Credit analysts are employed by banks, credit unions, credit agencies, business credit institutions, credit bureaus, corporations, and loan companies. They also work for hotels, hospitals, and department stores. Approximately 75,800 credit analysts are employed in the United States. Opportunities are available throughout the country, but the largest number of credit analysts are employed in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Ohio.
Although some people enter the field with a high school or two-year degree, most entry-level positions go to college graduates with degrees in fields such as accounting, finance, economics, and business administration. Credit analysts receive much of their formal training and learn specific procedures and requirements on the job. Many employees also rise through the ranks via other positions such as teller or customer service representative prior to becoming a credit analyst. Newspaper want ads, school placement services, and direct application to specific employers are all ways of tracking down that first job.
Credit analysts generally advance to supervisory positions. However, promotion and salary potential are limited, and many employees often choose to leave a company for better-paying positions elsewhere. After three to five years of credit work, a skilled credit analyst can expect a promotion to credit manager and ultimately chief credit executive. Responsibilities grow to include training other credit personnel, coordinating the credit department with other internal operations, and managing relations with customers and financial institutions.
Tips for Entry
Graduate from a college or university with a degree in finance, economics, business administration, or accounting.
Take classes in computers and communications.
Get work experience by volunteering or taking on a part-time job in a bank or other financial institution.
Hone your people skills so that you are comfortable talking to clients and colleagues.