How to Build a Banking Career: Degrees, Salaries, and Growth Opportunities

published on
Jul 2, 2024
4 Min REad
Table of Content

Becoming a banker in India is an exciting and lucrative career path that many young professionals aspire to undertake. But where do you begin, and what steps do you need to take to make this dream a reality? In this detailed article, we will take a closer look at how to become a banker in India.


What is Banking?

Banking is a financial service sector that involves managing money, investments, and other financial transactions. Banks provide a range of services, such as accepting deposits, lending money, and facilitating transactions for individuals and businesses. The banking industry in India has grown significantly over the years and is one of the largest employers in the country.


Banking Roles and Portfolios

A banker can play different roles depending on their area of specialisation. Some common roles include loan officer, credit analyst, investment banker, operations manager, risk management specialist, and customer service representative.

Bankers work closely with clients to understand their needs, develop financial solutions tailored to their requirements, and help them make informed decisions about their finances.

Some popular specialisations or portfolios include:

  • Retail banking
  • Corporate and commercial banking
  • Investment banking
  • Private banking and wealth management
  • Operations and back-end processes


How to Become a Banker: Preparation is Key

To become a banker in India, you need to start by pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance or commerce. There are also specialised courses like BBA Banking and Finance that you can opt for.

Once you have completed your bachelor's degree, you can apply for various entry-level positions in banks. These positions include probationary officers (PO), clerks, assistant managers, etc.

You will need to clear an entrance exam conducted by the bank or an independent body like the IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) to be eligible for these positions.


Banking Exams to Pursue

To become a banker in India, there are several exams that you need to prepare for:

  • IBPS PO: This exam is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection every year for the recruitment of probationary officers across various public sector banks.
  • SBI PO: State Bank of India conducts this exam for the recruitment of probationary officers in its various branches across the country.
  • RBI Grade B: This exam is conducted by the Reserve Bank of India for the recruitment of officers in Grade B (General) (DR, DEPR, and DSIM) in various departments.
  • IBPS Clerk: This exam is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection for the recruitment of clerks across various public sector banks.


Essential Skills for Bankers

Banking jobs require a combination of technical, interpersonal, and analytical skills.

  • Technical skills include knowledge of accounting principles, financial analysis tools, banking software systems, and compliance laws and regulations.
  • Interpersonal skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and leadership are essential for customer-facing roles such as loan officers or branch managers.
  • Analytical skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and data analysis, are necessary for risk managers or investment bankers.
  • Other essential skills include attention to detail, adaptability to technological advancements in the industry, and the ability to work under pressure.

Salaries in Banking

Salaries in banking vary depending on the job role and level of experience.

  • Entry-level positions such as bank tellers typically earn around ₹2-3 lakhs per annum.
  • Customer service representatives earn around ₹3-4 lakhs per annum.
  • Loan officers can expect to earn between ₹4-6 lakhs per annum.
  • Branch managers can earn upwards of ₹10-20 lakhs per annum.
  • CFOs or chief risk officers can earn salaries ranging from ₹30-50 lakhs per annum. 

It's important to note that salary and promotion opportunities vary by company and region. In some cases, relocation may be necessary to pursue higher-level opportunities.

Job Potential and Industry Growth

The banking industry is growing at a steady rate due to technological advancements, which have created new job roles within banks.

With the increasing adoption of digital transactions in India, there has been a surge in demand for professionals with digital payment expertise.

According to a report by FICCI, 'Indian Banking: Building Future-Ready Ecosystems', the Indian banking sector will require approximately 20 lakh trained personnel by 2025.


Education and Certifications

For entry-level positions, a bachelor's degree in commerce, business administration, or economics is typically required.

However, for senior positions such as branch managers or chief financial officers (CFOs), a master's degree in business administration or finance is preferred. Many colleges and universities offer specialised degrees in banking and finance.

In addition to degrees, certifications such as Certified Bank Manager (CBM) or Chartered Banker Certification are highly valued by employers. These certifications provide an additional layer of knowledge and expertise beyond formal education.


Upskilling Options in Banking

Upskilling programmes are important for young professionals looking to enter or advance their careers in banking. Several certification courses are available online for individuals looking to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones.

Some popular certification courses include:

  • Certified Bank Manager (CBM)
  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
  • Chartered Banker Certification
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Expert (CAME)


1. Are banking exams difficult?

Yes, banking exams are quite challenging as they test aptitude, reasoning ability, general awareness, and computer proficiency. However, proper preparation can help you crack these exams with ease.

2. By how soon should I start preparing for banking exams?

It is recommended that you start preparing at least six months before the exam date to cover all topics thoroughly.

3. Can I apply for a private bank job while working in a public sector bank?

Yes, you can apply for jobs in private banks while working in public sector banks or vice versa. However, it's essential to check the eligibility criteria before applying.

4. What are the benefits of working in a PSU?

Working in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) offers job stability, social security benefits like provident fund and pension schemes, and opportunities for career growth.

5. Are PSU jobs permanent?

Yes, PSU jobs are considered permanent as they offer job security until retirement age, subject to satisfactory performance.

Key takeaways

Becoming a banker is an attractive career option for young professionals with the right qualifications and skills. To become a successful banker, you need to follow the right steps, invest time in preparation, and upskill yourself with relevant courses and certifications. 

You can explore several upskilling programmes on WIZR to build the essential skillset needed for a successful career in banking. WIZR also offers easy and attractive financing options to help you pursue courses without worry.

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