Approximately 60,900 financial examiners are employed in the United States. Almost all bank examiners are employees of federal or state governing agencies. They work for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and many other federal and state agencies.
College graduates can enter this field via a number of avenues. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the federal government's human resources department. The OPM maintains a list of job listings and also can provide information about requirements, benefits, and salaries. Visit https://www.usajobs.gov for more information.
Someone interested in this work should also contact an agency, such as the OCC, directly and apply for openings. Most federal regulatory agencies, and many state agencies, maintain job hotlines and Web sites.
Individuals usually enter this field as assistant examiners and, over the course of four to five years, progress to commissioned examiners. Commissioned examiners might be given responsibility for several small banks. As the examiner gains experience and establishes a reputation for integrity, insight, and thoroughness, he or she may be given responsibility for larger banks and larger teams of examiners. Examiners who handle larger banks also tend to earn more money.
Bank examiners with considerable experience can become specialists in a variety of areas. Examiners who work at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, for example, can specialize in asset management, bank information technology, international banking, capital markets, compliance, credit, and retail credit.
After many years, an examiner may be offered a supervisory position. Supervisors usually stay in one office and are responsible for managing a large number of examiners who are working in the field.
Examiners also advance by moving to agencies that offer higher salary scales. Still others leave the profession entirely and put their skills to work as banking consultants. Because examiners study so many different banks, of varying degrees of soundness and efficiency, they can become highly successful, sought-after consultants.
Tips for Entry
Visit https://careers.occ.gov/index.html for information on internships and career opportunities at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Visit https://www.fdic.gov/about/jobs/ to learn more about careers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Visit http://www.federalreserve.gov/careers/default.htm for information on internships and careers at the Federal Reserve.
Read publications such as Banking Strategies (https://www.bai.org) to learn more about the field.
Talk to bank examiners about their jobs. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.