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Commercial Banker Career


What Is a Commercial Banker?


Commercial bankers are financial professionals that work in client-facing roles, specifically assisting medium- to large-sized businesses. Professionals in commercial banking may be sales-focused, serve as relationship managers, or work in supporting roles as analysts or associates. Through their knowledge and expertise, commercial bankers offer banking solutions and advice about common types of banking products and services, including cash management, credit to support working capital and capital investment, treasury and payment services, and financial planning.


What Does a Commercial Banker Do?

The typical day-to-day responsibilities of a commercial banker can involve tasks ranging from administration to marketing and communication. Some of the common daily duties include: 

  • Connecting clients with lenders.
  • Developing, negotiating, and closing commercial loans. 
  • Managing corporate, government, or institutional accounts. 
  • Marketing their bank to attract new clients. 
  • Offering financial advice tailored to each client's specific needs. 
  • Supplying credit products, such as term loans, cash management services, syndicated facilities, and revolving lines of credit.
  • Issuing deposit products, such as checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and money market accounts.
  • Providing business development services such as brand development, financial planning, product development, and marketing.
  • Providing lending services, such as commercial real estate lending, equipment financing, and working capital for businesses.
  • Delivering specialized services for certain businesses or industries, such as aircraft lending, investment real estate lending, or auto dealer services.
  • Providing treasury management services such as disbursement, fraud prevention, and fund collection.


How Do I Become a Commercial Banker?

Learning about commercial banks is key for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the field. Commercial bankers are typically required to earn a bachelor’s degree in accountingfinance, communications, or another related field, as well as have some work experience in the financial services industry. 

Some financial institutions may offer internships so that prospective employees may learn the hard and soft skills required to succeed in the industry, as well as how to abide by U.S. banking regulations. 

Pursuing a postgraduate degree in disciplines such as accounting, economics, business administration, or statistics can lead to better opportunities and higher pay for those already working in commercial banking or can help you begin your career in an advanced position. Consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Accounting degree to work at any of the top financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. 

Once an individual has completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree program from an accredited university, graduates may obtain licensure as a certified public accountant (CPA) or mortgage loan originator (MLO). Doing so can broaden advancement opportunities for those already working in commercial banking.  Once you’ve completed any of these steps, you’re ready to apply for jobs that match your goals of becoming a successful commercial banker.

Best Degrees for a Commercial Banker


Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 24 months
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Financial Statements
  • Communication
  • Detail Oriented
  • Research

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.


Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish similar programs within 24 months
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Spreadsheets
  • Financial Analysis
  • Problem Solving

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.


Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management,...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Leadership strategies
  • Talent management
  • Communication
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Financial statements

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.


Accounting – M.S.

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public and private...

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public and private accounting positions:

  • Time: 62% of grads finish within 19 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé that this program will prepare you for: 

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Tax Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Online Communication
  • Research

This MAcc program is designed to prepare you for the CPA exam and also the CMA or CIA exams.

How Much Does a Commercial Banker Make?


In the U.S., commercial bankers earn an average salary of $104,981. However, compensation varies based on experience and the overall profitability of the financial institution an individual works for. As with any other career, average pay can also vary depending on the city where you’re employed. For instance, commercial bankers living in San Francisco earn $157,632, or 50% above the national average.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Commercial banking offers great opportunities for career seekers in the financial services industry. According to industry experts, commercial banking in the U.S. is ranked first in terms of employment in finance and insurance, with the average commercial banking business employing more workers year after year.


What Skills Does a Commercial Banker Need?

As financial services professionals, commercial bankers specialize in offering banking solutions for mid- to –large-sized businesses with moderately complex needs. As a result, banks look to employ individuals with specific skills, including:

  • Problem-solving 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Diligence 
  • Focus 
  • Ability to work autonomously
  • Effective written and oral communication 
  • Computer and technology literacy 
  • Knowledge of accounting fundamentals 
  • Knowledge of sales and marketing principles

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Commercial Banker?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.