Career Development

How To Become a Licensed Banker: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a licensed banker, including education, skills, salary and more.

A licensed banker is a professional who has the necessary skills and qualifications to work in the banking industry. Licensed bankers typically work for banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. They are responsible for providing financial services to customers, such as opening new accounts, issuing loans and processing transactions. If you are interested in becoming a licensed banker, it is important to know the steps you need to take to pursue this career. In this article, we discuss what a licensed banker does, the requirements for becoming one and the steps to take to pursue this career path.

What Does a Licensed Banker Do?

A licensed banker is a professional who has been authorized by the state to engage in the business of banking. They are responsible for various tasks related to the operation of a bank, such as processing loan applications, approving loans and managing customer accounts. Licensed bankers typically work at banks or credit unions and their duties may include:

  • Processing loan applications and verifying customer information
  • Approving or denying loan requests based on an evaluation of the applicant’s financial history
  • Managing customer accounts and providing assistance with account-related inquiries
  • Opening new accounts and issuing debit cards and checks to customers
  • Processing deposits and withdrawals
  • Authorizing wire transfers and other types of electronic transactions
  • Investigating and resolving customer complaints
  • Providing guidance to tellers and other bank employees

Licensed Banker Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a licensed banker is $43,276.48 per year. However, this figure can vary based on the specific employer, geographic location, and experience of the banker.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job prospects for bankers will grow at an average rate over the next decade. This growth is attributed to the continued expansion of the banking industry. As the industry grows, so does the need for qualified bankers.

How to Become a Licensed Banker

Here are several steps you should take to become a licensed banker.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or a related field

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most banking jobs, some employers may prefer candidates with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Coursework in business administration, finance and economics can help you develop your knowledge of financial concepts and prepare you to work as a banker.

If you’re interested in working at a bank that offers investment services, consider pursuing a graduate-level degree in business or finance. Graduate degrees also qualify you for higher-ranking positions within the industry.

2. Complete an internship with a bank or financial institution

Completing an internship during your undergraduate studies can help you gain valuable experience and networking opportunities in the banking industry. Internships are also required to take the Series 7 exam, which is a test all prospective bankers must pass before they can start working as a banker.

During your internship, you will likely work in several different departments of a bank or financial institution, such as human resources, accounting, lending and operations. This allows you to learn about each department and decide what type of role you want to pursue after graduation. It also gives you an opportunity to develop professional relationships with current employees that may be able to provide you with job recommendations or introductions upon graduation.

3. Pass the Series 7 exam to become a licensed banker

Once you have completed your internship, you can take the Series 7 exam. The test is a two-part exam that covers topics such as investment products and banking practices. Passing the first part of the exam allows you to become a licensed banker. You must pass both parts within one year of each other or you will need to start over with the entire process.

4. Obtain state licensure if required by your state

Some states require bankers to obtain a state license before they can work in the industry. Contact your state’s banking authority to determine whether you need to take additional steps to become licensed. The process of obtaining a state license may include passing an exam or completing additional training.

For example, California requires all bankers to obtain a state license. To qualify for licensure, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and complete at least 1,500 hours of practical experience under the supervision of a qualified banker. Candidates must also pass both parts of the Bank Examining Examination administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

5. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills

As a banker, you will interact with customers and clients on a regular basis. It is important to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills so that you can build trust and relationships with your clients. You may also need to communicate complex financial information to your clients in an easy-to-understand manner.

You should be able to listen to your clients’ needs and concerns and respond accordingly. Additionally, you must have the ability to remain calm under pressure and make sound decisions when necessary.

6. Stay up to date on changes in the banking industry

As a banker, you should always be aware of changes in the industry that could affect your work. For example, new regulations may change how banks operate or what their customers expect from them. Keeping up to date on these developments can help you provide better service to your clients and advance in your career.

You can stay informed about industry news by reading trade publications such as American Banker or The Wall Street Journal. You can also attend conferences hosted by professional organizations like the Independent Community Bankers of America or the National Association of Bank Directors.

7. Join professional organizations such as the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association (ABA) is a professional organization that provides training and networking opportunities for bankers. Membership in the ABA can help you stay up to date on changes in the banking industry and connect you with other professionals in the field. The ABA offers several different types of membership, including student memberships, which are free.


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