Hello, TanGoddess. I believe most banks prefer their applicants to have a Bachelors Degree in finance or business. Some might consider someone who holds an Associates Degree. Nowadays, I doubt a person with a high school diploma or GED has much of a chance, unless they move their way up from an entry-level position. From what I understand from people I know in the field (and from Googling the topic), most loan specialists make around $41000 a year. I imagine experience and size of the bank may come into play.