A guide to banker careers: skills, duties and salaries

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A banking career is an ideal option for those with a passion for the financial sector. Within banking, there are many avenues you can monetise your customer service finance skills and abilities. It's important to consider your options when looking to pursue a career in the banking sector to compare salaries and duties. In this article, we cover the skills needed for a career in banking, list some examples of jobs, share their average salary and discuss the primary duties of each.

Skills to pursue banker careers

Depending on the job role you pursue, you're expected to develop a range of transferable skills when working in banking. These skills ensure you complete your role well and leave you in the best position to progress further in your banking career if you wish. Consider the skills below when looking into a career in banking:

Basic maths

In any banking role, a level of basic maths is a minimum. Typically, a GSCE grade in mathematics is acceptable for any entry-level banking position. Depending on your chosen career, you could need a higher level of mathematical skill, such as an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree. You commonly need these maths skills in retail banking, which involves serving the general public. For example, as a bank clerk, you regularly count cash and complete mental maths when processing requests for customers.

Related: What are the 11 different types of banking degrees?

Problem-solving

The ability to problem-solve competently and confidently is a skill you regularly use in banking. Many banking jobs have responsibilities that require assisting and advising those in financial difficulty. For example, you might offer advice on budgeting or help a client minimise the amount of debt they owe. These problems require a high level of financial knowledge and interpersonal skills.

Related: What is a financial market? Definition, types and careers

Customer service

Nearly every career avenue within retail banking involves a level of customer service. In a retail role, you interact with customers daily. Depending on the role, that either entails in person, over the phone or both types. It's important to have a high standard of customer service to ensure your customers are having the best experience possible. This includes answering queries and processing requests politely and helpfully.

Related: What does a banking associate do? (Duties, skills, salary)

Communication

Another element of excellent customer service is good communication. When working in any banking career, you need communication skills to carry out your job well. Whether you're communicating with customers or employees as a manager, aim to converse clearly and display your intentions with clarity. You're likely to be talking to a wide range of people from a range of different backgrounds and cultures. It's important to understand the world around you and how it intertwines with the financial world.

Related: How to become a retail banker: a step-by-step guide

Popular careers in banking

Careers in banking are extremely popular job paths to take. This is because these jobs provide you with a range of transferrable skills and many avenues for promotion. The banking sector is vast, so it's important to consider your own interests and skills when choosing a banking career. Read through the careers below to find out the primary duties of each role, plus what your average salary could be:

1. Bank clerk

National average salary: £19,725 per year

Primary duties: A bank clerk works within retail banking's out-of-bank branches, assisting customers with their financial queries. Each bank cashier runs their own till, counting money from customers, withdrawing money from bank accounts and counting and balancing the till at the end of every day. This role also involves processing cheques and foreign currency and making online payments and transfers. A bank teller also regularly discusses products with customers that help them meet their financial needs. This role often has sales expectations, with regular targets for financial products or customer meetings.

Related: What does a bank teller do? (With skills)

2. Personal banker

National average salary: £25,562 per year

Primary duties: A personal banker helps customers meet their financial needs and goals. You can undertake this role in either a retail or private capacity. The primary responsibilities of a personal banker include regular customer meetings, opening new accounts and financial products, giving financial advice and resolving customer issues. There's also a level of administration with this role, as they regularly input customer data and fill out compliance forms and checklists. A personal banker may liaise with different financial departments when opening products for customers and is aware of the strict codes of financial conduct.

3. Bank manager

National average salary: £31,931 per year

Primary duties: A bank manager handles a branch, or group of branches, within retail banking. They ensure the days run smoothly, drive sales and resolve customer complaints and queries. Bank managers lead a team of employees. They're responsible for motivating the team members with their work and sales performance. Managers receive targets for the team's work efforts and then report to higher management. Regularly, they meet with their team members to discuss professional progress and areas for improvement. Managers have an expert level of financial knowledge, plus experience managing a group of employees and excellent interpersonal skills.

Related: What does a banker do? Responsibilities and skills

4. Investment banker

National average salary: £29,679 per year

Primary duties: An investment banker offers out their financial skills and services to a range of bodies, such as the government, businesses or private individuals. Some of their typical responsibilities include assisting with mergers or acquisitions and helping with stocks and shares. An investment banker acts as a financial advisor to clients and has a high level of financial knowledge across all sectors. Investment bankers also help their clients raise funds to grow their services.

5. Risk manager

National average salary: £52,261 per year

Primary duties: A risk manager works with retail and private banks to help assess risks and security breaches that could arise. They then advise and implement strategies to minimise this risk. Regularly, risk managers carry out visits to retail branches and assess their level of security and methods of practice. Finally, they create a report and discuss this with higher management. A risk manager is an incredibly analytical person with knowledge of financial conduct and risk practices. This role could require travelling around certain areas or visiting different retail branches on rotation.

6. Compliance officer

National average salary: £32,506 per year

Primary duties: A compliance officer works to ensure that banks are correctly and legally following financial codes of conduct. This role includes regular assessments and inspections of banks to check that banking regulations are being correctly followed and respected. A compliance officer may also deliver talks and educational meetings for banks and report instances of financial misconduct to their superiors. A compliance officer is analytical and has exceptional attention to detail when completing inspections and reports. In-depth knowledge of ever-changing financial regulations is also necessary for this role.

7. Trader

National average salary: £52,170 per year

Primary duties: A trader works with investment banks by pricing trades, dealing with currencies and stocks and considering how to make profits, both in the near and distant future. A trader works to analyse a bank's or individual's trading habits and draw up reports. They regularly attend meetings with clients to discuss how to improve and boost profits. Traders work long and committed hours and typically gain a degree in mathematics prior to starting this role.

8. Fraud analyst

National average salary: £31,063 per year

Primary duties: A fraud analyst works within banks' security and fraud departments to ensure the safety of customer and client accounts. They also protect the bank from criminal activity and cyber attacks. They prevent financial fraud, such as identity theft, love scams or terrorist financing. This role includes gathering information relating to an instance of fraud, drawing up reports and finding conclusions. A fraud analyst rarely works directly with customers, but they liaise with other bank staff who speak on behalf of customers.

For example, a customer goes into a bank branch to complain of fraud on their account. A fraud analyst then investigates this and reports to higher management. As the name would suggest, a fraud analyst is highly analytical and aware of financial laws and conduct practices.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌‌ experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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