Before a bank or other financial organization will throw an individual into a branch management position, they generally hire them as a trainee. This allows the individual ample time to learn the policies of the branch, as well as get to know the other employees, under the watchful eye of either the departing manager, or a manager from another branch. Because each branch, even under the umbrella of a large bank, is a little different, it takes some time for a future manager to be fully prepared for the position. It is essential that they are full capable of this leadership role before they are given full autonomy.
In order to become a branch management trainee, you must have a high school diploma. Some banks may require a higher degree in a finance-related field while some will simply substitute relevant experience for a degree. Whether you have a financial, accounting, or business management degree, at least some experience working in banks is preferred. In order to get this experience, it may be necessary to take an entry-level job, just to learn the policies, laws, and practices of the banking industry. While you are getting this experience, it may be beneficial to gain the Certified Financial Planner or Certified Financial Analyst certifications.
Some banks prefer to hire from within, and will take a proactive entry-level employee and install them as a branch management trainee, if they have shown willingness and drive. This is one way to become a branch management trainee. If you do not want to be promoted to manager within your current institution, it is still valuable to gain as much experience in all aspect of a branch’s work, in order to become a manager, even elsewhere. Employers will want to see that you have shown an interest in leadership and have made an effort to learn about everything that goes on in the bank.
Branch management trainee is only a temporary position, designed to funnel into the branch manager position. Showing that you understand the role of a manager, through your past education and past work experience, is just as important for becoming a trainee as it is for gaining the actual position.