Collections Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Collections Specialist, or Collection Agent reviews and analyses a company’s accounts to determine how to obtain the maximum amount of revenue for the company. Their duties include thoroughly researching accounts, developing collection campaigns and creating systems that regularly bring in revenue. 


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Collections Specialist duties and responsibilities

A Collections Specialist is charged with a range of duties that usually vary depending on the size and industry of the company. Different industries may deal with different legalities and collection procedures. Generally, a Collections Specialist’s duties and responsibilities include:  

  • Researching accounts based on company records
  • Contacting clients through emails, phone calls and standard post
  • Developing collection systems to help to exceed the company’s financial goals
  • Working closely with team members on multiple projects
  • Setting up terms of credit with new customers
  • Creating repayment plans if necessary
  • Starting legal action to recover debts when necessary


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What does a Collections Specialist do?

A Collections Specialist works within the financial department of a company and maintains an overview of all customer accounts, ensuring that they are settled according to agreed terms. This involves establishing payment plans for any accounts that have unallocated payments or are in default. A Collections Specialist oversees all financial transactions to make certain they are within the legal regulations and benefit both the customer and the company. 


Collections Specialist skills and qualifications

Collections Specialists must be highly analytical and organised. They must use their intuition and experience to help decide the best course of action regarding accounts and client interactions. A successful Collections Specialist will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, that typically include:

  • Proficiency with database software 
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills
  • Ability to be flexible and open to change
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Business management and leadership skills
  • Persistence and determination
  • Ability to overcome obstacles and get results


Collections Specialist experience requirements

Candidates must have a background in money management and credit analysing. A few years of experience as a Credit Controller, Sales Administrator, Debt Collection Agent or a similar position is beneficial in this role. They must also have some form of accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Credit Management in areas such as debt collections, enforcement action and senior management. Candidates must be comfortable dealing with and organising large amounts of money.


Collections Specialist education and training requirements

Employers usually hire candidates with a degree in business, finance or accounting. Some companies will hire candidates that have only attended college if they possess a Level 3 diploma in personal and business finance. Applicants who have taken courses in accounts or finance may also be suitable. After formal education, many will complete a credit controller advanced apprenticeship or apply to an entry-level Credit Controller position with a company and take training on the job to move into a management role.


Collections Specialist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Collections Specialist is £24,520 per year in the United Kingdom. Salary is dependent on experience, location and company.


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Collections Specialist job description FAQs


How can you make your Collections Specialist job description stand out?

Focus on competitive aspects that set the company apart from similar companies such as salary, pension plan, holidays and employee assistance programmes. Mention benefits that are unique to the environment and location of the company, such as cycle to work programmes or holiday purchase. Highlight any learning, training or development opportunities that would allow employees to move up to a higher position within the company. 


What is the difference between a Collections Specialist and a Debt Controller?

A Collections Specialist’s role is broader in scope than a Debt Controller. A Debt Controller deals directly with clients who have a debt with the company and may even have to physically track them down. A Debt Controller works with the client to create a payment plan so they can pay off their debts as quickly as possible. While a Collections Specialist is aware of these debts and how they affect the company, it’s not their job to deal directly with the client but to analyse how the client’s debts affect the company as a whole.


Who does a Collections Specialist report to?

This will depend on the size of the company. A Collections Specialist working for a very large company may be one of many Collections Specialists that work in a department and report to a department head. A smaller company may only have one Collections Specialist who works at a managerial level, advising the owner or CEO about the best financial plans to enact in order to maximise profits. A job applicant must be prepared to work in either environment as both require a high level of teamwork and communication. 

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