Approximately 258,000 bill and account collectors are employed in the United States. Many work in a call center for a third-party collection agency rather than the original creditor. Other bill collectors work for a wide range of organizations and businesses that extend credit to customers. Health care providers, department stores, hospitals, banks, public utilities, and auto financing companies are examples of businesses that frequently hire bill collectors.
The companies that hire collection workers are located throughout the United States, especially in heavily populated urban areas. Companies that have branch offices in rural communities often locate their collection departments in nearby cities.
If you are interested in becoming a collection worker, one easy way to start a job search is to apply directly to collection agencies, credit reporting companies, banks, and major retailers that sell large items. To find collection agencies and credit reporting companies, try doing a simple keyword search on the Internet. Remember that these sorts of jobs are often more plentiful in urban areas.
Experienced collection workers who have proven to have above-average ability can advance to management positions, such as supervisors or collection managers. These workers generally have responsibility for the operations of a specific shift, location, or department of a collection company. They oversee other collection workers. Other avenues of advancement might include becoming a credit authorizer, credit checker, or bank loan officer. Credit authorizers approve questionable charges against customers' existing accounts by evaluating the customers' credit records and payment histories. Credit checkers in credit bureaus—sometimes also called credit investigators or credit reporters—search for, update, and verify information for credit reports. Loan officers help borrowers fill out loan applications, verify and analyze applications, and decide whether and how much to loan applicants. Some experienced and successful collections workers might open their own agencies.
Tips for Entry
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become certified by ACA International in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.
Talk with collection workers about their careers. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.