handling procedures are followed. You will oversee daily operations and cash flow, evaluate loan applications and supervise tellers and loan officers.

Branch Managers are well trained, knowledge driven individuals that have achieved their position in one of two ways. The first being well known as a simple equation, education + experience = branch manager. While the second method requires you work your way up the ranks.

First, let’s talk about the education route. This is often the quickest way to achieve Branch Manager. Obtaining a Bachelor’s in Business, Finance, or a related major, is necessary for this position. You will also need about five years experience to go with your degree. I know you are thinking, “that’s not a quick way to get there… 4 years of College and 5 years experience?” Many college students in this field start working part time as Bank tellers, or Customer service representatives. By the time you complete your degree, you may have already worked your way up to Loan officer.

Perhaps you had a very full school load, and just didn’t have time to work part-time while taking classes. Maybe you didn’t start working part time until you were almost finished with your degree. You still need to address that pesky experience issue before you can call the Branch Manager position yours.

Some Banks have management training programs geared toward elevating college grads to management positions. Some Banks have, “Assistant Manager in training” programs for recent graduates as well. Most of these coveted programs require little to no experience. You should begin inquiring about these programs long before you graduate.

Let’s say you have decided to enter the work force full time, instead of going to college. You get a job as Bank teller, and work as many hours as allowed. You master your job, inside and out. You notice that your Bank is hiring a customer service representative, so you apply. Again, you master your job. Maybe you should apply for Loan officer next. You will not advance if you don’t keep learning and growing. A boost to this process would be to take a certificate or license course. Most communities offer accounting, leadership, and finance courses. You could also obtain a professional license, such as a State life insurance agent.

Both of these roads can lead you to a position as a Branch Manager. If you choose to work your way up, you will have to acquire more experience to compensate for the lack of education. Even though the education route is quicker, it still doesn’t hurt to keep learning and growing by obtaining certificates or licenses.

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