Modern banks are tremendously complex operations. Even smaller banks and savings and loans do much more than take deposits and make loans. Twenty-first-century banks offer a wide variety of financial services, from credit cards to mortgages to financial planning and retirement accounts, managing all of these operations takes a great deal of experience and expertise. Although some bank managers come to the industry from other financial industry backgrounds and learn on the job, most have been in the banking industry for a decade or longer, working their way up from teller or loan officer. This is why bank managers earn top salaries.


An undergraduate degree in business or finance is the minimum educational qualification to be a bank manager. Many bank managers are earning master's degrees in finance, economics or business administration. A growing number of bank managers also opt to undertake financial industry certifications such as becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Almost all bank managers will have at least five years of experience, and many will have worked in the industry for a decade or longer.

Job Description:

Responsibilities of bank managers vary based on the particular job. Managers of a branch of a major bank may have fewer responsibilities than managers of a stand-alone local bank. Typical bank manager job duties include making hiring decisions and supervising senior employees, preparing financial statements and other reports, monitoring disclosure and compliance requirements and making plans for expansion or acquisitions.

Median Salary:

Bank managers earned a median salary of $137,220 per year as of 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of bank managers enjoyed a median salary of $187,199 a year, while the bottom 10 percent earned $58,120 a year. Bank managers earn significantly more than managers in other occupations, given that management positions as a whole took home an annual median salary of $91,440 as of 2010.

Bank Manager Pay by City:

Bank managers in the New York City area came out on top of the pay list, with an annual median salary of $175,290. Those living in the San Francisco metro area also did very well, earning a median salary of $162,690 a year. Bank managers working in the Washington, D.C. area were in the middle of the pack at $134,800, while those in Minneapolis-St. Paul were on the lower end of the scale with a median salary of $123,040.

Job Prospects:

Job prospects for bank managers are mixed, with employment growth of only 9 percent expected through 2020. This projected slow growth in the banking and finance industry is related to greater industry regulation and the economic slowdown following the financial meltdown of 2008-2009.

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