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Banks have a wide variety of positions and career paths available. There are a number of ways people can get involved with banking organizations and become bankers. Although having an education in business or finance is helpful and can make a person eligible for more advanced positions, in most cases banks do not require a degree for entry-level positions.
Tellers are entry-level bank officers who, if successful, can be promoted to positions of greater responsibility and authority. Most banks require high school degrees or general equivalencies to become tellers. Tellers must be proficient in mathematical computation, money handling, customer service and computer operations. Banks provide training on banking functions and education about financial systems that relate to tellers' jobs.
Those who want managerial-level positions in banks without teller experience need college degrees. Banks favor business degrees with emphasis in either finance or management. However, they may consider competent and qualified individuals with other four-year college degrees and financial or managerial work history. Tellers with strong experience and good performance history may also find themselves eligible for promotion to an assistant manager or branch manager position.
Loan officers and higher-level executives who oversee lending make important decisions about risk on behalf of their institutions. Banks need to rely on their judgment and abilities to assess risks and rewards to make smart business decisions. That's why such positions require at least a four-year college education. Those with master's in business administration (MBA) degrees are particularly desirable.
The people who manage banking assets are among the highest paid professionals in a banking institution. They carry vast responsibility as banks rely heavily on their knowledge, sharpness and judgment. Typically, banks require an MBA with finance specialty, law degree or Ph.D. in a science-related field. Investment bankers must also have a number of licenses from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities as well as the rules and regulations of the securities and banking industries.
Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.