How Do I Become a Commercial Banker?

Vicki Hogue-Davies
Vicki Hogue-Davies
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Commercial banks provide loans, credit, checking accounts, savings accounts and other financial services to individuals and businesses. To become a commercial banker in a professional position, such as credit analyst, loan officer or trust officer, you usually will need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, accounting or a related subject. Earning a master's in business administration or a similar area can make you even more marketable when seeking a job. Seeking internships within the banking industry will help you get a view of the industry and its various positions, gain experience and make contacts for later job seeking.

For a position as a bank teller, safe deposit clerk or other clerical banking position, the minimum education required usually is a high school diploma. Depending on the individual bank, tellers and workers in other clerical and administrative roles who have high levels of banking experience might be eligible to be promoted into professional roles without having earned college degrees. Many banks offer their employees opportunities to attend educational conferences that are sponsored by banking industry associations, take classes through private banking schools and earn certifications to improve their knowledge of the industry. Taking advantage of all the educational opportunities that are available will help you become a commercial banker.

Banking schools provide specialized training to enhance the knowledge of loan officers, credit analysts, business development officers and other commercial banker positions. There are programs that are focused on commercial lending, bank marketing and management and more. Bank associations provide certificate programs and certifications for bank positions ranging from tellers to bank management. Professional certifications demonstrate to employers that you are highly skilled in your area of expertise. These types of educational opportunities are available throughout the banking industry for workers in professional positions who want to advance into senior and management roles and for clerical and administrative workers who want to work in higher-level roles.

The basic characteristics that will help you become a commercial banker include excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as strong customer service abilities. For some positions, such as that of a financial services sales agent, having sales experience or ability can be important. Being comfortable working with technology and different computer systems and software can help you succeed after you become a commercial banker because banks rely heavily on computers and technology. Bankers deal with money and numbers, so a propensity for math and working with numbers will also help you be successful in this industry. People in the banking industry work with money, so many banks will you to be trustworthy and able to pass a background screening.

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