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Jobs and Careers in Banking for Teens


Teens in banking?  Yes!  The banking industry
is recruiting and hiring self-motivated and ready
to work teens and young adults.

Nature of the Industry

Banks safeguard money and valuables and provide loans, credit, and payment services, such as checking accounts, money orders, and cashier’s checks.  Banks also may offer investment and insurance products.

There are several types of banks, which differ in the number of services they provide and the clientele they serve.

  • Commercial banks, which dominate this industry, offer a full range of services for individuals, businesses, and governments. These banks come in a wide range of sizes, from large global banks to regional and community banks.
  • Global banks are involved in international lending and foreign currency trading, in addition to the more typical banking services.
  • Regional banks have numerous branches and automated teller machine (ATM) locations throughout a multi-state area that provide banking services to individuals.
  • Community banks are based locally and some say offer more personal attention, which many individuals and small businesses prefer.

Interest on loans is the principal source of revenue for most banks, making their various lending departments critical to their success.

  • The commercial lending department loans money to companies to start or expand a business or to purchase inventory and capital equipment.
  • The consumer lending department handles student loans, credit cards, and loans for home improvements, debt consolidation, and automobile purchases.
  • Finally, the mortgage lending department loans money to individuals and businesses to purchase real estate.

Technology is having a major impact on the banking industry.  Advancements in technology have also led to improvements in the ways in which banks process information. Use of check imaging, which allows banks to store photographed checks on the computer, is one such example that has recently been implemented by some banks.

Other types of technology have greatly impacted the lending side of banking. For example, the availability and growing use of credit scoring software allows loans to be approved in minutes—rather than days—making lending departments more efficient.

Other fundamental changes are occurring in the industry as banks diversify their services to become more competitive. Many banks now offer their customers financial planning and asset management services, as well as brokerage and insurance services.  Others are beginning to provide investment banking services that help companies and governments raise money through the issuance of stocks and bonds, also usually through a subsidiary.

As banks respond to deregulation and as competition in this sector grows, the nature of the banking industry will continue to undergo significant change.

Positions in the Banking Industry Suitable for Teens
Office and administrative support occupations account for nearly 7 out of 10 jobs in the banking industry.

  • Bank tellers, the largest number of workers in banking, provide routine financial services to the public. They handle customers’ deposits and withdrawals, change money, sell money orders and traveler’s checks, and accept payment for loans and utility bills. Increasingly, tellers also are selling bank services to customers.
  • New accounts clerks and customer service representatives answer questions from customers, and help them open and close accounts and fill out forms to apply for banking services. They are knowledgeable about a broad array of bank services and must be able to sell those services to potential clients. Some customer service representatives work in a call or customer contact center environment, taking phone calls and answering emails from customers.  In addition to responding to inquiries, these workers also help customers over the phone with routine banking transactions and handle and resolve problems or complaints.
  • Loan and credit clerks assemble and prepare paperwork, process applications, and complete the documentation after a loan or line of credit has been approved. They also verify applications for completeness. Bill and account collectors attempt to collect payments on overdue loans. Many general office clerks and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are employed to maintain financial records, enter data, and process the thousands of deposit slips, checks, and other documents that banks handle daily.

Banks also employ many secretaries, data entry and information processing workers, receptionists, and other office and administrative support workers.

The Loan Administration Department of banks is often an active recruiter of young adults to act as loan counselors, coordinators and general office support.  This department usually specializes in commercial, consumer or mortgage loans.  Commercial (or business) loans help companies pay for new equipment or expand operations; consumer loans include home equity, automobile, and personal loans; mortgage loans are made to purchase real estate or to refinance an existing mortgage.

Qualifications, Requirements and How to Prepare for a Position in the Banking Industry.

Bank tellers and other clerks usually need only a high school education. Most banks seek people who have good basic math and communication skills, enjoy public contact, and feel comfortable handling large amounts of money. Through a combination of formal classroom instruction and on-the-job training under the guidance of an experienced worker, tellers learn the procedures, rules, and regulations that govern their jobs. Banks encourage upward mobility by providing access to higher education and other sources of additional training.

Some banks have their own training programs which result in teller certification. Experienced tellers qualify for certification by taking required courses and passing examinations. Experienced tellers and clerks may advance to head teller, new accounts clerk, or customer service representative. Outstanding tellers who have had some college or specialized training are sometimes promoted to managerial positions.

Workers in management, business, and financial occupations usually have at least a college degree. A bachelor’s degree in business administration or a liberal arts degree with business administration courses is suitable preparation, as is a bachelor’s degree in any field followed by a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Loan officer positions generally require a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field.  Most employers prefer applicants who are familiar with computers and their applications in banking.  For commercial or mortgage loan officer jobs, training or experience in sales is highly valued by potential employers.  Loan officers without college degrees usually advance to these positions from other jobs in the industry such as teller or customer service representative.

Training and licensing requirements for loan counselors and officers who work in mortgage banks vary by state.  Various banking-related associations and private schools offer courses and programs for students interested in lending.

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