How to Become a Branch Manager

Banking institutions are an essential part of the financial industry. Branch managers are highly trained and experienced financial professionals that are responsible for the overall successful operation and function of their specified branch office.

What does a branch manager do?

Branch managers are responsible for the administration and daily operations of branch offices including customer service, operations, and security and safety procedures. They hire and manage personnel, assist customers, approve loans and lines of credit, and establish community relationships to attract customers and increase the visibility of the bank. They also handle a variety of sales and marketing tasks. Branch managers strive to achieve the goals of the bank and the branch and provide motivation to their staff. They often handle the training and evaluation procedures of staff to ensure the branch is meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

What kind of training does a branch manager need?

Branch managers typically need at least a bachelor degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or other related field. Many branch managers have a master degree or extensive work experience. Prospective branch managers typically complete courses in business, finance, economics, accounting, marketing, and communications. Many complete internships or obtain part-time jobs in banking institutions to gain practical experience. Some branch managers start their careers in entry-level positions and advance into management positions as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Many employers provide some on the job training to enable new branch managers to learn the necessary procedures and expectations. Branch managers often complete regular continuing education and additional training to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field. Many employers often provide conferences, seminars, and workshops.

What are the prospects for a career as a branch manager?

Employment of branch managers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in the financial industry will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good, especially for branch managers with advanced education and extensive experience. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace branch managers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do branch managers make?

As of February 2010, branch managers with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $35,581 and $50,647. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $38,016 and $51,178 (2).

A career as a branch manager is a great choice for people with a strong interest in financial management. Branch managers must have a solid understanding of the required operations and policies and procedures of their banking institution. Detail orientation, critical thinking, good judgment, excellent problem solving skills, and good leadership skills are essential characteristics. Branch managers must have excellent communication and customer service skills. They must also be able to effectively work as a team and motivate others.

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