Personal or Retail Banker
How to Become a

Personal or Retail Banker

The complete career guide to be a Personal or Retail Banker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $35,820
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -8.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

Personal or retail bankers work in banks that deal primarily with consumer accounts and transactions rather than commercial or investment transactions. They manage checking and savings accounts; assist customers with deposits, withdraws, and other transactions; and provide loans and lines of credit.

Recommended Schools

What is a Personal or Retail Banker?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in personal or retail banker roles:

  • Assist customers with opening new checking or savings accounts
  • Handle bank account transactions, such as deposits, transfers, and withdraws
  • Process applications for auto, home, and education loans, credit cards, and other lines of credit
  • Exchange currencies, prepare traveler’s checks, and create money orders or cashier’s checks
  • Market bank services in the community to increase visibility and profitability

A Day in the Life

There are three major types of banks in the U.S.: personal or retail banks, commercial banks, and investment banks. Commercial banks deal mostly with mid-sized or large businesses, and investment banks deal with retirement funds and other long-term savings transactions. Personal or retail banks, on the other hand, handle individual consumer banking needs, and personal or retail bankers take on responsibilities for these types of banks. They deal primarily in one-on-one transactions with customers.

Part of the role of a personal or retail banker is to handle routine transactions for customers. They deposit, transfer, and withdraw money from accounts on behalf of customers; answer questions about accounts; and prepare money orders, traveler’s checks, or cashier’s checks for customers. They also count money and change for deposits and perform currency exchanges. They may deal with customers either in-person, or they may oversee and approve transactions made online or through a banking app.

In addition to handling routine transactions, personal and retail bankers help improve bank profitability by extending the number of customers served. They encourage customers and community members to open checking and savings accounts and to use their branch for lending opportunities. They may help customers apply for home, auto, or education loans, credit cards, or other lines of credit. They also help promote different types of bank products and services when working with customers in person.

Typical Work Schedule

Certain older generations remember the phrase “banker’s hours.” That’s because they were often forced to rush to deposit paychecks during lunch hour or early after work before the tellers closed. In the olden days, banking was usually done between the hours of 10am and 4pm.

But those days are long gone. Today, personal or retail bankers are typically open during regular business hours of 9am to 5pm. But many banks stay open later and on weekends to accommodate customers.

In fact, according to a recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates, when bank customers were asked what hours their primary bank branch keeps, 70% said their bank stays open longer than 9 to 5 on weekdays, and 75% said their primary branch is open on Saturdays.

Today we also find a lot of bank branches that have opened inside grocery stores. These branches tend to have even more flexible hours so people can bank when it’s convenient for them.

Projected Job Growth

The banking landscape is going through a lot of change. Between new regulations, technology disruption, changing customer expectations and demographics, the need to pivot and adapt has become very clear.

Part of getting ahead of these challenges and strategizing to win customer loyalty is offering extended hours and new products and services. This will of course require banks to hire more staff to handle the ongoing efforts to transcend the status quo and win bigger shares of the market.

Personal and retail bankers, particularly those who bring other skills to the table such as technological skills (think blockchain), will be in high demand over the coming years.

Typical Employers

Personal and retail bankers are hired to work for consumer banks and credit unions—for both large chains and small local banks. The household name banks you are most likely familiar with are probably retail banks. These banks are some of the biggest employers of personal or retail bankers in this country and include some of the largest banking chains such as Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.

Personal or retail bankers will never be out of work and will always be able to find job opportunities nationwide. If you are good with numbers, willing to relocate, and have excellent customer service skills, you will always have plenty of employment options at your disposal.


Recommended Schools

How To Become a Personal or Retail Banker

The requirements for finding work as a personal or retail banker depend on the type of role you aspire to work in. For example, an entry-level position in retail banking would be working as a teller. To become a teller, you only need a high school diploma and some experience working with money. The experience doesn’t necessarily have to be in banking. Experience operating a cash register for a restaurant or retail store may be enough to qualify you for open bank teller roles.

For other positions, a bachelor’s degree is preferred. For example, most banks prefer loan officers and underwriters to hold bachelor’s degrees in business, finance, accounting, or a related field. Additionally, most loan officers and underwriters need to have professional banking industry experience. Some aspiring personal and retail bankers choose to work part-time as tellers while pursuing relevant bachelor’s degrees in order to earn the required experience and education concurrently.

For management or leadership roles like branch manager, a bachelor’s degree is almost always required, as well as a significant amount of professional banking experience. Bank branch managers deal with a lot of numbers, finances, and government regulations—as well as managing employees—so a bachelor’s degree in finance or business administration helps them learn the skills they’ll need to run a profitable branch as well as manage a large team of bank employees.

Personal or Retail Banker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Personal or Retail Banker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Personal or Retail Banker's can make an average annual salary of $35,820, or $17 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $29,460 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #606 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Personal or Retail Bankers

  • 0.4%   Doctorate
  • 3.8%   Masters
  • 23.4%   Bachelors
  • 9.8%   Associates
  • 35.9%   College
  • 25.8%   High School
  • 0.8%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Personal or Retail Banker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -4,300 jobs for a total of 48,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -8.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #731 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Personal or Retail Bankers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Depository credit intermediation 48,900 -4,800 -5%
Management of companies and enterprises 1,000 --- ---
Other nondepository credit intermediation, including real estate credit and consumer lending 700 100 0%

Want To Be a Personal or Retail Banker? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →