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What are the different jobs you can have at a bank?

Hi, I'm a high school student and I've been trying to think of what I want to be when I am older. I think I want to do something relating to finance and money but I'm not sure. I would like to know more about banking specifically. Thanks!
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Rebecca’s Answer

There are many different kinds of banks e.g. Commercial Bank, Retail Bank, Investment Bank, Private Bank, etc. . And, a bank is also like other companies that it has many different departments , e.g. Human Resources, Admin, Finance, Sales, Product, etc.
For very big banks like JP Morgan, HSBC, etc. , they may have multiple business, i.e. they do business for different client segments like for individuals (Retail / Private Bank), corporate (Commercial Bank), etc.
I am glad to hear that you would like to work in a bank. I would suggest you take the relevant courses in the college first, e.g. Accounting, Finance or Business, etc. in the college. You can seek intern opportunities in the banks to explore more how it works. On the other hand, many banks offer Graduate programs. They would hire the fresh graduates from the colleges and offer training. The graduates would have opportunities to work in different business sections . The bank & the graduate can then decide which business suits them best before settle down in one their business lines.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!

Thank you for your response. I will do more research and I now know that I have some intern options for when I am in college. Ivana H.

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Ashley’s Answer

Banking is a great industry! There are so many job opportunities and it can be really satisfying to help people manage their money and achieve their dreams!

A few things to think about:
First, are you a people-person, or do you prefer to work behind-the-scenes?
Second, do you want to work in a branch, at a hub or at headquarters?

If you are a people person, you can be a service banker/teller, a loan officer, or a customer service representative in a branch (or in a hub with a virtual bank). There are also client-facing options within business banking, including Business Banker/Relationship Banker who advises businesses and sells banking products (like loans, credit cards and checking accounts) to business owners. You can grow and develop across these roles to become a team manager or branch manager.

If you prefer to work behind the scenes, you can be an underwriter (evaluating/analyzing loan applications and making decisions on whether to lend to consumers/businesses), an operations specialist (helping process account applications, payments, background checks, etc...), or a fraud analyst (identifying fraud and stopping fraudulent transactions before they happen).

There are also many career opportunities at a Bank's headquarters, including product management (designing account types/features and customer experiences), treasury/finance (helping the Bank manage their balance sheet), risk management, compliance (making sure the Bank adheres to regulations).

In addition to banking, you could consider a career in a brokerage like Charles Schwab or Robinhood, helping people to learn about saving and investing their money.

Wow thanks. I had no idea about fraud analysts and that sounds interesting. I'll look into it. Ivana H.

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Maria’s Answer

Hello, happy to hear that you are interested in banking and finance and wish best of luck.

There are many different types of career path within banking and finance. Banks have different business units and business models, such as retail-commercial banking serving customers with banking needs ( bank-accounts, loans, mortgage loans, etc. ) . Banks have institutional clients ( businesses, companies ) that also need banking and lending services.

You need to determine if you are a people person or prefer operational and or analytical jobs.

Finance offers many career paths. Financial Advisors have direct contact with clients and give financial advise during the financial life of the client. There are also operational and or analytical jobs within finance.

Most likely you will need a BA in Economics, MBA, and Financial services licenses to move up in your career path.
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Carrie’s Answer

I worked in a bank for 11 years or so, right out of college. I got the job after visiting a Career Fair at my college (Penn State). I went into a Business Banking program, where my clients were small business owners and my job was to bring in new clients, but also to service existing clients with their accounts, help them obtain lending, credit card, processing, cash management, etc. I didn't know ANYTHING about this when I got out of school, so don't be discouraged. No one does out of college. Jobs: Tellers: they are the ones who take your deposits and process withdrawals at the service desk when you walk into a bank. This is a good place to start, but if you prefer more sales or client relationships, I would recommend a Financial Services Rep. Financial Services Rep: they respond to clients who come in who have other questions like sending a wire, how to get a mortgage, line of credit, open a new account, etc. There are also Licensed Service Reps: they handle mostly investment accounts, but must be licensed the same as a financial advisor. (Banks will typically pay for licensing, but it is probably a 3-6 month process to study for). They handle the smaller, more basic things and refer anything they can't handle (or other opportunities) to the Financial Advisor in the branch or market. There are mortgage reps, sales people (who sell credit card processing, cash management, mortgages, credit cards, etc.). There are Assistant Branch Managers and Branch Managers. These are something you'd need to work your way up to and have some experience for. That said, banks have training programs for all of these jobs so I'd start there. Look to see if any offer internships and try to get one. I am a Financial Advisor now, but my banking background certainly helped. Good luck!

Thank you for your response. Ivana H.

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Chaochao’s Answer

There are a lot of great answers here. I;ve worked at an investment bank for a summer and then 6 years at a large consumer bank, now working at a fintech company. As several folks said here, banking (or finance in general) is a large industry. I'd say:
- Investment banking is still a potentially good entry level job in the first couple of years after college, because it offers exposure to a diversity of business areas. The nature of the job is that you will prepare a lot of materials for clients looking for services like IPO, Merge & Acquisition, and other "capital market deals". It's usually a 80-100 hr a week job, with a lot of Ivy League grads. So the competition to get in is intense, the competition to stay in the game is intense, but it does train your ability to time manage, expectation manage, get really super fast & advanced in some core early career skills like PPT, Excel, etc. And having this kind of background is highly looked up upon by other future employers and business schools.
- Consumer/commercial banking is a bit different, from my own experience it's like any standard corporate job. If you are in the core business decision-making units, the requirement for math could be a bit higher, finance by nature is a rather analytical area. The decisions to be made are highly economic, quantitative in nature. Nowadays there are also interesting (and increasingly important) functions of digital product development in both big consumer banks, think Chase and Capital One, they have some award-winning apps. So if you are into design, customer need, you can play a big role being a product manager, designer, or even software engineer to make consumers' lives easier by developing & improving how we transact financially in the digital world using such app.
- Now I'm doing product full time at a large financial tech company. There are many household names in this field, think Robinhood, Credit Karma. They really disrupt how banking, personal finance/wealth management/insurance is done. If you go work there as a product manager, designer, or software engineering, you do all the great interesting things typical of innovation, product management, but in a really impactful way because the old way of banking is antiquated and the new inclusive, consumer-friendly way of banking created by these fintechs are truly revolutionary.

Thank you, I greatly appreciate your response. Ivana H.

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Michael’s Answer

There are many wonderful answers here already provided, but I just wanted to add in one perspective. I think the first thing you want to ask yourself is do you like working with people/customers? (ie - did you ever work retail? did you enjoy it?)

Because one of the more satisfying parts of banking is working with customers to help ensure they're "making the most of their money". This can be done at a retail banking level or all the way up to a financial advisor level.

The good news is, if you don't necessarily like working with customers directly (which is ok of course!), then there are MANY areas behind the scenes that could be a good fit. From the operation side of things, HR, working with other vendors of the bank itself (IT, FX etc)

It really is a B I G field.
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Aimee’s Answer

Hi, there a lot of areas in which you can work in a Bank. Examples: Operations, Risk Management, Investments, Marketing, Products, IT.
It depends on what you like more to choose the area where you will feel more comfortable.
Try to think if you like to interact with people, or you better prefer to work by your own, if you like to listen to clients needs or you prefer to execute instead of plan.
Give yourself a few minutes to think what you like most, don´t think in an industry now.
If you identify that banking is and interesting industry for you, try to match what you like most or what you passionate about and how that fits with all this options in banking.

Thank you so much. I will definitely as these questions to myself. Ivana H.

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Nicole’s Answer

There are so many jobs! I work at a bank. I'm a lawyer by training. I work in Asset Management. Our business is to advise clients on their investments and in particular, investments in hedge funds. My team does due diligence on those hedge funds and negotiates those investments. We also work with hedge fund managers to set up customized structures. I sit on an investment team and while i'm using my legal degree, i'm not actually hired as a lawyer.

My advice is to follow a career path that you find interesting and then see how it fits into a bank, rather than the other way around.

Great advice, thanks. Ivana H.

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Christine’s Answer

Great question. There are so many roles you can pursue in banking. You would have to see which one interest you and one that would fit your skills yet one can always acquire skills with experience:

Banker- Advisor- a person that is responsible for the overall relationship of the account
Banker/ Financial Advisor assistant- a person that supports the above role in many ways such as helping the banker/ FA with maturities, cash balances, asset allocation, amongst other duties,
Loan officer- person that helps people with application of loans and mortgages
Analyst- person that helps individuals make investment decision based on financial analytics
Branch manager- person that oversees a certain branch
Teller- person at a local bank that cashes check, accepts deposits and processes withdrawals but has other duties,

I wish you all the best!

Thanks a ton. Ivana H.

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Hajro’s Answer

Hi Ivana,
First off it is great that you are thinking about your career already in high school! Perhaps one of the best things that you can do is get an internship at a bank to figure out what retail banking is. I feel like when I was in high school, when I thought about a bank, I thought about my local bank where I can walk in and deposit or take money out. Everyone else here seems to have given you a detailed description of what a bank so I won't repeat that.
What I used to do is walk into a bank and ask a local branch manager to teach me about what is going on at the bank. Just say that you are student that would like to learn more about the banking business.

Thank you that is a great idea. Ivana H.

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Maria’s Answer

Hello, good luck to you in your search for college and a career. In banking and finance, there are many options for a career path. First consider if you are a people person or prefer analytics. For customer ( people facing ) jobs there are many options for for operational jobs. Also consider that banks have diverse business units including retail-banking including commercial-banking, as well as more institutional business models that serve clients that are businesses ( companies ).

Again, for finance you need to determine if you are a people person, or if you prefer product development and analytics.

Most likely], any banking or finance career will need an BA in economics, and to move up the corporate ladder, an MBA and or Financial Licenses would be recommended.

It is an exiting career, whish you the best.

Thank you very much. Ivana H.

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Matthew’s Answer

Ivana - I will take a completely different approach to all of the other answers, have you considered working as a bank examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)? The OCC is part of the US Treasury Department. I would suggest researching what it would take to become an entry level bank examiner.

You can search for the information by typing this in your browser: "Entry-Level Bank Examiners - OCC: Careers at the OCC"

This is the fastest way that I know to get to see how a bank works from the same view point as a bank executive.

Once that you have a few years experience as a Bank Examiner, then you could decide to go to work inside of the banking industry after gaining a significant amount of industry knowledge.

Also, each state has a banking division and they have bank examiners as well.

Check it out. I think that you might find this fascinating.

Best of luck.

Thank you so much, I will definitely check it out. Ivana H.

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Marc’s Answer

Hi Ivana,
This is a great question. I have worked in marketing and advertising in banking for 20 years help banks attract new customers and grow the relationships with their existing customers. It's creative, fast paced and fun.

Also, my experience with many big banks is that they give folks lots of opportunities for growth and career advancement if you work hard and are loyal. You might start out in a branch, but can then move to a corporate role or an operations role.

Good luck with your career decisions!

Thank you. Ivana H.

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Ivana,

There are so many different directions you can take working in a bank, whether it is within retail, consumer, investment, or private banking. In addition, there are a number of roles within these areas which could peak your interest. Do you like crunching numbers maybe a role within accounting or finance department? Or you would like to focus on your creativity strengths, possibly a role within Marketing or Public Relations. Do you like to bring an idea to fruition, maybe a role within Product Development? Or do you like working with people and building relationships, a role in Sales or Client Servicing could be another path.

As you can see, there are so many roads to lead you to a rewarding career. You just need to determine what does Ivana like? What is Ivana passion?

I wish you the best of luck!


I will have to think more about my interests and passions. Thank you very much. Ivana H.

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Guadalupe’s Answer

Hi Ivana, I loved finance industry! I´ve been working here for almost 20 years. There are many types of banks and many activities/professions that are necessary there. I suggest to you to give yourself a minutes to think what you like most(in a general terms) if you prefer certain type of activities that you would like to do or skills that you are good at. i.e. if you like mathematics or administrative tasks or accounting or all related to laws.
Try to identify if you like to interact with people, or you prefer to work by your own, or to execute budget, etc.
Once you have identified your interest it would be easier to match your preferences in the banking sector.
Good luck!
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Greg’s Answer

Hi Ivana,
Banking is a great industry to be in because there is a variety of different occupations that make up the industry. The first question you should ask yourself is what are you passionate about and how does that relate to finance/money/banking. Once you get a sense of your passion, then you can see how it fits into the banking industry. You should actively seek out internships in banking as well. A lot of programs are rotational so they give you exposure to many areas within a bank. Internships maybe still be a few years in the future for you but it is good to think about them now to put yourself in the best position possible to obtain one as they can be highly competitive. Also don't be afraid to enter out of your comfort zone as you may find some things are very interesting and can take you down a career path you didn't expect to be in. I work at a bank and I joined as a data analyst but I never saw myself in that field. Even though it wasn't my ideal choice, I've learned a tremendous amount of valuable information and was able to link it to my passion of investments to my everyday tasks. I was able to grow into a role that fits my passion.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

Greg recommends the following next steps:

Find your passion
Link your passion to finance and money
See how passion fits in banking
Work hard towards goal
Achieve goal

Thank you so much Greg. Ivana H.

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Guadalupe’s Answer

Hi Ivana,

First of all that is a good news that you are interested in financial sector!
As many people said, there a lot of areas in which you can work in a Bank. i.e. Audit, Legal, Operations, Risk Management, Equities, etc. etc. however it is very important to define what are you interested in or what are you good at.
Give yourself a few minutes to think what you like most, don´t think in an industry now, as I mentioned before there are many activities in a bank and most of that people could work in a different sector.

Good luck with your decision.
Best Regards,

Thank you so much for the response. Ivana H.