woman works as bank manager

Are you interested in becoming a bank manager? Perhaps you work in banking already, but want to rise through the ranks and work your way up to a supervisory role?

Becoming a bank manager is a process that requires time, commitment, certain educational credentials, and significant experience. Today, we will give you an overview of the position itself, the skills you need to succeed, the education and experience required, and the potential salary you can expect to earn as a bank manager.

Overview of Bank Manager Position

A bank manager functions as the local supervisor to bank employees, promoting and offering exceptional customer service to bank patrons and growing business at his or her branch. Managers are responsible for the function and operation of the branch or branches they oversee. The role requires someone who knows every detail of a high-functioning, profitable banking institution and understands the specificities of their particular branch. These managers usually oversee all employees at the branch and report directly to a regional manager.

They manage all aspects of the daily function of the branch, supervise and guide tellers and loan officers, review loan applications, and direct cash handling and other monetary instrument procedures. A bank manager should expect to work a full-time schedule while putting in some extra hours from time to time to meet business demands.

One of the primary tasks of a bank manager is supervising and managing bank employees. A manager in this industry must be an exceptional communicator who can lead and work alongside bank staff to enhance branch operations, ensuring policies and procedures are followed to the letter. When new employees come on board or new standards are implemented, it is the manager's job to train and lead bank staff accordingly. 

Managers in the banking industry play an essential part in leading branch performance, ensuring that customers are pleased and profits are high. The manager must often create and help implement bank products and other customer services, doing sales calls, and building the customer network. All branches have goals for performance and profits, so the manager must work to meet those demands and create techniques to reach them.

manager talking to coworkers

There are various legal and procedural requirements associated with maintaining a high-performing bank branch, so the manager must not only know all aspects of banking but also the various operational demands needed to keep things running smoothly. The manager may be busy overseeing loans one moment, helping accounts receivable the next, and performing an audit of a teller’s cash drawer following that.

As a manager within the banking industry, you report directly to regional managers and senior bank officers. This role requires you to create reports regarding branch performance to hand over to regional and senior management, keep abreast of any updates to banking procedures, and ensure that all staff members under your direction are updated accordingly.

Necessary Skills

There are some necessary skills required to embody this role successfully. The job is very demanding, so bank managers must be able to handle the pressure with professionalism and flexibility. You must supervise other employees effectively and efficiently, implement policies and procedures flawlessly, and be a strong communicator.

The role also requires someone with an aptitude for math and accounting. Possessing good technical skills in computer applications like Microsoft Office Suite is also essential. Many bank manager positions are geared towards individuals with strong business calling and sales skills, who can lead sales meetings intending to enhance branch performance, and develop and implement staff training programs.

Education and Experience

Educational Requirements

Before becoming a bank manager, you need to possess a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or accounting. Some employers prefer a CPA or CFA certification as well.

You need to have well-developed skills in areas like time management, customer service, communication, accounting, supervising, decision-making and implementation, and time management. You must also be well educated regarding your local community, financial reporting requirements, and federal and state banking regulations.

Experience Prerequisites

Regarding the required experience to become a manager at a bank, you must usually have at least 5 years or more of experience within the financial services industry. You need to have experience working as an assistant branch manager, loan officer, or financial analyst too.

How to Become a Bank Manager

As mentioned before, to get started on the route to becoming a bank manager, you must first earn your degree in finance, business administration, accounting, or a similar discipline. Many employers may prefer you also possess a master’s degree in one of these majors. To give you a competitive edge, you may consider degree plans with coursework and specializations in subjects like information systems, operations management, marketing, accounting, and finance.

Besides your degree or degrees, you need to gain considerable experience within the financial services industry. You might work in wholesale banking, corporate banking, institutional banking, or retail consumer banking within the commercial banking industry. Most banking professionals work in retail consumer banking, providing financial services for individual customers and families. You could start your career in financial services as a teller, loan officer, or mortgage officer, work your way up to assistant branch manager, and finally to the branch manager.

bank manager working

When looking to apply to a manager position at a bank, competitive applicants will have experience in supervisory capacities, community work, knowledge of federal and local banking requirements, mastery of investment and loan services, and strong customer service abilities. You will also need to be good at budgeting, staying organized, and training other employees.

You may wish to consider earning additional credentials to make yourself stand out as a candidate for such managerial positions. Certified Public Accountant or Certified Financial Planner designations are excellent choices. Every state offers exams to earn the Certified Public Accountant Credential. You may get your Certified Financial Planner designation via the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Finally, if you are trying to work your way up to being a manager at a bank, you may wish to earn your master’s degree in economics, finance, or a similar discipline. Courses cover core subjects and specializations like risk management, economics, management, financial analysis, data analysis, team management, information systems, and strategic management. If you wish to advance from the role of a bank manager to a position as the regional manager or vice president, a master’s degree in one of the majors previously mentioned will give you a competitive edge.

Salary Key Considerations

Man showing a lot of money

The salary you can expect to earn as a bank manager varies based on some specific factors. Your location, level of experience, skill set, and the employer will affect your salary. New bank managers with under 5 years of experience will earn much less than individuals with 5 years or more in the financial services industry and significant managerial experience under their belt.

Salary Projections

Bank managers with a higher level of experience and additional educational credentials like a CPA designation and/or master’s degree earn a median yearly salary of around $118,000. This means that about half of all managers employed by banks earn less than this number and around half earn more.

Bank managers with less experience who earn under the median salary can expect to bring home anywhere from $42,000 to $79,000 annually. This does not count any projected bonuses, profit sharing benefits, or commission earned from banking sales, which will increase your annual salary by anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000.

money projection

You need to consider the banking institution you want to work for in light of the salary you wish to earn. National and international banks will typically pay their managers a higher salary than regional or local banks would. To give you an idea of what various banking institutions pay to managers, we will provide a few examples to help you on your professional journey.

For instance, Bank of America Corporation, J.P. Morgan Chase and Company, Wells Fargo Bank, and People’s United Bank are some very large financial institutions with an impressive pool of bank managers. J.P. Morgan Chase and Company is known for paying one of the highest salaries, with average annual wages coming in around $78,000. On the other hand, Wells Fargo Bank has a lower median salary for bank managers, paying around $56,000 per year on average.

Conclusion

Becoming a bank manager is not a process that happens overnight. It requires time, experience, education, and hard work to achieve your goals. You need to have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the financial services industry, several years of experience, key management, organizational, and communication skills, and a passion for customer service and performance achievement. You must be highly driven and dedicated to excellence in banking standards.

The more experience you gain and additional credentials you earn, the better your job prospects, salary potential, and opportunities for upward career mobility will be. If you are perusing various bank manager positions, look at the role requirements and projected salaries for each institution so you can tailor your goals and gain experience accordingly.