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Finding a Retail Banking Job

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Do you not want to just sell things? Well how about a different kind of retail job?

When most people think of a retail job, they think of traditional types of work such as shop keeping, floor sales, and register clerking. But the word ''retail'' applies to any kind of service or work that involves providing services or products to the everyday consumer, so when considering a retail job search, broadening your perspective a bit can pay big dividends — bank dividends, as a matter of fact.

Retail Banking: A Different Kind of Retail Job

If you're considering a career in retail, you need to know that there's more to the retail category than sales and service jobs. Retail banking, for example, is an aspect of the banking industry that deals directly with consumers instead of companies or other banks. Retail bankers offer their customers savings, checking, and specialty accounts, as well as personal loans, mortgages, credit and debit cards, and other personal financial services. If you've got a checking or savings account, you've already seen one side of the retail banking industry, so how about considering a career on the other side of the banking table?

Retail Banking Jobs

Your retail job search doesn't have to be limited to traditional retail positions such as sales or service jobs. One of the top retail jobs today is in the retail banking industry. Retail jobs in banking differ from other types of retail positions in that they are the perfect entry-level jobs for those interested in pursuing a career in the financial sector. Not only that, retail banking jobs involve many different kinds of positions. Let's take a few moments to look at some of the possibilities:

Retail Banking Clerk: Retail banking clerks are at the front line for the bank, handling the majority of banks routine interactions with customers. Most banking clerks are called tellers. They cash checks, take in deposits, and handle processing withdrawals. Tellers also handle mail transactions, sell bonds, accept payments for bills, and sell traveler's checks.

Head Teller: Head tellers supervise other groups of tellers, making sure that their working cash tallies up at a shift's end and answering any more complex questions that may arise in dealing with customers.

Customer Service Representative: Unlike tellers and bank clerks, CSRs are responsible for more complex customer interactions. They often handle setting up accounts, transferring money between banks, and dealing with foreign money exchanges and other international transactions. CSRs also ''pinch hit'' for tellers when the need arises.

Personal Financial Representative: These bank employees handle more of the sales aspects of a retail bank. They help customers to choose types of loans or mortgages, give advice on simple investments like CDs and other non-stock financial products, and suggest ways for customers to save and manage their money more effectively. Many of these positions are designated as loan officers, as they specialize in this area of expertise.

Retail Bank Manager: A retail bank manager is in charge of the overall bank, directing the given branch's efforts to attract new customers and increase sales of the bank's various financial products (loans, mortgages, CDs, etc.) based on the directives of central bank management. The retail bank manager (also called a branch manager) must also make sure that his or her branch is in compliance with all financial and business practices and policies, not only within the bank itself but also in regards to state and federal regulations.

Working Conditions

Most retail bankers used to work, well, banker's hours, typically from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. But this now varies. Banks are now often open on Saturdays, and many have hours that extend to 7pm. While many retail banks are in bank buildings, increasingly there are mini-bank branches in supermarkets and shopping malls. These banks typically have longer hours and a great deal of foot traffic and noise.

While managers, CSRs, and personal finance reps usually have desks to work at, working as a teller means long hours on your feet. There is also a great deal of working with computers and other office equipment. Retail banking requires exacting care and attention; a mistake can cost the bank or customers a great deal of money, as well as having legal ramifications.


Most teller jobs require little more than a high school diploma, although a college degree in business, accounting, or another related area is advantageous. Training (through direct supervision and classroom work) is usually supplied. Many tellers are part-time workers who are working to supplement other sources of income. Bank managers usually need a BA in retail management or a similar area, although other degrees can be applied. An MBA or MA degree is preferred at this level, in addition to experience in building or managing a retail operation.

Advancement Potential

College grads in business and accounting should be advised that a teller or CSR job is often a good way to start a banking career. With training supplied and numerous branches, most banks are practically designed for a hardworking teller to work his or her way up the corporate ladder to managing his or her own bank. By taking on new duties and working up to supervisory positions, entry-level retail banking employees can prepare for job openings within their branch or at other branches — most banks prefer to fill managerial positions from within.


Looking for a retail job that can lead to a much bigger position? Consider a job in retail banking. With full training provided, part-time hours, and the chance to advance up the company ladder, it's a retail job that is worth some serious consideration.
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