5 Finance Jobs That Don’t Require a College Education

Finance Jobs

Do you or someone you know want to work in the finance sector, but don’t know where to start? Many financially-focused jobs require training and higher education credentials, such as a Bachelor’s Degree. Even entry-level jobs can be difficult to land, but by applying to the most accessible finance jobs, you can enter the industry and build your experience, eventually making your way up the financial ladder.

Here are six occupations that don’t require four-year college degrees:

1. Bank Teller

Bank tellers process routine transactions at a bank, such as cashing checks, collecting loan payments, and depositing money. Tellers are responsible for answering questions about customer accounts, preparing specialized funds, such as traveler’s checks and money orders, exchanging foreign currency for customers, ordering bank cards and checks for customers, recording all transactions electronically, and counting the cash in their drawer when their shift is finished.

  • Type of Job: Office and Administrative Support
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Pay: $24,940 per year/$11.99 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: Short-term on-the-job training
  • Qualities and Skills Needed: Customer-service skills, Detail oriented, Math skills

Aspiring bank tellers only need a high school diploma. Once hired, tellers receive a one month on-the-job training, which includes being trained by an experienced teller who teaches them how to balance cash drawers, verify signatures, and use their bank software. They also learn about the financial products and services of the bank. Room for advancement is possible for experienced tellers — they can become head tellers, move on to other supervisory positions, or even advance to other occupations like loan officer, or sales positions.

2. Bookkeeping, accounting or auditing

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing clerks produce financial records for companies and record financial transactions, update financial statements, and clarify financial records to ensure they are accurate. Basic mathematical skills are necessary for these jobs, and so are computer skills, as the clerical sector transitions into becoming more computerized.

Clerks receive and record money, checks, and vouchers, input costs and income into software, create online spreadsheets, produce reports including balance sheets, income statements, and other more specialized duties. These clerks have a wide range of duties, with some being wholly responsible for maintaining the books, and many have additional responsibilities such as payroll, billing, purchasing, and organizing and overseeing overdue bills.

  • Type of Job: Office and Administrative Support
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Pay: $35,170 per year/$16.91 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
  • Qualities and Skills Needed: Computer skills, Detail oriented, Integrity, Math skills

Many bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks only need a high school diploma, though some employers ask that candidates have some post-secondary education, preferably including coursework in accounting. New clerks are trained by a supervisor or advanced employee, which includes double-entry bookkeeping, and may also receive formal classroom training to learn specialized computer software, for instance.

As for additional education, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may choose to legitimize their skills by earning certifications. With experience, clerks can go on to become accountants or auditors.

3. Financial clerks

Financial clerks differ from the aforementioned clerks. These clerks do administrative work for organizations, such as billing, gaming cage workers, payroll and timekeeping clerks, and loan processors, all of which you can find in specific detail here.

Generally, financial clerks maintain and update financial records, provide customer assistance, carry out financial transactions, and do data entry by computing bills and charges.

  • Type of Job: Office and Administrative Support
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Pay: $34,960 per year/$16.81 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: Some on-the-job training and possible technical training
  • Qualities and Skills Needed: Communication skills, Math skills, Organizational skills

Financial clerks typically only need a high school diploma, and are given on-the-job training. Financial clerks may need sector-specific training, such as training in gaming regulations and procedures for clerks who are looking to work in a gaming establishment. Financial clerks can advance to several related occupations, depending on their specialty and experience. Loan clerks for example, can go on to become loan officers, and brokerage clerks can become a securities, commodities, or financial services sales agent (after obtaining the necessary education and license).

4. Cashier

Cashiers are responsible for handling payments from customers who are purchasing or returning goods and services. Typically they greet customers, ring up items using scanners, cash registers, and calculators, accept payments and give change and receipts, bag/wrap customers’ purchases, process returns and exchanges of merchandise using appropriate procedures, and more.

  • Type of Job: Sales
  • Education: Less than high school
  • Median Pay: $18,970 per year/$9.12 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: Short-term on-the-job training
  • Qualities and Skills Needed: Customer-service skills, Dexterity, Listening skills, Patience, Physical stamina

No formal educational requirements exist for cashiers, except for a basic knowledge of mathematics to make a change and count money. Depending on the size of the firm, a cashier might train with an experienced worker or take actual training classes before starting. In either method of training, aspiring cashiers learn store policies and procedures involving how to operate equipment such as cash registers.

5. Bill and account collectors

Bill and account collectors recover payment on overdue bills. They track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using a variety of methods. Once found, they inform debtors of their overdue bill, and try to negotiate a payment that is acceptable to the debtor which maximizes payment for the creditor. Interpersonal skills are needed for this occupation, as negotiation is a key aspect of the job.

  • Type of Job: Office and Administrative Support
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Pay: $32,480 per year/$15.61 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
  • Qualities and Skills Needed: Listening skills, Negotiating skills, Speaking skills

For the most part, having a high school diploma is all the education necessary to become a bill and account collector. However, applicants who have taken some college courses, such as communication, accounting, and basic computer courses may be preferred by some employers. Training lasts anywhere between one to three months, and new employees learn the company’s policies, the laws regarding debt collection, their state’s debt collection regulations, computer software, and sometimes, negotiation techniques.

Though climbing through the financial ranks can seem daunting, by excelling is basic financial trades, green but ambitious professionals can use their expertise to move up the finance-career ladder to reach new heights.

Katherine Muniz

Katherine covers the issues that are most relevant to younger adults, including topics such as college finances, student debt, and consumer spending. She has contributed to other web publications such as Business Insider and Investopedia.

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