How do I Become a Personal Banker?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A person who wants to become a personal banker can benefit from a college degree, although this is not required. You will be expected to have banking experience, at the very least. Positions as personal bankers come with many possibilities for career advancement, and someone may be able to rise to a senior management position after serving in this role. Experience in such positions can also be used to explore a career as a personal finance or investment adviser.

The length of time required to become a personal banker varies depending on the bank.
The length of time required to become a personal banker varies depending on the bank.

Also known as private bankers, personal bankers provide clients of a bank with personalized advice on how to handle their finances and manage their accounts. This personalized service includes managing funds transfers and other administrative tasks. While they primarily serve clients who are wealthy or who have special financial needs, ordinary banking clients may also periodically need to call on the services of a personal banker. You'll need excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge of the banking industry to succeed in this job.

A personal banker is a representative of a financial institution.
A personal banker is a representative of a financial institution.

One career path to pursue involves going to college for a degree in banking, accounting, finance, or a related field. Students who choose to go on to a master of business administration (MBA) degree will find many more available employment opportunities after graduation. Once someone has graduated, it may be possible to apply directly to become a personal banker. Some banks may require teller experience first, but the path to promotion is usually much shorter for tellers with degrees.

Personal bankers oversee clients' checking and savings accounts.
Personal bankers oversee clients' checking and savings accounts.

A person who is not interested in going to college can still get a job in this field. Individuals without college degrees can apply to work as tellers and, after several years of experience, can pursue promotion into personal banking positions. The length of time required to become a personal banker through this route varies, depending on the bank. One advantage of becoming a personal banker through experience is that the banker will have an extensive knowledge of bank policy and real world financial operations.

It is important to note that all bank employees are subject to regular and extensive employee evaluations. You should maintain flawless credit and a clean criminal history if you want to pursue this career. Avoiding interpersonal conflicts with bank personnel is another important aspect of succeeding in banking, as banks tend to avoid promoting employees who cause friction. A neat personal appearance and professional demeanor is also highly desirable from the bank's point of view, as it can build trust with clients.

Personal bankers might provide services to securely store a client's valuable possessions.
Personal bankers might provide services to securely store a client's valuable possessions.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


I am a personal banker for chase bank. I can promise you that sales is the true nature of the position, and sales experience is the most important quality an applicant can posses.

I have one year in automotive sales experience. That's how I got this job.


@Latte31 - Sounds like an interesting job. The only complaint that I have is when I go to a new bank just trying to gather information, they always end up asking me for my Social Security number right off the bat without even trying to warm up to me.

I never disclose that information and it sort of makes me feel a bit guarded when they start their presentation this way. Every now and then I will go to other banks to see what they are offering to see if there are better deals out there than what I currently have.

I do think that some of the personal bankers need to learn how to develop a rapport with a customer before asking such personal questions. I have a friend that works in a bank as a personal banker and he tells me that they have a script that they have to learn when they first start and this is definitely not part of it.


@Comfyshoes - I agree. I love hearing those financial advice shows on television and I could see myself doing that. I also had a friend that got into a personal banker position after successful evaluations as a teller.

She told me that a personal banker’s salary starts at about $40,000 a year not including bonuses. The personal banker job description does include a considerable amount of sales and follow up with current customers especially if a customer mentioned that they might be in the market for a home equity loan, a mortgage, or a car loan.

While the personal banker usually handles discussions regarding home equity loans and car loans, they will usually set up an appointment for their customer to speak with the bank’s mortgage advisor because they are the only ones that can discuss mortgages with the customers.

Banks have strict rules about the information that they can disclose. Products such as investments and mortgages require that the representative be licensed. It is something that the personal banker can shoot for it the future because this position has many career paths.


I know that sometimes a bank will require that their personal bankers have prior sales experience because they will be selling the products and services of the bank to prospective customers.

In the job ads that I have seen they usually require about one to two years of consultative sales experience. While having a finance degree or other banking experience is a plus, it is not necessary because the sales experience is what matters.

The great thing about this position is that you can move up into a branch manager position or eventually a senior level executive with the bank. I think that I would actually prefer the opportunity to become a financial advisor.

Here the bank offers you leads and as long as you have your series 6 and series 7 license you should be able to discuss investment options with potential clients and earn either a percentage of the portfolio or a commission of the portfolio. I think that this job would be the most fun and the most rewarding as well.

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