How Much Do Bankers Make? 

If the study of finance has always piqued your interest, then the position of banker may be right up your alley. If it is, you may be asking yourself not only how to be a banker, but how much does a banker make? Is the career choice worth the work?

What does the banker job description entail? A banker works at a bank or financial institution and assists customers with financial planning and accounts. These positions are held by management or officers, and not tellers or other banking staff, and accounts can include checking, savings, loans, investments, and securities, just to name a few.

Customers may find all of the options and verbiage confusing in the banking industry. An efficient banker can demystify the process and give customers advice on the best accounts and securities to invest in.

how to become a banker

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More Than One Type of Banker in the Industry

The following are a list of the types of bankers you may see in a financial institution as well as the banker job description and median annual salaries. Keep in mind that salaries vary between geographical locations and even between financial institutions in the same city. Your experience and education may determine the level of pay you start out making in the position. The industry tends to pay well, so learning how to become a banker may serve you abundantly in the future.

See Also: How Much Do Financial Advisors Make?

Investment Bankers

An investment banker works with large corporations as well as institutional investors. These bankers may work with their clients on mergers and acquisitions, assist in massive loans, or distribute securities.

How much do bankers make who specialize at investment banks? According to Investopedia, an investment banker right out of the gate can earn as much as $95,000 the first year. Depending on the institution and your education and performance, you could make as much as $125,000 your first year.

If you make investment banking a career choice and work diligently for ten or more years at a large financial institution, you could earn upwards of $175,000 to $250,000 per year. According to, the national average is $100,675 per year.

Since companies will come to you to raise their capital, it is imperative that you seek the education needed to assist these large corporations. Entry-level investment bankers will need a bachelor’s degree in a field as close to banking as possible: finance, economics, statistics, or accounting. A master’s degree in business administration should be an attainable goal if you wish to work as an investment banker in higher-level positions.

If you are wondering how much a a junior investment banker makes, the national average isn’t too shabby. These entry-level positions, also known as junior investment analysts, average $30 per hour. An intern at a large institution, like J.P. Morgan, may earn about $15.50 per hour.

As an investment banker, you will need to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA will test your knowledge and skills based on your position at the bank. There are other certifications you can earn that may help with a promotion or raise to increase how much a banker makes a year.

Personal Bankers

A personal banker may be the type of banker you are accustomed to seeing in your local community bank or the branch of a bank chain. These bankers:

  • Assist customers in opening and closing checking and savings accounts
  • Help customers in choosing bank services and products
  • Build a relationship with customers by answering questions about financial services and products
  • Refer customers to specific financial specialists, like a loan officer
  • Promote products and services to meet goals, typically monthly or quarterly
  • Know the daily operations of the bank and how to perform each one
  • Train new associates in their bank’s procedures

How much does a personal banker make? The national average reported by is $37,500 per year with a minimum of $29,000 and a maximum of $42,000 per year. Of course, this rate varies across the nation and between banks. The following is a list of median annual salaries for personal bankers in some of the larger cities:

Many financial institutions do require entry-level personal bankers to possess at least a two-year associate’s degree in finance, economics, or accounting. If you plan to work in mortgage lending, you may want to pursue certifications from the American Bankers Association (ABA) or another organization. Certifications can make a difference in how much bankers get paid.

How much does a personal banker make while an intern? Interns in the personal banking industry make a modest living during internship. The median hourly rate across the country is $8 to $11 per hour.

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Bank Managers

Although a bank may hire you right out of high school as a bank teller and train you, the likelihood of you advancing to bank manager without a degree is low. A bank manager oversees the branch’s employees and meets monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. In your quest to learn how to become a bank manager, you will need to have excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills. Many financial institutions operate their own training for managerial candidates.

The following list gives examples of the duties that may be required of you as a bank manager, according to the National Career Service:

  • Promote the bank’s services to the community
  • Create the business plan for your branch
  • Develop marketing plans
  • Manage employees with their personal goals
  • Assess risk for loans
  • Train new associates and interns
  • Resolve customer complaints
  • Assist financial specialists with customers’ needs

As a bank manager in a small community, you may be asked to visit schools or other organizations to speak on topics, including:

  • How to be a banker
  • How to get into banking right out of high school
  • How much do bankers make?
  • What courses to take to prepare for a career in the banking industry
  • What the difference is between commercial and investment banking
  • What products and services banks offer the community

How much do bankers make when they make the shift to bank manager? The national average, as reported by, is $61,209 per year. The minimum salary is reported to be $46,000 with the salary maxing out at $90,000 per year. This salary will vary and depends on your education, experience, and performance, as well as the financial institution and its location. If we take a look at the seven cities from earlier, we can see the increase in income for those personal bankers who move into managerial positions:

  • Los Angeles, CA $73,966
  • New York, NY $69,000
  • Chicago, IL $72,217
  • Dallas, TX $74,372
  • Jacksonville, FL $47,000
  • Seattle, WA $75,882
  • Washington, D.C. $77,785

Related: How to Become a Financial Advisor

How to Be a Banker

banker job description

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If banking sounds like the career for you, then consider following the banker career path while learning how to be a banker. According to, commercial bankers, personal bankers, and investment bankers follow similar paths and require the same key skills.

If you are still in high school, consider taking as many math, business, and economics classes as you can to prepare you for the banking industry. Computer software classes can prepare you for real-world presentations that include spreadsheets and data analysis.

If you are in college or preparing to enroll, ask your advisor about courses designed to increase your skill set efficiently based on banker job descriptions. You will want to major in finance, business administration, accounting, economics, or statistics. The bachelor’s degree should provide you with the knowledge to get started, perhaps as an entry-level junior banker. Interning before graduation may be a requirement depending on the university.

Once you are employed with a financial institution, consider adding certifications. Typically, these certifications may take a few years to obtain but can make all the difference. The CFA Institute offers certifications in various programs:

  • The CFA Program – This program is for students who want to take the next step in the career path as a bank manager or need to learn more about the investment banking segment. It takes about four years to complete three exams.
  • The CIPM Program – This program assists portfolio managers, financial advisors, and investment consultants with managerial tasks including communicating with their clients. It takes about one year to complete and the passing of two exams.
  • The Claritas Program – This program helps bankers and others learn more about the investment management profession. It can take up to six months to prepare for the one exam, according to the CFA.

The salary reporting website PayScale reported that employees with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification earned between $45,623 and $122,872 per year, depending on job title. When trying to decipher how much bankers make, keep in mind that these certifications can bump you into a higher income bracket.

Consider diversifying your knowledge base by taking additional courses after graduation. If you studied accounting, learn what it takes to become an investment banker, for example. Employers like bankers willing to take the initiative and learn more about the financial industry when it is not required of them.

Popular Article: 6 Tips on Passing the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam

How to Become a Bank Manager

If you want to get a leg up on the competition or are considering the shift to bank manager, you may want to return to university courses and earn your Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Many universities offer an MBA degree online that you can do in your spare time after work and on the weekends.

According to, you can earn a MBA in as little as one year or more than three years. An accelerated MBA program only lasts about a year since the students get little time for breaks for summer and holidays. A full-time MBA program is standard for those bankers wondering how to become a bank manager. The students take on full coursework and graduate in two years.

If you plan to work full-time while earning your MBA to become a bank manager, a part-time program may be available to you, depending on the university. Many online programs offer this flexibility so you can do the coursework when it fits your schedule. This can mean graduating in three to four years with your MBA, but the manageable course load makes it worth it.

Review the salary for bank managers in your city and see if the extra work will be worth the extra effort. In many cases, it will pay out in dividends.

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